Orlando, Florida – A ready supply of labour and lower costs could make the Caribbean an attractive development area.
That’s the view of timeshare expert Sue Nickason, who added that certain government incentives can also kickstart investment by the timeshare industry.
“Failed projects can also be acquired cheap, which can decrease development costs,” she said.
Another way to ensure a new breed of owners was to do exit surveys with those potential buyers of units who in the end decided against it.
“Some feedback was that projects were homogenised and all the same, which starts to blur. Special projects must therefore focus on the psychographics of the customer.
“For example, what about a dive-specific vacation ownership project? These would have different desires with what they are looking for. Or, how about a foodie project, a festival project?
“We need to look at the specific behavioural group and tailor projects directly to them,” she said.
Airlift and isolation
Airlift, she said, is an issue but developments in smaller islands can do quite well in the fractional ownership and timeshare markets because of their relative “isolation” from more well-known destinations in the Caribbean.
“Somewhere like the Cayman Islands or Turks & Caicos have great opportunities to offer the authentic Caribbean experience, tracts of Caribbean beach [and so on],” she commented.
Overregulation of the timeshare market is an issue in bringing developers and buyers to some Caribbean destinations and a clarification of ordinance is essential to ensure the industry is above board.
“The timeshare buyer expects to enjoy destinations and fall in love with the country and therefore he is one of the best marketing tools a country can have,” said Joel Santos of Coral Hospitality. “Governments need to avoid things like treating timeshare like a real estate deal. It is not the same; we are not looking for tax incentives as such, but we must try not to overregulate the market.”