Timeshare Resorts and Overbooking: The Inconvenient Truth

Timeshare Resorts and Overbooking: The Inconvenient Truth

Timeshare resorts are often portrayed as idyllic vacation destinations, but there’s an inconvenient truth that many owners face—overbooking. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of timeshare overbooking, exploring what it is, why it happens, and the challenges it presents to owners.

1. What Is Timeshare Overbooking?

Overbooking is a common practice in the hospitality industry, and it also affects timeshare resorts. Essentially, it involves booking more guests into the resort than there are available accommodations. While resorts aim to match occupancy with available units, factors like no-shows and last-minute reservations can result in overbooking.

2. Why Overbooking Occurs

Overbooking can occur for various reasons:

  • No-Shows: Resorts anticipate that some guests won’t show up for their reservations, so they book more units to maximize occupancy.
  • Last-Minute Reservations: Guests may make last-minute bookings, leaving the resort with limited options to accommodate them.
  • Reservation Changes: Some guests may request changes to their reservations, such as different dates or unit types, creating a puzzle for the resort to solve.
  • Economic Considerations: Overbooking is sometimes used to boost revenue by maximizing occupancy, even if it leads to inconveniences for guests.

3. The Impact on Owners

Timeshare owners can be significantly impacted by overbooking:

  • Unavailability of Accommodations: Owners may arrive at their timeshare resort only to find that there are no available units, forcing them to stay in alternative accommodations.
  • Reduced Quality of Stay: Overbooking can lead to a less enjoyable vacation experience, as owners may be placed in units that do not meet their expectations or preferences.
  • Reservation Bumps: Owners can be “bumped” from their reserved units and moved to other properties, which can disrupt their vacation plans.
  • Frustration and Disappointment: Dealing with overbooking can lead to frustration and disappointment, especially when owners have invested in timeshare ownership to avoid such inconveniences.

4. Legal and Ethical Challenges

Owners who experience overbooking may encounter legal and ethical challenges in seeking compensation or resolution. The lack of clear regulations and industry standards can make it difficult to address these issues.

5. Protecting Yourself from Overbooking

To protect yourself from the inconvenience of overbooking, consider the following steps:

  • Reserve Early: Make your reservations as early as possible to secure your preferred dates and accommodations.
  • Communication: Maintain open communication with the resort, and verify your reservation before your arrival.
  • Consider Exchange Programs: Some timeshare exchange programs allow you to exchange your timeshare for accommodations at other resorts, providing flexibility in case of overbooking.

6. Resort Policies and Guarantees

Some timeshare resorts have policies or guarantees in place to address overbooking, such as offering alternative accommodations, compensation, or future reservations at no additional cost. It’s essential to understand your resort’s specific policies and what remedies they provide.


Timeshare overbooking is an inconvenient truth that many owners face, impacting their vacation experiences and causing frustration and disappointment. To protect themselves from overbooking, owners should reserve early, maintain open communication with the resort, and consider exchange programs for added flexibility. While overbooking remains a challenge, understanding your resort’s policies and guarantees can help mitigate its impact on your timeshare ownership.

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