ARDA Insights Blog                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

You Don't Know What You Don't Know

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You Don't Know What You Don't Know

September 15, 2014

 You Don't Know What You Don't Know 

For the majority of people, not knowing everything about the way their business or industry works is perfectly alright. The fact is, they don’t really need to know it all in order to still be effective at their job.

But when it comes to regulators, what they don’t know may have unintended consequences in the industries they regulate. With all the priorities on their plate, it’s clear to see how they may not have time to study certain nuances and business specifics. And that’s why it’s so important that we do our job of bringing the education to them.

Now more than ever, given the evolution and complexity of the product, it’s critical these representatives understand how new rules and regulations will impact the timeshare industry and its owners. To help facilitate a deeper understanding of timeshare among regulators, ARDA’s Regulatory Outreach Committee introduced a comprehensive state regulatory/agency education initiative this year. Over the past eight months, the committee has hit the road with a presentation to help strengthen relationships with and educate regulators about the ever-evolving timeshare industry—from product types to legal structures (and much more). To date, they have presented to regulators in 10 jurisdictions across the United States and the Caribbean, helping these representatives better understand the product they’re being asked to regulate.

Education is the key to our success, and there’s no doubt this critical effort is paying off in spades. It’s not just reinvigorating relationships with officials who regulate our industry—it’s also creating opportunities to influence future legislative and regulatory changes in the best interest of the industry and owners alike. In fact, the initiative has been so successful that the committee is now being proactively reached out to by regulators, agencies and associations, requesting that they present to them and their teams. By the end of the year, the team will present in three additional jurisdictions and at the Association of Real Estate Law Officials’ (ARELLO) annual convention. They have even been asked to conduct an educational panel for Real Estate Investigators, so they can better understand the product and more effectively tackle our shared concern of timeshare fraud.

But with changes in agency staff familiar with the timeshare industry, and term limits that create turnover in government, educating regulators is a never-ending process. One thing you can count on—education will always remain a top priority for us, and ARDA and its Regulatory Outreach Committee remain committed for the long haul. 


Top Timeshare Getaways

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Top Timeshare Getaways


In the August feature of Developments, Geri Bain’s article highlighted several timeshare resorts in some of the country’s most popular travel spots. This was not only a great read but it also showcased how vacation ownership provides access to some of the most coveted experiences in the country – particularly relevant because travelers today are increasingly choosing vacations based on the experience they want from their trip. 

As many timeshare resorts continue to enhance the vacation experience for owners by expanding their on-site programs, amenities and services, our industry is well-positioned to meet this demand.  From health and wellness-focused trips to adventure-based travel, timeshare resorts are packaging some of the best travel experiences in the hospitality business.  Here is a snapshot of the featured resorts and destinations:

  1. Golf:  Myrtle Beach 

With more than 100 golf courses, it’s no wonder Myrtle Beach was voted “Best Golf Destination” by USA Today readers. Most courses are public, and nearly half offer kids-play-free programs. Snapshot: Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Marriott’s Ocean Watch Villas and Wyndham Dye Villas.

  1. Urban/Epicurean: New York City 

More and more travelers are booking urban spots for vacations, and NYC is the cream of the crop—with a plethora of museums, restaurants, plays, shows, shopping, concerts, and sporting events. Not surprising that vacation ownership properties have high-occupancy rates. Snapshot:  Hilton Grand Vacations, New York Hilton Midtown, The Manhattan Club and Wyndham Midtown 45.

  1. Spa & Wellness:  Scottsdale 

Arizona has always had a lead on wellness-packaged vacations, with a high concentration of top-rated spas and resorts, but it’s also a top timeshare resort destination. Many properties offer access to off-site excursions such as hiking, golfing and biking trails. Snapshot:  Four Seasons Residence Club Scottsdale, Scottsdale Camelback Resort and Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.

  1. Exotic Beach:  Hawaii 

Hawaiians are proud of their heritage and culture, and travelers are enamored to learn of the islands’ history.  Many timeshare resorts share the rich Hawaiian history with guests through cultural on-site programs and other key vacation components.  Snapshot:  Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas and The Aulani.

  1. Family Fun: Orlando 

We often refer to Orlando as the “timeshare capital of the world,” but the family aspect of an Orlando vacation is why it is the nation’s most-visited destination (59 million visitors in 2013!).  A highly-competitive spot for lodging, timeshare resorts frequently use a “stay to play” concept that encourages family-fun activities on-site for all ages.  Snapshot: Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Summer Bay Orlando, Marriott Vacation Club’s Harbour Lake, The Fountains Resort, Bluegreen Vacations. 

We think all our timeshare resorts deserve a tip of the hat for providing better vacations to all travelers!


Timeshare Industry Goes Green

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Timeshare Industry Goes Green 

By Franz Hanning President and CEO of Wyndham Vacation Club and ARDA Chairman
ARDA Guest Blogger
August 8, 2014 

Go Green

The topic of environmentally-sustaining practices is often discussed within our industry as it relates to the lifecycle of vacation ownership products.  I firmly believe that our industry is a leader when it comes to “going green.”  Re-using and recycling to avoid waste and pollution in addition to adding in-unit energy efficient and water-saving devices, are at the forefront of new timeshare construction and renovations around the world.  Continuing to incorporate and expand upon these sustainable practices well into the future will be the key to our success.

We’re also seeing that social responsibility plays an important role in emerging trends within the hospitality industry as Deidre Schwartz, Director of Merchandising, American Hotel Register Company highlights in a recent issue of Developments.  “We want to do business with people who share this same ‘caring’ commitment,” said Schwartz.

As our industry continues to grow and make investments in greener resort amenities and technologies—we need to keep the next generation of sustainability top of mind.  And now more than ever, as you will read in this issue, the best is yet to come.  For an in-depth look at eco-friendly happenings in the industry, check out Developments!



2014 Economic Impact

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Timeshare Industry Fuels U.S. Economy 

By Darla Zanini
Executive VP, ARDA International Foundation (AIF)
August 6, 2014

 2014 Economic Impact.

Timeshare, once again, has made a significant impact on the U.S. economy – representing:

  • $68.7 billion in consumer and business spending
  • 473,000 full- and part-time jobs
  • $23.6 billion in salaries and wages
  • $8.5 billion in tax revenue

Spending by timeshare owners and guests during timeshare stays was estimated at $10 billion in 2013.  About $2.1 billion was spent on-site at resorts, while $7.9 billion was spent off-site in the communities where the timeshare resorts are located.

This data is based on the AIF 2013 Economic Impact study conducted for us by Ernst & Young.  For more details, check out our infographic and for a full copy of the Economic Impact Study, please contact me at


Changing the Lens ARDA Blog

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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

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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