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Timeshares can revive tourism without reviving the pandemic

In the coronavirus era, timeshares hold key advantages.

In the first phases of reopening Florida’s economy, the focus has been restaurants, retail, gyms and bars

All are vital industries, but in the Sunshine State, tourism is king.

Florida has taken steps toward jumpstarting crucial piece of the economy by opening theme parks — with safety measures such as social distancing in place — and, after a long and arguably unnecessary hiatus, ending the temporary ban on vacation rentals.

Timeshares are another major cog in the tourism machine, and they could play an indispensable role in generating much-needed revenue for businesses as well as state and local governments, who have seen collections hit unprecedented lows.

There are over 270,000 timeshare units in Florida, representing $10.5 billion in sales, and many of the largest purveyors, such as Disney, Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham, Holiday Inn Club, Bluegreen, Westgate and Berkley Group are based in the state.

An industry with that big of a footprint brings in a significant amount of tax revenue for the state and local areas, including property taxes for services they don’t use.

In the coronavirus era, timeshares hold key advantages over other forms of lodging: the prepaid nature of the product gives owners motivation to show up; amenities such as in-unit kitchens, washers and dryers play nice with social distancing guidelines; and prepaid professional maintenance ensures units and public areas are routinely cleaned to a high standard.

With tourists increasingly preferring drive-to destinations due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s likely timeshare owners would be in the first wave of visitors flocking back to Florida.

Statistics back that up — most timeshare owners drive to their destination rather than flying, and they spend plenty of money when they do, helping governments stay afloat with gas and sales taxes, and giving local businesses such as restaurants and stores desperately needed revenue.

As reopening continues, caution is still advised. But timeshares present a travel option that can revive tourism and business without reviving the pandemic.

Written By

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

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