ARUBA–St. Maarten’s timeshare sector, like that of St. Thomas and St. John’s, is “slowly coming back” online after the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, said Neil Kolton, Interval International Director for Resort Sales and Service for the Caribbean and Florida.
Some timeshare units are online and have vacation demand such as Oyster Bay Beach Resort with more than half of its units open and the fully opened Divi Little Bay Resort. Others are expected to take longer and there is also partially opened Simpson Bay Resorts and Marina. The latter had to raze several severely damaged buildings and has no pending plans to rebuild.
Kolton’s prognosis for the local timeshare sector is more inventory will come online in 12 to 18 months. This is dependent on speed of rebuild, availability of manpower and materials.
The just-under-100 timeshare units of The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort and Spa are slated for reopening. However, this is expected to be a very slow process with units to come online in batches.
Kolton said in a press meet at its company’s ongoing International Shared Ownership Investment Conference in Hyatt Regency Aruba, Interval International is “working with its partners” who are actively rebuilding and is confident “in the long term the industry will get back on track.”
The hurricanes of last year hit three of the major islands in the Interval portfolio. St. Maarten is the number two largest timeshare destination with Aruba leading the way. But, the rebuilding process post-hurricane and general refreshing of properties throughout Interval’s network allow for current innovations to be taken on board by resorts.
Kolton said the timeshare market has “a lot of variety” to offer travellers from traditional timeshare units and all-inclusive concepts to the Interval Points System so called “vacation currency” available for exchange for stays at traditional hotels, spa treatments and tours.
The timeshare industry maintains that the sharing economy (Airbnb, etc.) cannot compete with the quality, safety and service offered by timeshare resorts. “We are really able to meet at the right crossroads between a traditional hotel and the sharing economy,” Kolton said.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/81070-timeshare-resorts-coming-back-albeit-slowly-post-irma