An article in Smart Money compared how timeshare, destination clubs, and fractional properties have fared since the economic downturn. Although fractional sales have slumped along with other areas in the real estate and vacation market, industry watchers say fractionals are still the best bet for properties that will ultimately appreciate.

What’s more, the sales slump has prompted some changes that could benefit newcomers to the market. To better compete, many fractional developments are bulking up their location-swapping programs; some 65 percent now allow members to access some type of exchange, up from 25 percent seven or eight years ago, according to Ragatz Associates.

Condo hotels also offer investment potential plus rental income and can also be a cost saver for vacationers.