ARDA Insights Blog                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Shifting Historic Industry Perception with Owner Data

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Shifting Historic Industry Perception with Owner Data 

By Peter Roth

myths busted

Data is an essential ingredient in any intelligent discussion, and thanks to the work of the ARDA International Foundation (AIF), I believe our industry has the right data to continue to shift away from old industry perceptions and tell our real story. 

The Shared Vacation Ownership U.S. Report: 2016 Edition was a study conducted by AIF that gave us a compelling set of data that allows us to tell our story through the experiences of more than 9.2 million owners. Using the data found in this study we can counter many “myths” our industry might carry from its past. Let’s take a look at six different “myths” we were able to debunk with this research:

Myth #1: Timeshare owners are mostly from an older generation.

Fact: 67% of timeshare owners are between the ages of 18 and 54, and 41% are ages 35-54. Only 33% of owners are over 55, and only 3% are older than 75. 

Myth #2: Timeshare owners are from lower income brackets.

Fact: In general, the incidence of timeshare ownership increases with household income. Approximately 6.9% of the U.S. population owns timeshare, and 10.9% of those owners have $100K+ of annual household income (compared to 5.3% earning under $50K annually).

Myth #3: Retirees make up the largest group of timeshare owners.

Fact: Only 19% of timeshare owners are retired as compared to 67% either hold a fulltime job or are self-employed.

Myth #4: Timeshare owners are not highly educated.

Fact: This could not be further from the truth. 42% of timeshare owners have a college degree and 21% hold a graduate degree—with only 12% having a high school degree or less.

Myth #5: Most timeshare owners want to get out of their contract.

Fact: 70% of owners would recommend timeshare ownership, and nearly three quarters would recommend their home resort to others, based upon their experience.

Myth #6: All timeshare owners disliked the buying experience.

Fact: More than seven out of 10 recent purchasers (71%) found their buying experience to be excellent or good.

It is important for individual brands and industry members to weave these facts into their stories to discredit the old “myths” of our industry.


Travel and Tourism Week is a Reminder for the Importance of Vacations

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Travel and Tourism Week is a Reminder for the Importance of Vacations 

Facts About a Leading American Industry That’s More Than Just Fun   

 NTTW 2017 

According to the 2017 Alamo Rent A Car Family Vacation Survey, U.S. workers are feeling more guilt than ever before about planning and taking their vacations. It seems as if the health benefits associated with vacations aren’t enough to get people vacationing -- but what if vacations we a part of something bigger, like helping sustain the U.S. economy?

This is what the 34th annual National Travel and Tourism Week (May 7-13) hopes to accomplish through uniting communities nationwide to celebrate what travel means to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being, while also showcasing the impact of travel to policymakers, business leaders and local media. 

Let’s take a closer look at just what the travel industry supports:

The travel industry is an indispensable source of American jobs—jobs that cannot be outsourced. 

  • The travel industry supports 15.3 million American workers—8.6 million directly and 6.7 million indirectly.
  • One in every nine American jobs depends on travel.
  • Travel is one of the top 10 employers of American workers in 49 of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. 

Travel workers have helped shape travel to be one of America’s strongest industries. 

  • Travel generates $2.3 trillion for the U.S. economy. 
  • Direct travel spending in the U.S. totaled $990.3 billion by domestic and international travelers in 2016. 
  • International travel spending directly supported about 1.2 million U.S. jobs and $32.4 billion in wages. 

Vacations (or leisure travel) plays a huge in making up the travel industry as a whole. 

  • Direct spending on leisure travel by domestic and international travelers totaled $683.1 billion in 2016.
  • Spending on leisure travel generated $106.4 billion in tax revenue.
  • Nearly four out of five domestic trips taken are for leisure purposes (79%).

And we know that timeshare is an important component of these numbers!

Be sure to take part in this year’s Travel and Tourism Week, so that you can be a part of the celebration for what this means to our industry.  Encourage your followers and owners to participate by calling on elected officials and supporting travel-friendly legislation that impacts our local, state and national economies.  


It Has Been an Honor…

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It Has Been an Honor… 

mark wang and steve weiss 

Two years can go by in a blink of an eye, but I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed every moment of serving as your Chairman. Through that relatively short period of time, our industry has grown, prospered, changed, and weathered some interesting times. All in all, it has been an amazing period of unprecedented evolution and growth.

 As an industry, we have truly come of age over the past two years and are now being seen as a significant player not just in the hospitality world but also as a business that offers a diverse portfolio of services and revenue streams. We are a unique industry with passionate owners and associates who are extremely engaged in making the most out of enjoyable vacations around the world.

The quality of our physical products has never been better, and the level of amenities and services are amazing too. And what we are doing collectively to drive innovation and create unique owner and guest experiences is pretty astounding—this is why our owners love us!

And as we look to the next two years, I am so pleased that Mark Wang will now assume this honored position and create his own legacy that will only build on this tremendous momentum. I rest easily, knowing that the organization is in good hands with his capable leadership!

Thank you all for your amazing support during my term—it truly has been an honor to serve you.

-- Steve Weisz


Timeshare Industry Continues to Grow and Attract New Buyers

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 Timeshare Industry Continues to Grow and Attract New Buyers 

 infographic title 

According to the newly released 2016 U.S. Shared Vacation Ownership Consolidated Owners Report from the ARDA International Foundation (AIF), the timeshare industry remains healthy, showing that owners have become increasingly engaged with their timeshare and the timeshare lifestyle, while the industry continues to attract new buyers.

With 9.2 million households in America already owning a timeshare, the timeshare industry still continues to attract new owners for three core reasons:

  • People love the locations of our resorts
  • To save money on future vacation costs
  • To ensure they take a vacation every year

The current make up of timeshare owners also revealed how diverse owners are:

  • The average timeshare owner is just under 47 years old
  • 60% of timeshare owners are white; 20% are African-American; 14% Asian American
  • 68% are married; 17% are single, never married
  • 84% own their own home 
  • 44% have children under the age of 18 living with them at home 

Owners are also highly educated, with about 63% having at least a four-year college degree. The median household income for timeshare owners is $81,311, much higher than the median household income of $54,000 for the U.S. on average. With this higher income, owners are spending a varying amount of money to purchase their timeshares:

  • 47% spent under $10,000
  • 26% spent between $10,000-$20,000
  • 27% spent over $20,000

Once purchased, owners are loving their properties, with seven out of 10 owners saying they would recommend timeshare ownership based upon their experience. In addition, a large majority (77%) of timeshare owners took a vacation at a timeshare resort during 2015, a very promising sign headed into the future. 

The report was conducted by Leger and commissioned by the ARDA International Foundation.  For more details, see ARDA’s infographic and for a copy of the full study, visit


A Journey and Friend

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 A Journey and Friend 


 At ARDA World 2017, we passed the torch of leadership from Steve Weisz, who just finished his stellar two-year term as ARDA Chairman, to the new Chairman Mark Wang. During this period of transition, I want to take the time to share the heartfelt appreciation we are all feeling for everything Steve Weisz has done for ARDA and our members in his impressive turn as leader.

In the last two years under his very capable hands, ARDA faced head-on all the challenges of a consolidating industry with a disciplined strategy to navigate the shifting components and implement key changes to remain nimble. And with his focused leadership, we have developed a new strategic plan that will guide our association through the rest of this decade.

In short, he has left your association stronger and on a more sustainable path, in light of the changes that consolidation and new business models have meant for ARDA and vacation ownership as a whole.

On a personal note, it has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Steve—I truly feel I am a better executive for the experience. I look forward to seamlessly moving forward with Mark Wang in our strategic plan process, as Steve also had a hand in making sure that succession plan would be smooth and ready to deploy.

So we say a heartfelt thank-you to Steve for all that he has given to our association – we are grateful, and I am proud of all we have achieved together during this time and that I can truly call you a friend.

-- Howard C. Nusbaum

The Don’t Miss Sessions for ARDA World

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The Don’t Miss Sessions for ARDA World 

ARDA World 2017 is quickly approaching, so it is time to decide what sessions you are going to attend while in New Orleans.  As it is every year, there will be plenty of sessions that are informative, educational and even fun.

Let’s take a look at a few:

  • Around the World in 90 Minutes: Developing in International Markets -- Learn about what's new in markets outside the United States and the unique challenges that they face—from labor to construction to implications from political unrest in regions such as BREXIT. Hear how these developers from around the world handle unique challenges they face. What opportunities exist for them ahead and are there opportunities for your company?
  • Are You Overwhelmed? Tune-Up Time -- Are you getting the right stuff done in your workplace environment? How do you focus with so much going on? Do you often feel burned out & disengaged from your teams? Learn the tips, techniques, and strategies for getting more accomplished faster— and with better results. Tune-up and be extraordinary!
  • Disabled Doesn't Mean “Not Able” -- An estimate of more than 19% of people in the United States have a disability. In fact, according to the 2008 U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Income and Program Participation, people living with disabilities represented approximately $1 trillion in aggregate income, which translates into more than $220 billion in discretionary consumer spending power. Hear from experts on how to make diversity and inclusion a cornerstone of your corporate infrastructure—from a customer and employee perspective.
  • Human Service Interaction in the Age of Technology -- Technology is trending toward mobile and online registrations and perhaps making the guest experience less personal. But for timeshare resorts, it’s all about human interaction, making a great first (and last) impression and creating a lasting bond with owners and potential owners, not only to generate tour flow for the sales department but also to encourage great reviews. Making a guest feel welcome starts with training and with hiring the right people.

These are just some of the many sessions happening at this year’s ARDA World Convention, and to make things easier for attendees we have the ARDA World App., which allows you to set-up your own schedule, read more about every session and receive the latest updates before and during convention.  So, download the ARDA World App for your iPhone, Android, Blackberry or Windows Phone to stay up on the very latest, and be sure to visit We’ll see you next week!

Meet the Leaders for This Year’s Session at ARDAWorld

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Meet the Leaders for This Year’s Session at ARDAWorld 

ARDA World is quickly approaching, so it’s time to for you to decide what events, sessions and meetings you want to attend.  One of the most popular and informative sessions from previous years will be returning this year -- the Meet the Leaders general session, sponsored by Baker & Hostetler LLP.  This is open to all attendees.  Our panel of industry leaders will address topical issues ranging from the impact of industry consolidation to the secondary market – in what will surely be a robust discussion. 

Let’s meet this year’s panel: 

Don Harrill, CEO - Holiday Inn Vacations Club 

Mr. Harrill has been Chief Executive Officer of Holiday Inn Club Vacations since 2005, leading the organization to years of consecutive record growth and becoming a key voice within the timeshare industry. He arrived to Holiday Inn Club Vacations with more than three decades of experience in the hospitality industry, eight of those at the helm of industry-leading timeshare organizations Trendwest Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations Company. 

Serge Rivera, President & CEO - ILG Vacation Ownership 

Mr. Rivera was just named President & CEO of ILG Vacation Ownership in November 2016.  As President & CEO his responsibilities include leading the vacation ownership development, marketing, sales, and resort operations for the recently acquired Vistana Signature Experiences, as well as for Hyatt Vacation Ownership. Prior to joining ILG, Rivera was most recently president of The Americas for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Robert Spottswood, President - Spottswood Companies, Inc. 

Mr. Spottswood is president and founder of Spottswood Companies, Inc., which has grown to become one of the leading real estate development, property management and hospitality businesses in the Florida Keys. Since 1992 Spottswood Companies has been responsible for the development of the Hyatt Vacation Club, Hyatt Sunset Harbor Resort, Hyatt Beach House Resort, Hyatt Windward Pointe Resort and many other hotels and resorts in the area. Today, Spottswood has grown his company to be one of the Keys' largest private employers.

Mark Wang, President & CEO - Hilton Grand Vacations 

Mr. Wang is President of Hilton Grand Vacations. Prior to joining the company, Wang co-founded PAHIO Resorts in Hawaii and served as its president for six years. He later formed Grand Ownership Resorts, Ltd., a consulting company that developed a successful vacation ownership program at The Bay Club on the Big Island of Hawaii, a resort now managed by Hilton Grand Vacations. 

Steve Weisz, President & CEO - Marriott Vacations Worldwide 

Mr. Weisz is President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation. As president of Marriott Vacation Club International, he has led the vacation ownership division and oversaw three brands under the Marriott Vacation Club International umbrella, including: Marriott Vacation Club, Grand Residences by Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club.  He has over 39 years of experience in the industry with Marriott.

With all of these great, knowledgeable leaders, The Meet the Leaders general session is something you do not want to miss! Be sure to put it in your schedule of events for 10:30-11:30 am Tuesday, March 28.