Barbados Government Enters Time-Share Vacation Hucksterism – But Shuns The Words “Time Share”

Anyone who has been to Disney World, the Bahamas, Hawaii or other tourist destinations has experienced the army of street people handing out pamphlets – promising everything from free meals, free boat trips and accomodation to free toasters.

Everything is Free!…. if you will only give us 30 minutes of your vacation time to listen to a presentation about "AN EXCITING CONCEPT"….

The "Exciting Concept" always turns out to be Time-Share Vacations, but the hawkers of the "Exciting Concept" will do everything they can to avoid using the words "Time Share". Why? Because for the last 30 years or so, no matter what new term is coined to describe it, the Time Share concept and industry has left a trail of fraud, financial ruin and heartache around the world. These projects are not all bad, of course – just most of them.

Hucksterism As An Industry

In the 70's and early 80's, the concept was called "Time Share", then it morphed into "Co-ownership", "Holiday Ownership", "Multi Ownership", "Group Ownership" and now we have "Fractional Ownership" – but a dung pile by any other name still smells as sweet… (Forgive me, Bard, just couldn't help it)

Proponents will say that true "fractional ownership" is not the same as "time share", and while this is technically true, in the end the differences are about the same as the difference between two unwashed armpits after a hard day's work.

A Google search for the words "time share frauds" and "fractional ownership frauds" returns an astonishing 40 million or so hits and makes for some interesting reading.

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Gems Of Barbados Money Pit Just Keeps On Going and Going and Going… Now Entering Into Time-Share "Fractional Ownership" Scheme

The Government of Barbados is planning to give more of our prime public land to that money pit known as "Gems of Barbados" so GEMS can get into the Time Share game. Here is what Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Noel Lynch, disclosed in the Barbados House of Assembly yesterday. It is a tad convoluted, but all the best government "investment" schemes, uh, plans are, so stay with us…

– Barbados will "vest" (that means "give") the St. Lawrence Gap public land of the former Dover Convention Centre to Hotels & Resorts Ltd. – the company that runs the Gems of Barbados fiasco, uh, hotels.

– 54 condominium units will be built on the land to add 176 more hotel beds for Hotel & Resorts Ltd.

– Government hopes to sell most of these "fractional ownership" units to "non-residents" (as if any Bajan would buy a timeshare in Barbados!)

– 80% of the units would be marketed in a rental pool for a minimum of nine months per year.

– The minister told Parliament that part of the receipts from the initial sale of the units would be ploughed back into upgrading Time Out At the Gap and other Gems properties. (Note: Not profits – "receipts")

OK OK – WE GET IT NOW!

This is a scheme to pour yet more public funds into the Gems of Barbados hotel fiasco organization – except that the Government of Barbados is out of money. So… the government has to convert public land into money to give to Gems. See? Easy!

This is a Scheme To Convert Public Land Into Cash – To Give To Gems

Aside from the question of whether public funds should be given to a hotel chain that is in competition with other hotels and resorts owned by private citizens – just how much money and land does the Government of Barbados intend to throw at Gems? Is there a plan? Are there profits? What about all the past money thrown at these questionable resorts?

Minister Lynch Pushes "NEW CONCEPT" !

Remember what we said earlier about Time Share hucksters never using the words "time share" and always coming up with "Exciting Concepts" and "New Concepts" ?

Well… here is a bit of what Minister Lynch had to say, as reported in The Nation Newspaper

Earlier, Lynch pointed out that this new concept had been accepted in the international tourism industry where many developers were unwilling to invest in both the real estate and management of hotels.

There was a distinct move globally, he added, to separate the ownership of the real estate from the management of the properties.

"This is going to be a pioneering effort on behalf of the Gems of Barbados to create this condominium concept that allows for 'fractional ownership'. Under this arrangement the owner buys a condo but puts it back into a rental pool to be managed by a hotel. It may be new to Barbados, but it has been happening all over the region," he said.

Oh yes Mr. Minister, this "new concept" is "new to Barbados" – but it is not so new elsewhere. And a rose is still a rose… and a dung heap is still a dung heap…

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Gambling (in more ways than one) at GEMS' Time Out At The Gap

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

10 responses to “Barbados Government Enters Time-Share Vacation Hucksterism – But Shuns The Words “Time Share”

  1. You are right. Those timeshare tours are everywhere in Florida, offering you two free tickets to Disney World your choice Magic Kingdom or Epcot. They also offer Sea World tickets, but I do not think that too many take advantage of that. Now they even over cold hard cash. Oh well what can you do?

  2. Adrian Loveridge

    It is estimated that roughly 30% of the total ‘receipts’ for any timeshare project is spent on marketing, so after the developer gets their share, what exactly is going to be left to repay the taxpayer ‘investment’ in the GEMS project or upgrade the remaining GEMS properties.
    Also we are told EASTRY house has been sold.
    WHERE IS THE MONEY?

  3. Darren Fykke

    Putting aside the Gems of Barbados (which I know nothing about) and whether this will be a good investment for Barbados, its not the same thing as timeshare at all. Its also not fractional ownership which is in fact, the same “armpit” as timeshare.

    Government will be selling WHOLE condominium units outright to individual owners. Those owners can put their units in the rental pool like a regular hotel guestroom and recieve a portion of the rental fee, or, if they choose, they can stay out of the rental pool and keep it for themselves only. They’re estimating that 80 % of the owners will choose to put their units in the rental pool.

  4. BFP

    Hi Darren Fykke

    You are incorrect, Sir.

    If you believe that this project is not “fractional ownership” then you’ll have to take it up with the Minister – who announced that it was “fractional ownership”… but, hey… he’s only the Minister in charge of the project, so what should he know?

    “This is going to be a pioneering effort on behalf of the Gems of Barbados to create this condominium concept that allows for ‘fractional ownership’. “… Barbados Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Noel Lynch as quoted in The Nation Newspaper while addressing the Legislature.

  5. Darren Fykke

    Apparently he doesn’t know much because in that same quote he went on to say

    “Under this arrangement the owner buys a condo but puts it back into a rental pool to be managed by a hotel. It may be new to Barbados, but it has been happening all over the region,” he said.”

    So which is it? Is the owner buying a condo or a fraction of one?

  6. From what I have read on this, the big question is going to be what happens with the money once it is put in the program to be returned to the government.

  7. Pingback: Barbados Tourism Minister - “Let’s Pour More Tax Money Down This GEMS Hole. NO… You Can’t See The Financial Statements You Stupid Bajans” « Barbados Free Press

  8. Time Share Huckster

    This article is biased, and prejudiced, and VERY UNFAIR to all the licensed real estate professionals and good people who own and operate “Time Share” – Yes there are bad people in the world, but there are a lot of legitimate Time Share sales people who work for such reputable companies as Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Marriott and Ko Olina Resorts.

    To dismiss the entire time share industry as “hucksters” is not only ignorant, but it is irresponsible as a large part of the economy and jobs are based on Time Share in Hawaii, and plenty of people are happy to own and receive TREMENDOUS benefits from ownership. Your article contributes to the NEGATIVE, ill-informed, fear-mongering that prevents people from getting the very best value from their vacation experience.

    Every time share sales person is not a “huckster” any more than every religious figurehead is a “cult leader” – So why don’t you stop misrepresenting and misleading people based on your own personal agenda, which, I suspect is to resell timeshares outside of the corporate environment.

  9. Amused

    I think every religious figurehead is a cult leader

  10. Timeshare Buyer

    Interesting article. To avoide huckstering people who have the time and money to enjoy a timeshare and its benefits should buy a resale. If investing in your own vacations then they are a great investment.