SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP has today (Wednesday) welcomed measures adopted in the European Parliament aimed at ending scams in the timeshare and holiday industry. The new legislation, which should be in force in time for next year's holiday seasons, is aimed at touts who target holiday-makers with bogus timeshare and long-term holiday packages.

Current EU legislation offers some protection to consumers buying timeshares in a fixed property. However, rogue traders have developed ways of getting round the legislation by offering worthless deals in "holiday clubs", timeshares on boats or caravans and timeshare exchanges. The new package extends the scope to include these new forms of holiday package.

Mr Hudghton commented:

"Every year thousands of holiday-makers are targeted by bogus salesmen who offer what seem to be attractive long-term holiday packages but turn out to be worthless scams. Only when they get home do they discover that they've signed over considerable sums of money for schemes which are utterly worthless.

"The new regulations will ensure that these scams come to an end. Traders offering legitimate timeshare and holiday packages will be required to provide customers with full details of what they're offering. Customers will not have to pay any large sums of money up front. And, having signed up to a timeshare scheme, customers will have a 14 day cooling-off period during which they can withdraw from the contract.

"Many people buy good timeshare packages and get years of enjoyment from these deals. However there are still too many rogue traders operating in the market and too many people falling victim. This legislation will allow legitimate traders to continue their operations - whilst kicking the conmen off the beaches."

The timeshare package voted upon in the European Parliament will:
Extend the current law covering traditional timeshares to include timeshares on cruise ships, caravans and canal boats, holiday clubs and timeshare exchange schemes.
Ban upfront payments for holiday clubs.
Require traders to provide full information of what they're offering on a standard EU-approved sheet.
Give customers a 14 day cooling-off period. This period is extended further should the trader fail to provide the required information or inform the customer of their right to withdraw.
Promote codes of conduct for legitimate timeshare and long-term holiday operators.

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