The timeshare concept is now attracting the millennial market. Picture: Supplied.

Timeshare, also referred to as shared vacation ownership, is a great way to vacation for those who understand the product and how to use it. According to the Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA), the cost of buying a holiday home and funding its upkeep gave rise to timeshare more than 50 years ago

Their spokesman, Alex Bosch, said it has evolved over the years into a worldwide phenomenon.

In the early 20th century in Europe, families grouped together to purchase a holiday a home in which they each had a share in the use and maintenance costs thereof. This was considered far better value than renting hotel accommodation and provided a higher standard of accommodation. In the early 1960’s the concept became commercialised in France by Paul Doumier when he created the concept for his company’s ski resort in the French Alps.

The phenomenon rose in the 1970’s when the annual hotel vacation was out of reach.

This situation wasn’t unique to South Africa and the concept of shared vacation ownership was gaining momentum as an alternative vacation plan because of its ability to offer luxury vacations at affordable prices.

When the concept was first developed, owners were tied to the week and location that they initially chose. Over time and to meet the needs of an evolving market, timeshare companies started introducing the ability to trade weeks with other owners. A natural outgrowth of the idea was the points system giving choice to where and when to travel.

The shared vacation ownership market has since become more consumer friendly and flexible, resulting in increased popularity that is attracting young, educated buyers.