Thailand Timeshare regulation

Started by Newshound, February 27, 2004, 15:57:15

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Timeshare regulation

The timeshare business needs to be regulated to grow the industry, as it has good prospects as an adjunct to the Thailand Elite Card scheme, Vittayen Muttamara, president of the Thai Vacation Ownership Association, said yesterday.

"The timeshare business has the same target group and objective as Thailand Elite - to attract foreigners to spend a longer period of time here, but the product we offer is different," Vittayen said.

The new Elite Card offers many privileges to its foreign members except a free place to stay.

For US$25,000 (Bt1 million), a lifetime personal membership comes with benefits such as five-year entry with no visa required, special immigration lanes and the right to acquire and possess land.

Vittayen said Elite cardholders have to pay for land but for only Bt200,000 timeshare members can enjoy the use of resort accommodations at no extra charge for about 30 years.

Last week the association discussed the legal issue with the Tourism Authority of Thailand and later will approach the Tourism Ministry.

"To protect the rights of consumers and prevent bad timeshare operators from tarnishing the image of the business, regulation of the industry is needed," Vittayen said. At this time timeshare owners only have recourse to regulations on direct marketing, consumer fraud or unfair contracts if they are cheated.

Theeranuch Pusaksrikit

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