South Africa is ranked the 5th highest country for vacation ownership and 4th in terms of future purchase interest. Among the top establishments are Drakensberg Sun. Picture: Southern Sun.

Not only is shared vacation ownership good for our health by ensuring that we take regular holidays, it’s also good for our country’s economy.

According to a 2016 worldwide Oxford Economics Industry Study, the timeshare industry spans the globe with 5 491 resorts and 194 million room nights, supporting nearly 1.3 million jobs.

In South Africa, which is ranked the 5th highest country for vacation ownership and 4th in terms of future purchase interest, it is a R3.5 billion per annum industry that has a significant footprint in the tourism and hospitality sectors. 

It's knock-on effect has a positive impact on the country’s economy by contributing billions of rand to the GDP and generating employment for around 27 000 people, ranging from highly skilled to informal positions.

Alex Bosch, spokesman for the Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA), said the study also found that vacation owners generally spend more than double what a hotel guest spends on local attractions.  
“This is because hotel guests spend most of their holiday budget on premium season accommodation rates, while vacation owners are saving up to 50% on their accommodation, giving them more disposable cash to support local economies.

Timeshare made up for 63% of the apartments in Umhlanga, 60% of the apartments in the Drakensberg and 70% of the apartments in the Hazyview / Kruger Park area.  

With property upgrades of more than R500 million in recent years, resort development plays a key role in supporting local entrepreneurs. Crafters are given the opportunity to sell their merchandise in many resort’s curio shops, which helps to alleviate poverty. This creates a positive experience for the local communities and holidaymakers by balancing the needs of travellers with those of the destination.

The timeshare industry is one of the robust areas within the South African economy. Through its nearly half-a-million members, including resort developers and other various stakeholders, the industry is perfectly positioned as a tool to influence change and make a positive impact on the future of South Africa's economy.