MIAMI, FL, Nov. 5, 2009 — More than nine out of ten active leisure travelers in the United States report they are familiar with the concept of timesharing, reinforcing the wide-spread belief that this form of vacationing has established itself as a recognized, understood, and increasingly popular alternative to more traditional lodging accommodations. And among those familiar with the concept, approximately 2.3 million households state they are interested in purchasing some form of vacation time during the next two years.
These findings are from Future Timeshare Buyers: 2009 Market Profile, which was developed from a nationally-representative sample of active leisure travelers who have expressed interest in acquiring some form of vacation time during the next two years, and supplemented through insights revealed in the Ypartnership/Yankelovich, Inc. 2009 National Leisure Travel MONITOR(SM). The study was authored exclusively for Interval International, which is releasing the results during the American Resort Development Association’s (ARDA) 2009 Fall Conference, held in Washington, D.C.
“Given the economic environment during the past year and the effect it had on both the demography of those interested in purchasing vacation time and respondents’ interest in travel overall, the level of purchase interest revealed in this study is quite remarkable and underscores the high degree of interest consumers have in this form of vacationing,” said Peter C. Yesawich, chairman and chief executive officer of Ypartnership. “Particularly noteworthy is the fact there are an estimated 2.3 million households interested in purchasing vacation time during the next two years.”
Active leisure travelers who are interested in purchasing vacation time have taken an average of seven qualifying leisure trips during the past year and nearly four in ten (38%) state they are likely to take more leisure trips during the next 12 months (than they did during the last). Eight out of ten prospective purchasers took at least one leisure trip of five nights or more in duration, and a similar proportion find a naturalistic component (such as a beach or a lake) to be an important aspect of their leisure pursuits.
The study also revealed that active leisure travelers interested in purchasing vacation time have a solid understanding of the concept of timesharing and are receptive toward the vacation ownership product. An estimated 85 percent have a positive or neutral opinion of timesharing, and more than three-quarters (77%) state that they would be willing to take a two- to three-day mini vacation to attend a timeshare sales presentation. Furthermore, approximately six in ten (62%) report that they are likely to stay at a vacation ownership resort during the next two years.
“These findings provide valuable insights for resort developers to better understand the travel habits and preferences sought by leisure travelers,” said David C. Gilbert, executive vice president of resort sales and marketing for Interval International, a leading global provider of vacation services. “Possessing an appreciation for how these potential purchasers travel and view the vacation ownership product enables them to fine tune marketing and lead generation programs aimed at these consumers.”
The data for this analysis were collected from interviews conducted online with a panel of pre-qualified active leisure travelers. Respondents had taken at least one leisure trip of 75 miles or more from home requiring overnight accommodations during the previous year, were familiar with the concept of timesharing or vacation ownership, and expressed interest in acquiring some form of vacation time during the next two years.
Other Notable Findings:
- The majority of active leisure travelers interested in purchasing vacation time are married (61%) with an annual household income of $50,000 or more (88%).
- Nearly two-thirds are between 30 and 62 years of age, and nearly eight in ten have completed at least four years of college education (78%).
- Approximately four in ten (35%) reside in the Midwestern region of the United States, while an estimated three in ten live in the Northeast (29%) or West (27%)
About Interval International
Interval International operates membership programs for vacation owners and provides value-added services to its developer clients worldwide. Based in Miami, Florida, the company has been a pioneer and innovator in serving the vacation ownership market for more than 33 years. Today, Interval has a network of approximately 2,500 resorts in more than 75 countries and offers its resort clients and about 2 million member families high-quality products and programs through offices in 26 cities across 16 countries. Interval is an operating segment of Interval Leisure Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:IILG), a leading global provider of membership and leisure services to the vacation industry.
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SOURCE: Interval International