RCI leads the way for timeshare industry in Turkey
RCI has played a key role in a major symposium about timeshare and shared-holiday ownership in Turkey, an event that included input from the Turkish Government and demonstrates the industry’s growing profile in the country.
The event, which was held in Gure, Balikesir on 4-5 May, was organised by the country’s Ministry of Custom and Trade alongside the Turkish Timeshare Developers and Marketers Association.
Attendees included resort developers and marketers, lawyers, academics and a range of government representatives including the Head of the Turkish Supreme Court, the Governor of Balikesir, a number of Municipality Mayors in the region, and representatives from the Ministry Of Tourism and Culture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Family, and Ministry of Economy.
As well as key presentations, the event included workshops to discuss a wide range of topics including revisions to timeshare law; consumer rights; taxation on the timeshare sector; government incentives to timeshare developments; recognising timeshare as part of the country’s overall tourism offering and much more.
With more than 70 timeshare resorts in Turkey, either built or under construction, the industry has become an important part of the Turkish economy, but it is still not regarded as part of the country’s tourism industry. Changing this perception is key, because if the Government acknowledged timeshare as a tourism product, it would bring potential subsidies and tax advantages.
Another key topic of discussion was whether further regulation was needed in Turkey to curb some of the issues that have arisen as a result of questionable sales practices and lack of regulation on contract terms within the industry.
Paul Gardner-Bougaard, chief executive of European timeshare body the Resort Development Organisation (RDO) provided details of the EU’s regulation of the industry, as well as information and advice on sales accreditation and the trustee system – both issues that were of interest to the industry and government.
The need for a strong trade association was also discussed and Gardner-Bougaard said the RDO was ready to help the Turkish industry as required, with ongoing discussions to find ways to create closer ties with the Turkish Timeshare Developers and Marketers Association.
Ali Egilmez, RCI’s affiliate manager in Turkey, said: “This initiative came about after two meetings that RCI organised in 2016 and 2017, bringing all the major players around the same table to give momentum to the association and to take more effective initiatives like the one that has happened this year.
“The strong participation from governing parties shows the interest from the Turkish State which is very important in terms of stronger regulations and support.
“The Turkish timeshare sector has been active since the 1990s but the last 5-10 years has showed a great improvement. It now has great potential and room for growth as the product perfectly matches the needs of the Turkish consumer, who seeks family size rooms, sees timeshare as an investment opportunity and likes the idea of owning their holidays with an exchange component.
“RCI supports all the positive growth opportunities in the market and has a very strong presence here.”