By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- The government of Jamaica is advancing legislation to facilitate the island’s entry into the tourism timeshare market.
The tabling of the Timeshare Vacations Bill in the House of Representatives on Tuesday brings Jamaica closer to formally introducing the option of timeshare vacation schemes into the country’s product offering.
A timeshare arrangement is a form of joint ownership, or right to the use of a property.
Timeshare properties are typically resort condominium units, to which multiple parties hold rights of use.
Each sharer is typically allotted a week and usually at the same time every year.
Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr Wykeham McNeill making his contribution to the 2014/2015 Sectoral Debate on Tuesday, May 27. JIS Photo
“Owners of time in a residential unit tend to vacation for a week or more at a time, in groups of two or more. Timeshare owners become constant repeat visitors and behave more like members of the local community, in that they shop for groceries, dine out often and use local services more directly than hotel guests,” tourism minister Dr Wykeham McNeill said.
Making his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, McNeill said he was pleased that timeshare vacations will become part of Jamaica’s tourism product mix.
“This has very positive implications for generating new economic opportunities for Jamaicans in many areas of enterprise,” he stated.
He said the government is confident of being able to attract the world’s most experienced timeshare operating brands, thereby broadening the country’s international appeal.
McNeill said timeshare has had positive economic impact in areas where it has been introduced.
He further noted that timeshare is another facet of the industry with potential to attract investment, and steps are being taken to broaden the variety of accommodation and investment opportunities in the local tourism sector.