The International Herald Tribune estimates that there are fewer than 25 fractional developments in Europe, with just a few thousand fractional owners.

In comparison, in North America and the Caribbean there are over 250 fractional developments with upwards of 40,000 fractional owners.

Italian FractionalThe IHT article quotes fractional owner Claus Soerensen of Denmark "if you only intend to use the property a few times a year, it feels sound to share the possibilities and the costs." We've certainly heard a lot of reasons for owning a fractional.

On both sides of he Atlantic, fractionals are subject to the same legal regulations as timeshare. The article notes that timeshares in Europe still have a very poor reputation due to some questionable sales and marketing approaches. The articles goes on to say that new European regulations are expected next year, this should help clean up the industry and effectively close down some of the more questionable operations. See our earlier article for the differences between fractionals and timeshares.

The article quotes Bill Phillips, Marriott's director of worldwide development, saying that they want to see tighter European regulation prior to Marriott expanding either their timeshare or fractional programs in Europe.

There are fractionals and private residence clubs in several countries in Europe. The most popular locations are:

Tuscany and Florence with clubs such as Castello di Casole and Palazzo Tornabuoni

Portugal with clubs such as Parque da Floresta

The UK with clubs such as Marriots 47 Park St in London, St Andrews Grand in Scotland and Watermark Residence Club.