ARDA Insights Blog                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Changing the Lens ARDA Blog

 Permanent link

Changing the Lens 

By Howard Nusbaum 
July 23, 2014  

Changing the Lens Blog    

We’ve been talking a lot about the next generation and how our industry has changed to meet the needs of this growing vacation sector.  Recent research now tells us that the “next generation” is becoming today’s consumer. 

Our recent AIF Owners Study found that consumers of today are, on average, much younger than ever before and much more culturally diverse.  The average age of owners who have purchased in the last three years is now 42 years old—compared with 50.5 years old for all timeshare owners. This younger owner demographic also has more children at home who comprise the vacation-group.

From resort accommodations and amenities to new product features and services, our industry needs to understand the priorities of this new consumer and all their various lifestyle requirements.  As resort developers and designers, we need to look at the world through this new lens.  The good news is that ARDA and the AIF will continue to provide market intelligence and tools designed to meet these needs.  For now, some of these topics are tackled in our July Construction & Design issue of Developments magazine, where the impact of traveling group-members on unit size, on-site amenities, and activities is discussed.  Be sure to check it out!


Generation Next

(Initiatives and Trends, Guest Blogger) Permanent link


Generation Next  

By Franz Hanning, President & CEO of Wyndham Vacation Club and ARDA Chairman
ARDA Guest Blogger

July 11, 2014 


 Generation Next Photo sized 


As an industry, we are witnessing how technology validates the role we play in providing an outlet for people to unplug and spend quality time with loved ones. We’ve all seen the expansion of technology’s impact on travel over the last decade, and we have recognized how consumers use technology before, during, and after travel. That’s why the role technology plays in our industry was a key focus at this year’s ARDA World Convention in Las Vegas.

During many of the educational sessions, we shared lessons learned about how developers incorporate technology into their business models, products, operations, communications, and sales and marketing efforts. From a renewed focus on in-room technology to enhanced customer experiences and owner-engagement programs, our industry is constantly adapting. The use of technology has enabled our industry to communicate better with our owner base, and taught us how to communicate with the next generation of owners. This means gaining an understanding of digital marketing, social media, and new technologies.

Be sure to catch-up on technology-themed lessons from ARDA World in the June issue of Developments magazine 

2013 Was a Banner Year for Our Industry

(Research, Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

2013 Was a Banner Year for Our Industry 

By Darla Zanini, Executive VP,  ARDA International Foundation (AIF)
June 25, 2014 

 Banner Year for Timeshare Industry 

We are happy to present the latest research from our State of the Vacation TimeshareIndustry: United States Study 2014.  It shows that the timeshare industry enjoyed significant growth in 2013.  Here are a few of the highlights:

When comparing 2013 to 2012

  • Sales volume increased nearly 11 percent, to $7.6 billion
  • The average sales price rose nine percent
  • There are 29 percent more resorts planned for the upcoming year
  • 1,540 timeshare resorts in the United States, representing about 192,420 units
  • Average resort size was 125 units
  • The average sales price increased nine percent to $20,460
  • Occupancy remained steady at around 77 percent, compared to a 621 percent hotel occupancy rate

There were some other interesting tidbits as well:

  • Beach resorts are the most common type of resort
  • Urban resorts have the highest occupancy
  • Florida has the most resorts -- 23% of the national total
  • Florida has the highest total sales volume -- $2.3 billion
  • Nevada has the largest average resort size -- 283 units on average
  • Hawaii has the highest average sales price -- $27,712 and occupancy rate 85.2%

For more details, check out our infographic and for a full copy of the State of the Industry Study, please contact me at

Love Working in Travel & Tourism? You Could Win a Cash Prize from the World Travel & Tourism Council

(Initiatives and Trends, International) Permanent link

Love Working in Travel & Tourism? You Could Win a Cash Prize from the World Travel & Tourism Council 

May 30, 2014 

Love Working in Travel & Tourism? You Could Win a Cash Prize from the World Travel & Tourism Council

Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, supporting 260 million jobs and generating 9 percent of the world’s GDP—yet the perception held by many outside the industry is that it is a short-term career move rather than one that offers professional longevity.  

New research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), a forum of business leaders in the travel & tourism industry, shows that companies today are missing out on the best new talent amongst graduates due to negative perceptions of a career in the industry. In fact, travel & tourism holds opportunities for job creation to address youth unemployment and gender inequality issues faced by countries around the world. The research findings also show that the industry employs a higher percentage of young people and women compared to the global workforce as a whole.

However, serious challenges have been identified when it comes to the understanding and profile of the sector amongst undergraduates. In an effort to combat those perceptions, the WTTC is launching a campaign to demonstrate the career opportunities available in the industry.

Anyone who works in travel & tourism can participate by creating a 15-second video to explain why they love working in the industry and answering one of these questions:

  1. How or why did you decide to start a career in the travel & tourism industry?
  2. Who has been most influential to you in your travel & tourism career?
  3. Why would you recommend a career in travel & tourism to someone?
  4. What was the most interesting or challenging moment in your travel & tourism career?

Then, upload your video to Instagram, tag @WTandTC, and hashtag #TourismMatters for a chance to win a prize—that’s it! WTTC will award a first-place prize of $1,000 and runner-up prizes of $500 and $250 to spend on a travel event of the winner’s choosing. The deadline to enter the contest is Monday, June 30, so act fast! 

For more details about the campaign, check out the WTTC’S YouTube video, or visit their site for the contest terms and conditions. Good luck! 


Going Digital in the Sales Room

(Initiatives and Trends, Developments Magazine, Guest Blogger) Permanent link

Going Digital in the Sales Room 

By Judy Kenninger, RRP
ARDA Guest Blogger

May 14, 2014 

Going Digital in the Sales Room 

Today people increasingly turn to technology to get their news on-the-go, communicate with friends and family, shop, research, and more. Consider the statistics: Facebook counts 945 million monthly users of its mobile service, Yahoo! has 400 million monthly users who access it on their mobile phones alone, 89 million people in the U.S. watch 1.2 billion online videos each day, and 73% of adults online use a social networking site of some kind. According to Deloitte Hospitality 2015, mobile technology and social media are transforming the hospitality industry. People can research and book their own travel, visit peer review sites, take an interactive tour of a resort, and share their own vacation experiences online—all from their tablets or phones. 

The timeshare industry is adapting to the fast-paced environment by integrating more visual content into their websites, developing interactive marketing tools, using social platforms to deliver meaningful content, and enriching the communication channel between brand and consumers. Such tools are particularly evident in timeshare sales organizations. Gone are the days of printed materials and brochures as consumers want to visually experience the vacation before they plan a trip. Resorts now incorporate multi-dimensional visuals and graphics into the presentation and some have developed a real-time inventory search and pricing information.

To read more about innovation in timeshare sales and marketing, check out the article on this topic in the April/May 2014 issue of Developments magazine.  


Celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week

(Research, Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

Celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week 

By Peter Roth, ARDA’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications
May 7, 2014 


Celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week 


In the timeshare industry, we know that travel is good not only for health and relaxation—it’s good for our workplaces and our country’s economy.  During this year’s National Travel & Tourism Week (May 3-11) , we think it’s a good idea to remind ourselves of this impact. Here are some more statistics and facts on the travel industry from ARDA’s friends at the U.S. Travel Association:  

Let’s start with jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the U.S. travel industry recovered faster than other economic sectors—restoring 111% of the jobs lost to the recession—while the rest of the economy has only recovered 90% so far. Travel is among the top 10 employers in 49 states, directly employing about eight million people at a payroll of $209 billion. Throw in jobs supported by travel, and the number almost doubles to 15 million workers: one of every nine American jobs.

Travel also positively impacts local economies and taxes. U.S. residents and international visitors now pump more than $28,000 per second into cash registers across the country. It adds up to a $2.1 trillion economic impact, contributing more than $130 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues.Every household in America would have to pay about $1,100 more in taxes annually to make up what the travel industry alone brings to our schools, roads, search-and-rescue teams and other public programs.

Travel also boosts profits. One study found that every $1 spent on business travel drove nearly $3 in profit—a 300 percent return on investment (ROI) after adjusting for cost.

Finally, travel weathers economic storms. Sectors that decreased business travel during the 2007-2011 recession were more likely to see profits slow or drop, while industries that amped up business travel grew faster.

We can feel great about being one of the very robust areas within the travel industry – timeshare!   


The Wellness Trend: Opportunities to Improve Our Health

 Permanent link

The Wellness Trend: Opportunities to Improve Our Health 

Judy Chapman, Former Editor-in-Chief for Spa Asia Magazine
ARDA Guest Blogger

April 25, 2014 

 The Wellness Trend: Opportunities to Improve Our Health 

Most people who vacation do so to rejuvenate and de-stress, but frequently return feeling less rejuvenated than when they left. That’s why it should come as no surprise that travelers report they now want much more “wellness” in their travel destinations.  

According to a consumer survey by Spa Finder Wellness 365, travelers want a vacation with healthier food, spa packages, nature experiences, gyms, mindfulness packages, and eco-conscious programs—and are looking for resorts that offer vacations that fit these needs.

Wellness tourism—categorized by travelers that plan a vacation to improve their overall health or well-being—is a $438.6 billion global industry, with hotels and resorts making up $93.4 billion of the market, according to a report by Stanford Research Institute (SRI). Those who travel for wellness purposes are typically wealthy, middle-aged, well-educated travelers from Western countries who spend more on travel—usually 2 to 3 times more, according to the Global Spa and Wellness Summit 2013 report.

The potential for the resort industry is significant, as market share is driven primarily by the Baby Boomer generation who want to live a longer and better quality of life. SRI International indicates that wellness tourism is projected to grow by 9.1 percent annually through 2017.

Current statistics show that the top five countries for in-bound and out-bound wellness tourism are the United States, Germany, Japan, France, and Austria. The predictions, however, indicate that more than half of the projected growth will take place in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and North Africa.

With more wellness-minded travelers looking for result-oriented experiences, more and more timeshare resorts are creating healthier environments with world class spa and fitness programs. Now that’s a trend we can all feel good about!

To read more on spa and wellness opportunities in the timeshare industry, check out the article on this topic in the March 2014 issue of Developments magazine.