Prior to 1989 the only timeshare organisations in existence within the UK had been primarily for developers. However, although there was legislation to protect consumers with the 1992 Timeshare Act there was no dedicated organisation to assist consumers or even, and more importantly, the committees of timeshare resorts.
This changed in 1989 when The Association for Timeshare Owners Committees was formed and the now well-known acronym TATOC came into being. From the first it was a struggle. The Timeshare Council was a trade body and despite the fact that developers relied on the consumers to purchase their timeshare, there was a reluctance to embrace the fledgling organisation.
However support was gained from the Exchange Companies and also the Trustees who recognised the importance of assisting and supporting and educating this group of special individuals who gave of their time freely to deal with many complex issues.
Developers also recognised that there was a place for TATOC and for a while at least there were meetings between representatives of TATOC and also the Timeshare Council.
Time stands still for no man and the Timeshare Council eventually became the European Timeshare Federation, then the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe (OTE) and ultimately the RDO (Resort Developers Organisation).
But what was happening to TATOC during this time? Meetings were still held and the education and support went on but ultimately talks between OTE and TATOC brought about yet another acronym VOICE (Vacation Owners Independent Coalition in Europe). This organisation using both OTE and TATOC staff, was formed to predominantly deal with complaints from consumers about the industry. After all was this not dealing with the very crux of the problem within the industry, the areas of sales and marketing that not even legislation had completely eradicated?
Working with the OTE, inroads were made into monitoring and dealing with these various complaints. But this area of complaints and the numbers of complaints was becoming more and more important. Accountability was required and Brussels was observing what was happening with the inevitable result in the European Union asking for more legislation.
The years have passed and now VOICE no longer exists but its responsibilities are wholly in the hands of TATOC. This change in areas of responsibility was recognised throughout the organisation and at the annual conference in 2008 the Chief Executive Harry Taylor launched the new strategy and new name for the Association.
TATOC remains but it is the Timeshare Association (timeshare owners and committees) and is being now known as the Timeshare Association. The name may have slightly changed but TATOC is based on the solid commitment and integrity of the past years. It has a dynamic plan for the future, it is widening its membership base, it is grabbing the future with both hands and is a proactive and forward thinking Association but it never forgets its prime reason for being.
"TATOC exists to safeguard and enhance the timeshare holiday experience for existing and prospective users and to be the voice of owners."