Optimistic About Future Market Growth
WASHINGTON, DC (November 12, 2010) -– According to the 2010 State of the Timeshare Industry: United States Study, the average sales price of timeshare products held steady for the year despite a turbulent economic environment, as developers expanded options to the ways in which existing timeshare owners can buy intervals.
“In the face of an overall tighter credit environment, several of the larger timeshare developers intentionally reduced the scope of their sales operations and focused efforts more on the efficiencies found in selling to existing owners, referrals, and rentals,” said Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). “Today’s consumer is more worldly, and their travel needs have expanded. Our industry continues to adapt to the changing environment and is responsive to those who love the product,” said Nusbaum.
One example is that most timeshare developers now offer a rental program as a way for consumers to test the product. Renters occupy ten percent of timeshare stays annually, or 8.4 million nights rented each year, of the total 79.7 percent total occupancy. By comparison, U.S. hotel occupancy was at 54.7 percent last year, according to Smith Travel Research.
Additional product offerings include purchasing “points.” Rather than selling the static one week per year product, many developers now offer increased flexibility through “points” which allow owners to customize their vacation needs. They can break up or extend vacation weeks, travel during various times of the year, or stay in a variety of unit types at different locations. Some also offer biennial products that allow owners to use intervals every other year, instead of each year.
Other report highlights show that 62 percent of new timeshare sales come from new owners, while 38 percent of timeshare sales are from those who already own a timeshare with that developer. This demonstrates high satisfaction with the product through repeat buyers. In addition, the sales costs associated with repeat sales are lower than for first time buyers.
The industry’s outlook for the future remains positive based on its track record and performance over the last several years in attracting lenders to the industry, drawing new owners into the market, maintaining sales price levels and continuing to inform and educate the public about the timeshare product.
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 over 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.
Lou Ann Burney, ARDA