MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Efforts to further diversify Jamaica’s tourism product have been significantly boosted with the introduction of Timeshare legislation. The Timeshare Vacations Act officially took effect on May 1, 2016 providing unique opportunities for developers and buyers alike.
The announcement was made by Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett during the Opening Ceremony of the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX 2016) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on the weekend.
“The timeshare vacation registry will open on the first of May and we will then be open for business to bring in new demographics and to drive new arrivals into destination Jamaica,” said Minister Bartlett.
Minister Bartlett noted that the Act was designed to achieve two objectives. “Firstly, it will give legal recognition to timeshare vacation schemes in the form of right-to-use agreements, which are timeshare contracts and deeds issued in relation to these agreements.”
“Secondly, it also regulates the marketing, promotion and provision of timeshare accommodation and will entail the establishment of a Timeshare Vacations Registry,” he explained.
Timeshare allows persons to jointly own a vacation property such as a villa or resort condominium. Under this type of agreement each owner is allowed to use the property for a fixed period of time in any given year. Developers are now also able to build properties for use as Timeshare accommodation. Timeshare is being regulated locally by the Real Estate Board.
The Ministry of Tourism is collaborating with the Real Estate Board, JAMPRO and other partners to roll out a marketing initiative aimed at attracting developers as well as local and international buyers. A special committee which includes representatives from the Ministry and these key entities has been driving this process.
Members of the committee are currently attending the Annual American Resort Development Association (ARDA) Timeshare Convention in the United States, where they are marketing Jamaica as a Timeshare destination and encouraging international players to invest in the sector.
“The introduction of Timeshare vacations is another way in which we are diversifying our product mix. This is a unique form of tourism which has the potential to create new economic opportunities for Jamaicans while fuelling investment and enhancing Jamaica’s international appeal,” Minister Bartlett noted.
“I would like to take this opportunity to urge local and international interests to examine Timeshare as an area of our tourism sector to invest in as the returns can be very lucrative” the Minister added.