Jamaica And St Maarten Move To Regulate Timeshare Industry

(L-R): Hugh Riley, William Marlin and Ed Bartlett

Source: Caribbean News Service

MIAMI BEACH, – In light of calls for improved standards, two Caribbean destinations have gone ahead with laws to regulate the timeshare industry.

St. Maarten remains the leaders in timeshare in the Caribbean with more than 2000 units and an occupancy rate of 82 percent year-round.

Prime Minster William Marlin said after 40 years of offering timeshare options, the island has finally drafted its legislation which is now being translated into Dutch.

“It has now passed through what we call the central committee of parliament,” Marlin told reporters here on Wednesday.

“When the new (Dutch side) government comes in, this legislation is one of the first that will be dealt with,” the prime minister announced.

He said the laws will focus on “consumer protection” but also prescribes “a code of conduct” for timeshare companies and sales personnel.

Timeshare pumps more than US$500 million dollars in the economy of the Dutch overseas territory annually.

In Jamaica where timeshare is still a growing industry, Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett has announced that the island has already passed its timeshare laws.

He told the Shared Ownership Investment Conference here that timeshare presents “a great opportunity for job creation”.

According to Bartlett the development of timeshare also presents an opportunity to freshen up the tourism product.

“We have to refresh ourselves and re-invent ourselves,” he said.

Interval International says it is a proven fact that timeshare owners do come back no matter what’s going on in the global economy. The company says they come with larger parties, they book well in advance and generate a greater spend.