Interval International, the timeshare exchange company, is to start a branded exchange programme for fractional, private residence club and condo-hotel properties.
The move means that owners of these typically more upscale products will be able to exchange stays around the world and in turn this should increase the attractiveness of the products.
The launch is scheduled for 2008 and will see the creation of the Preferred Residences brand through an alliance with the Preferred Hotel Group, the Chicago-based representation company.
“This is exactly the right time to enter the market with a branded exchange network. The escalating prices of vacation homes in key destinations make this product a compelling alternative to second home ownership,” said Craig Nash, chairman and CEO of Interval.
Preferred currently provides services to more than 350 independent hotels. Interval has 2,200 resorts on its books.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers in a study conducted for the American Resort Development Association, timeshare contributed an estimated $62bn to the US economy in consumer and business spending.
There are over 1,600 timeshare resorts in the US attracting 4.1 million households to timeshare ownership.