Representatives from Hapimag and RCI Germany recently met with the German parliament’s Committee On Tourism to provide a brief on shared ownership and to clarify the important role it plays in Germany.
Kurt Scholl, CEO of Hapimag and Stefan Namyslo, Affiliate Manager Central Europe of RCI Germany provided details of the size and breadth of the industry worldwide, then went on to review timeshare in Germany and to discuss the opportunities generated by the industry locally.
Discussion took place about the poor image that the industry suffers from in Germany, a throwback to the times when consumers were caught out by fraudulent practices prior to the introduction of Europe-wide legislation. As in other countries, it is taking time to recovery from the negative press although with new consumer protection now in place through the European Timeshare Directive (effective February 2011), this is set to improve. Consumer associations and enforcement bodies throughout Europe, as well as the industry trade body RDO, have a challenge ahead to ensure that companies comply with the legislation and that fraud is stamped out in an effectively and timely manner.
Kurt Scholl commented ‘“We, all members of our industry and our trade body RDO will have to take any opportunity to communicate to the public all the ecological and economic advantages of our business model and the high level of satisfaction of our customers to overcome the threatening image we are facing in some countries today”
Stefan Namyslo added ‘It was our goal to present and position the shared ownership industry in an up to date way to this important committee and to stress all the opportunities that is has to offer. We have been able to point out the high level of sustainability of the products as well as the positive impact Shared Ownership Developments have on touristic destinations. Especially at times when the hospitality industry is challenged and whole regions across Germany and Austria are suffering from low occupancies the shared ownership model, if you look to examples from other destinations, can be proven to be a very good solution and alternative in today’s environment .
The Committee chairman, Klaus Brähmig, responded positively to the discussions held and hopes to present the findings to the relevant members of the German parliament, the Bundestag.