Timeshare owners rally to form powerful new representative body
A brand new initiative was launched earlier this month which will see thousands of timeshare owners across Britain and Europe coming together with one single voice.
The newly formed European Resort Owners’ Coalition or EUROC as it will be known, will represent the interests of both small, independently run resorts as well as larger resorts that have a developer in place.
Calling All Resort Committees & Home Owners Association
An owners committee or Home Owners Association (HOA) as they are known in the US, self-manages the timeshare resort, making all decisions themselves on maintenance, marketing and rental or resale on the resort.
These self-managed resorts exist all over the UK and Europe, with owners keen to perpetuate the holidays they have come to love and enjoy.
Since the demise of TATOC in 2017 however, timeshare owners have not had any true form of representation and little protection from fraudulent operators or a voice to tackle issues such as the tourism/bedroom tax which could see owners paying double taxes on their ‘share’.
EUROC, RDO and ARDA-ROC
Industry trade association for Timeshare in UK and Europe the RDO (Resort Development Organisation) has partnered with the Resort Owners Coalition in the US, ARDA-ROC to help support and fund EUROC in order to provide a powerful and representative body for timeshare owners this side of the Atlantic.
The American association, ARDA-ROC, has been very successfully working on behalf of American timeshare owners of more than 30 years. With that experience, along with an initial grant and management time, resource and further financial contribution from RDO, the new organisation, EUROC, has already got a working framework and agreed objectives for 2019. A EUROC interim board has been set up following an initial meeting of HOA’s last September where the idea of this representative group was first put to timeshare owners.
EUROC will develop relationships with Pan-European Government departments, consumer organisations, enforcement bodies and the media to ensure the voice of the timeshare community is heard.
On 27th February 2019 at a meeting of timeshare owners’ committees in Birmingham, delegates supported the proposals put forward and gave their unanimous approval for its launch on March 1st.
Ken McKelvey, ARDA-ROC Chairman and Chairman of the EUROC working group was first to speak at the meeting and had this to say;
“I personally believe there is no better time, and an urgent need, for HOAs this side of the Atlantic to form themselves into an effective and efficient pan European representative body.
The fact is, as we found many years ago in the USA, and as we know here from talking to RDO, the industry trade association will never be seen by the authorities and regulators as truly representing owners, however much the representations are made. When EUROC talks to the powers that be, it will speak on behalf of not just thousands of timeshare owners, but on behalf of thousands of voters and nothing grabs the attention of politicians as much as potential votes. EUROC with your support can be a powerful force, as ARDA-ROC is in the USA.”
Purpose, Priorities and Objectives
The meeting was attended by over 50 representatives of both small independent resorts along with larger developer managed ones. The EUROC working group ran through how the organisation would be run, funded and what had been put in place so far along with early objectives. These include:
- Providing a forum for sharing common concerns, issues and best practice.
- Monitoring actual and potential regulation which might affect HOAs and their individual owners with a view to lobbying for the introduction of measures of a positive nature for the benefit of HOAs and their owners.
- Recruiting a Member Relations Manager who will be responsible for bringing owners’ committees into membership
- Membership helps fund the extremely important work of the Timeshare Task Force. Run by KwikChex, the Task Force identifies deceptive practices and works to have companies that defraud owners exposed and closed down. KwikChex is Trading Standards approved and works closely with the police and other enforcement agencies.
- For more information on all the bodies mentioned including the RDO and ARDA, click here.
Membership is open to all timeshare owners’ committees, irrespective of their size and whether they are independently run by an owners’ committee or have a developer in place at the resort. RDO and ARDA-ROC are funding EUROC over the course of 2019 to help set it up, but for 2020 it is expected to be close to self-funded through its membership fees.
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