The RDO (Resort Development Organisation), formerly the OTE, is the regulatory body for the timeshare industry. It was formed in February 2008 by the European Timeshare Federation to pull together timeshare trade associations from across Europe into one single direct organisation.
Past and Present
Previously, countries in Europe had their own ‘timeshare councils’, as it were. These ‘councils’ are now national chapters of the RDO, which brings efficiency and consistency to the regulation of the industry. The RDO works closely with governments and government departments both in the UK and Europe, assisting with the drafting of legislation for the timeshare industry that is fair to consumers and timeshare companies equally.
Most legitimate timeshare companies are members of the RDO. Membership demonstrates that the company is bound by the strict code of ethics set out by the RDO, thus providing assurance to consumers that their company is above-board. RDO membership also offers timeshare companies guidelines on the ways that they must conduct business in order to be compliant.
Up until 2017, TATOC was the largest consumer association for timeshare holders in Europe. However, following litigation and consumer complaints of bias towards sometimes unscrupulous timeshare companies, the association fell into administration. TATOC had been running since 1989, but in its latter years gradually lost support, notably from the RDO, and membership dwindled.
In the USA, the timeshare trade association is the ARDA (American Resort Development Association), and in Australia, it is ATHOC (Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council Ltd). If considering timeshare in these countries, look out for the relevant logo to ensure the timeshare company you’re buying with is a member. Equally, when buying in Europe, the RDO logo is the one to look for.
If you have any questions regarding the regulation of your timeshare, are unsure that yours is a member of a regulatory body, or own a timeshare membership in a country not covered above, get in touch. We will be able to give you a full rundown of what you should be able to expect from a member company, and help you with what to do should your timeshare company be falling short of the law. Drop us a line today, and let’s have a chat.