At a hearing of the Tourism Committee of the German Bundestag last week, a number of experts, including Kurt Scholl, CEO of Hapimag, talked about the significance and the opportunities of timeshare in Germany.
Timeshare today is a fast-growing segment of the tourism industry and is asserting itself worldwide. The timeshare model is a modern accommodation concept equally accounting for sustainability and economic efficiency. In Germany, however, there is a lot of catching-up to do when it comes to the overall awareness and acceptance of timeshare; the economic potential of this tourism concept is accordingly great.
“To use rather than to own” is a highly contemporary social trend. According to Professor Ulrich Reinhardt, Scientific Head of the Foundation for Future Studies, joint use of holiday real estate belonged into this context. The consolidation of common interests in communities was growing ever more popular. Together with this phenomenon there was an increased public willingness to consider holiday varieties such as timesharing.
Michael Rabe, general secretary of BTW, the federal association of the German tourism industry, emphasized the high economic significance of the timeshare industry in a subsequent discussion, at the same time regretting the gridlocked prejudice and unsophisticated value judgments.
Kurt Scholl, CEO of Hapimag, the leading supplier of timeshare in Europe, went into the success factors of professional timeshare. In Scholl’s words, the maximization of profit as a matter of principle did not occupy centre stage with Hapimag, but rather the upkeep and maintenance of jointly made investments. Generated funds were invested in the upkeep and modernization of the common real estate.
In Scholl’s opinion, a considerable success factor of the Hapimag concept was the unity of interest of investor, operator and user. Other tourism concepts and projects often failed because of the diverging interests of the partners concerned.
Andrea Sack, the representative of the European Consumer Centre in Germany, who was also invited as an expert, stated after the meeting that in order to protect themselves from “bad apples”, consumers should check if the provider is a member of RDO, the European umbrella organisation of the timeshare industry.
Holiday destinations profit from the constantly high and often year-round occupancy rate of timeshare resorts, which were also not subject to the usual seasonal fluctuations. Michael Beckmann, tourism director of Winterberg, also pointed out this locational advantage to the politicians present, substantiating this with the occupancy rate of the Hapimag site in Winterberg in the German holiday region of Sauerland. According to Beckmann, apart from the high occupancy rate it made a large contribution to the net product not only during construction, but also later during operation. Moreover, the site with its public infrastructure facilities was a highly welcome complement to the overall tourism offerings, e.g., with the centre for traditional medicine and the offers of gastronomy and wellness.