Illegal migrants given luxury timeshare accommodation in Canary Islands
Refugees being housed in luxury accommodation while paid up members unable to visit.
A top quality timeshare complex in Gran Canaria is controversially being put to use as temporary housing for the wave of refugees arriving on the island on boats from North Africa.
Over 17,000 North Africans have illegally made their way to the Canary Islands since January 2020 causing widespread concern for the islands’ ability to cope with the influx amid the pandemic and economic crisis.
The luxury Puerto Calma development overlooking picturesque Puerto Rico harbour has made the humanitarian decision to offer their exclusive apartments to the Red Cross to help house the African arrivals.
“These people were sleeping on a concrete floor in an open car park,” says Calvin Lucock, Managing Director of Holiday Club Canaries, which manages the high end resort. “They were lucky if they got one bread roll a day and some water. Local companies and organisations have come together to provide medical care and three basic meals a day until the government has found a solution.”
According to the Inside Timeshare website, the reaction of many Puerto Calma members has been one of indignation that their resort is being used for this purpose. “We have paid the maintenance but are unable to use it ourselves, yet these people get the run of the place,” complains one member on Facebook, in a post capturing the feelings of other members. However Calvin maintains that the decision is also in the interests of the club.
“Puerto Calma was closed, not expected to open before January,” continues Calvin. “Not one member has lost a week so far and we have agreed to give another week to members who were unable to come, even though we have to pay maintenance on these weeks.
“The arrangement between ourselves and the Red Cross means we are able to bring back 30 resort staff from ERTE (furlough) which in turn means less burden on the club finances in these difficult times. It may even be able to reduce maintenance fees next year.
“The refugees are COVID free, clean and respectful. There is also a full guarantee on the condition of the property. This morning I personally checked ten rooms before the cleaners went in and they were all spotless.”
Daniel Keating from the Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA) adds: “Many Puerto Calma members are up in arms over what they perceive as the club giving away something owned by them to a third party. However, as Calvin explains, the members are not going to lose anything that they own and the club has been promised that the condition of the complex will not suffer.
“In addition to this, there are a number of owners who feel that the decision of the club to house illegal migrants goes against their own political views. The complaint is that supporting refugees who bypass the legal migration process will incentivise more people to make the dangerous crossing at sea. The members feel that they should have been consulted before their assets were used in this manner.
The TCA is reserving judgement for the moment but Daniel adds: “What Calvin Lucock and Puerto Calma have done here is to put politics aside, and focus on helping people in immediate need. This is a developing story and more information is coming in all the time.
“If you are a Puerto Calma member and want to have your say, please get in touch with us on the contact details below. Also any media outlets who need more information on the situation can speak to us on the same phone number/email.”
Timeshare Consumer Association. Contact us on: T: +44 2036704588 or +44 2035193808 (ask for Daniel), E: firstname.lastname@example.org (Address to Daniel)
TCA provides a central resource of consumer information on timeshare matters for the media and other organisations — We work towards encouraging responsible, honest, timeshare operators. We also publicly expose negative consumer practices and organisations which operate in a manner detrimental to timeshare buyers and owners.
An important part of our mission is to lobby UK and European Governments and regulatory bodies for improved consumer protection in the timeshare environment and collect information on frauds and mis-selling, for action by enforcement authorities.
We are staffed by former and current timeshare owners, as well as former timeshare industry staff. We know our way around the timeshare business
We are a a proud member of the UK Small Charities Coalition
First published on MyNewsDesk November 2020