April 28, 2017 — I’m sure some of you received an e-mail recently from a company in Ireland that included an “Executive Summary” and a link to a full U.S. timeshare industry report. In that e-blast it was suggested that if I/we paid for and read the entire study we’d be “in the know”, so to speak. Naturally, most of us are always interested in new data about our industry but this notification personally gave me pause and after reading that “Executive Summary” I decided not to spend the $800 (USD) to read the full report.
So Here’s The Scoop: If you did not receive this announcement the title of the study is “The US Vacation Ownership (Timeshare) Market: Size, Trends and Forecasts (2017-2021)” and is being made available by “RESEARCHANDMARKETS THE WORLD’S LARGEST MARKET RESEARCH STORE”. Oh, all ‘CAPS’ was what they used in the e-blast and on their website – so I did so here today as well.
I’m sure there is plenty of good info inside the full report but when I read the ‘tease’ suggesting that the U.S. timeshare industry experienced an “upsurge” between “2011 and 2016” and that in the U.S. “projections” were that over the next 60 months the “market” would increase “tremendously” – well, I had to stop reading the précis for a moment, pour another cup of ‘Joe’ – and reflect on what I already know.
Part of what made me pause was the Executive Summary also claiming that there was a “significant CAGR” by which, I assume, they mean a compounded annual growth rate during that period and though it can be said that sales in the U.S. did increase at a compounded rate, the same compounding could also be said of a savings account offered by a U.S. bank. You know, not too exhilarating and/or that alluring.
The summary went on to tell me that “vacation ownership” is, apparently, a major portion of the U.S. “travel and tourism market” and after that statement, which I found questionable, the remaining part of the paragraph left me scratching my head because I couldn’t understand what they were trying to further assert.
As I was enjoying my second cup of coffee I returned to reading the e-blast and quite frankly I became even more confused because in the next paragraph of the Executive Summary I didn’t have a clue as to what was meant by “dream vacation barriers” being part of “certain challenges faced by the market”.
Anyhow, I read the entire e-blast that continued by saying the full report included (title index): “The U.S. Market Analysis” – “Market Dynamics” – “Competitive Landscapes” – “Company Profiling” – a “List of Figures and Tables” – and “Companies Mentioned” that included Diamond Resorts International, Hilton Grand Vacation Company, LLC, Marriott International, Inc. as well as the good folks at Wyndham Worldwide Corporation.
And, no, I’m not suggesting people shouldn’t buy the detailed report and indeed they may very well want/need and/or can use the info contained therein and the $800 (USD) could be money well spent.
On the other hand – based on over 3 decades of working in “the biz” I could probably summarize, based on my perspectives and experiences, on the future of the U.S. timeshare industry and do so in fewer than 100 words – I’ll give it a shot.
The industry will continue to consolidate. Annual sales volume will increase at a modest rate. Career marketing, sales and management opportunities will decrease. Financing for timeshare projects may become more challenging. VPG’s will remain constant as will ‘tour-flow’. Rescissions will increase due to content on the Internet. Attractively priced global vacationing rental options will continue to surge. Perpetual timeshare vacation plans will become even less appealing to sales guests who are ‘Millennials’ and problems for the Legacy Resorts will not decrease as those properties and their timeshare plans further become functionally and economically obsolete.
As I mentioned, those 94 words are my perspective and I didn’t include other TS probabilities as well as what will happen if there is another recession in the USA or, worse, a colossal national or global financial crisis like the most recent one or how U.S. consumer confidence might react should a major war breakout with (e.g.) N. Korea, etc.
At the same time my ‘take’ is not a gloom and doom point of view because the timeshare ‘product’ & ‘service’ that we market and sell is still a wonderful way for families and friends to enjoy their vacations, travel the USA (and world) as owners/members delight in new experiences including cultures, cuisine, shopping, activities, entertainment and a ‘break’ from their daily grind & routines.
Our future could be very bright and I hope it will be but that is going to take those U.S. timeshare developers in a marketing, sales and expansion mode to take the long view – and, in part, make their overall vacation owner/membership cost and use plans more competitive because, like it or not, there are forces in the worldwide accommodations business that will continue to shape the way vacationers choose to easily and inexpensively pay for their future ‘villas’, ‘suites’, ‘cabins’ and ‘vacation-homes’ (aka: accommodations) – and do so without long term contractual obligations.
Good luck Out There,
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