Hollywood, Fla. (April 8, 2013) — The future of the vacation ownership industry looks bright based on findings announced yesterday by RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange and part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands (NYSE: WYN). RCI released the results of its annual membership profile survey, offering perspective into the purchasing patterns, travel intentions, and key demographics of U.S. owners. RCI also shared findings from another survey which analyzed the perceptions and expectations of vacation ownership among consumers.
“As the world’s largest vacation exchange network with nearly 3.7 million members, RCI has its finger on the pulse of today’s owner and is in a unique position to share valuable insights with the rest of the industry,” said Phil Brojan, senior vice president of marketing, RCI. “Our latest research shows that consumers are happy with the ownership experience, and the flexibility and choice they receive through vacation exchange programs play a big part in that.”
The 2013 RCI® Membership Profile Survey, conducted by marketing analytics firm MineTech, Inc., polled a sampling of RCI subscribing members in the United States through an opt-in online survey. Strong ownership satisfaction, high household incomes, a desire for repeat purchases, and a propensity for frequent travel were just a few of the many reasons for optimism in the vacation ownership industry.
The findings from the RCI survey reinforce the positive outlook presented in The American Resort Development Association’s Shared Vacation Ownership Owners Report released last fall. That study showed that fewer owners feel their vacation plans are being impacted by the economy and more owners intend to keep their vacation ownership going forward. The study also showed that more owners are taking vacation and fewer are cutting back on travel expenses.
Affinity for Vacation Ownership
According to the RCI survey, 83 percent of respondents are satisfied with their current vacation ownership. Furthermore, 1.5 million members (62 percent) report that they own two weeks or more of vacation ownership per year.
A strong link between ownership satisfaction and future vacation ownership purchases was also revealed, with a significant portion of members expressing interest in buying additional vacation ownership. The Southeastern U.S. and the Caribbean were the most desired purchase locations.
Significant Buying Power
The typical owner not only has the intent to acquire more vacation ownership, they also have the purchasing power. More than 1.2 million consumers, nearly half of all U.S. RCI members, have an annual income of $100,000 or greater, with over 500,000 of those members reporting annual incomes of $150,000 or higher. The survey also reveals that 40 percent of respondents own real estate in addition to their primary residence and vacation ownership.
Savvy and Frequent Travelers
The owners identified in RCI’s member survey traveled away from home nearly four weeks (24 nights) each year, far exceeding the vacation time of the average U.S. traveler. Domestically, Florida remains the vacation ownership capital with nearly two in three respondents planning to visit in the next two years, followed by California and Hawaii. Those planning international travel cited the Caribbean, Europe and Mexico as their most likely vacation spots.
“With an average annual income of nearly $120,000, our members are affluent travelers who have both the desire and the means to take frequent vacations,” added Brojan. “When you also factor in their high satisfaction level and desire for additional purchases, it’s clear that resort developers have a great opportunity for growth among existing owners.”
The Value of Vacation Exchange
According to another study conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey, vacation exchange continues to be a critical piece of the vacation ownership experience. Approximately three in four prospective consumers indicated that an exchange company affiliation is an important consideration during the purchasing decision. About the same percentage of existing owners said that affiliation played a vital factor as well.
Added flexibility and variety were among the most popular reasons given for the importance of selecting a resort affiliated with an exchange company. Both prospective consumers and current owners want to have a wide selection of vacation options to choose from and to be able to travel at different times throughout the year.
To receive a copy of RCI’s white paper detailing key findings from the 2013 RCI Membership Profile Survey, contact your RCI account executive or send an email to RCI.Affiliates@rci.com.
RCI is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange with over 4,000 affiliated resorts in approximately 100 countries. RCI pioneered the concept of vacation exchange in 1974, offering members increased flexibility and versatility with their vacation ownership experience. Today, through the RCI® Weeks program, the traditional week-for-week exchange system, and the RCI Points® program, the industry’s first global points-based exchange system, RCI provides flexible vacation options to its approximately 3.7 million RCI subscribing members each year. RCI is part of Wyndham Exchange & Rentals and the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands (NYSE: WYN). For additional information visit our media center, rciaffiliates.com or The RCI Blog. RCI also can be found on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.