Steady Occupancy Rates Give Industry Healthy Outlook
WASHINGTON, DC (June 1, 2012) –– According to the State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry: United States Study 2012 Edition conducted by Ernst & Young, sales of vacation products increased slightly from the previous year, while nearly 80 percent of owners continued to travel to their timeshare destination—a figure that continues to outpace traditional hotel occupancy (60 percent in 2011 according to Smith Travel Research December 2011 report) year after year. Twelve percent of the timeshare occupancy rate was comprised of renters, with 86 percent of timeshare resorts offering some form of rental program.
“Our 8 million owners continue to value the proposition of vacationing better with timeshare as the products offer flexibility and rejuvenating amenities for the whole family,” said Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). ARDA points to the spacious accommodations, such as the option to prepare meals in the timeshare unit rather than dining out for every meal as with a traditional hotel stay, and the expanded rental programs as factors in attracting new consumers to the products. Fifty-eight percent of timeshare sales are from new owners, and 72 percent of resorts have at least half of their sales from new owners, according to the survey.
Additionally, timeshare resorts continue to add flexibility and ease to the way a consumer can buy timeshare intervals. Instead of selling just one week per year, many offer increased flexibility through “points” that owners can use to customize their vacation needs. They can break up or extend vacation weeks, travel during various times of the year, and/or stay in various unit types at a range of locations. Some also offer biennial products that allow owners to use intervals every other year, instead of each year. About 72 percent of survey respondents have intervals of the traditional weekly variety; about 67 percent have some form of points-based products; and 42 percent of respondents have biennials.
The continued growth in the rental market and sales from existing owners are also indicators of the industry’s vitality. In 2011, renters accounted for 10.4 million nights of total occupancy, while 42 percent of timeshare sales are from those who already own a timeshare product, demonstrating the continued high satisfaction with the product offerings.
The industry’s outlook for the future remains positive based on consumer demand for expanded product offerings, occupancy remaining steady, and the success of rental programs with existing inventory.
The report was conducted by Ernst & Young and commissioned by the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) International Foundation.
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Established in 1969, ARDA today has almost 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit www.arda.org or ARDA’s consumer website at www.VacationBetter.org.