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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 darla.zanini@arda.org.

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!   


Millennials Weigh in on Vacations and Timeshare

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

Millennials Weigh in on Vacations and Timeshare 

By Rob Kaplan-Sherman, Senior Vice President of HSR Associates
ARDA Guest Blogger
April 2, 2014 

Millennials Weigh in on Vacations and Timeshare 

It seems that whenever I speak with someone in the industry about sales, the conversation quickly gravitates toward Millennials and the tremendous opportunity they provide for the timeshare industry. 

A quick Internet search supports why this group and timeshare may fit together so well:

--Millennials take more vacations per year (approximately 4 each year) than Gen Xers (approximately 3) and Baby Boomers (slightly more than 3 annually)

--Millennials rank vacations and travel as the most important reason to save money—even more important than saving for retirement!

If vacations play an integral role in Millennials’ lives, it is clear we should want to understand their values. 

In late 2013, the AIF and HSR Associates conducted a series of focus groups with Millennials to better understand how they shop for and purchase vacations, and to identify potential opportunities for the industry.

When planning a vacation, Millennials appear to have four core requirements: unfettered access (their planning is limited only by their inspiration, research skills, and budget), completely customizable, no restrictions, and excellent value. 

From this and other observations we are able to capture some significant insights.

--Millennials seem very apprehensive about commitment, so positioning timeshare as a life-long ownership product instead of an alternative to the next vacation can make the thought of timeshare a non-starter. Deliver a great vacation and create a relationship—and thus a credible, trustworthy source on the short-list for their next vacation.

--Leverage the superiority of timeshare lodging units over traditional hotel rooms. Focus group participants consistently expressed very positive reactions toward lodging units, and specifically enjoyed having a kitchen. In the absence of price, timeshare units generated greater preference than traditional hotel rooms. When learning of the similarity of price points between hotel rooms and timeshare units, participants appeared to view timeshare much more favorably.

--Promote flexibility and choice. While some Millennials may view these characteristics in almost unrealistic terms, it may be sufficient to start a conversation with them.

Read about all of the findings from the Millennial Focus Group in the March 2014 edition of Developments magazine. 


Vacations Make for Happier People

(Research, Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

Vacations Make for Happier People 

By Peter Roth, Vice President of Marketing and Communications

January 15, 2014 

Vacations Make for Happier People

We often communicate to prospective owners the value of vacation ownership comes from knowing that you’ve already pre-paid for your vacation.

The guarantee of a vacation at least once a year is a commitment to vacationing better. And that the benefits of vacationing are many: lifetime memories, more spacious accommodations, no stress from planning, and more! That’s part of why timeshare occupancy (76%) continues to outpace traditional hotel stays (56.6%).

Helpful to the larger travel industry in general is that each year there is more research conducted about the benefits of vacationing—a fact that our industry has utilized for years. In fact, Expedia conducted a survey this past year that evaluated the link between personal happiness and vacations. They learned that 61% of people who vacation at least three times annually are satisfied with life—and that vacations boost job satisfaction, marriage happiness, and even intimacy.

With those statistics in mind, here’s to hoping 2014 is the year of the vacation! Do your vacations make you happier? Let us know in the comments. 


American Vacation Statistics Are Depressing

(Research, Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

American Vacation Statistics Are Depressing 

By Peter Roth, Vice President of Marketing and Communications

January 9, 2014 

American Vacation Statistics Are Depressing 

An annual study by Expedia® about vacation habits revealed that Americans earn among the fewest vacation days (14) in the world each year and also leave among the most (4) unused days on the table. On average, about 10 out of every 14 days are left—more than 500 million days each year!  

While we know our owners love and continue to use their timeshare product, there is still a mindset that vacations are a luxury, not a necessity. How do we change this? By encouraging our own employees to utilize their vacation days so that they return refreshed, relaxed, and ready to work.

We can also make strides by sharing the benefits that vacations provide through owner stories, pictures, and videos that show the positive effects of vacationing. In the coming months, ARDA’s newly refreshed consumer website, VacationBetter.org, will be posting fresh owner content, promoting third party data, and publicizing the positive attributes of timeshare vacations. We will need the help of the entire industry to expand the reach of the website and become a valuable resource to owners and developers alike.

In the meantime, you can read about resolving to take a timeshare vacation in the New Year. And share your vacation habits in the comments!


Taking Vacation Time Boosts Productivity

(Research, Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

Taking Vacation Time Boosts Productivity 

By Peter Roth, Vice President of Marketing and Communications

December 16, 2013

Taking Vacation Time Boosts Productivity

New research by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) shows that employees who take vacation time enjoy greater productivity, increased job satisfaction, and higher organizational morale than those who do not.  

However, the “Vacation’s Impact on the Workplace” survey also shows a disconnect between the positive attitudes surrounding vacation and Americans’ actual behavior—61 percent of organizations report that their employees leave three or more days on the table each year...not much of a surprise!

ARDA partnered with the U.S. Travel Association (and its innovative campaign, the Travel Effect) to announce this important research. This is the kind of data that is important to share with our industry, timeshare owners, and prospective owners. There are so many reasons to take regular vacation—and now we see that productivity at work is yet another.

And clearly, owning a timeshare makes people more likely to take their vacation since it’s pre-paid—just one huge benefit to owning a timeshare that the industry should continue to tout.

What are your thoughts on boosting productivity in the workplace by taking time to vacation? Let us know in the comments! 


What is the “Timeshare Effect”?

(Research, From the CEO, Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

What is the “Timeshare Effect”?

By Howard Nusbaum

August 26, 2013 

Timeshare Effect

We’ve taken a page out of the successful “Travel Effect” campaign from our friends at the U.S. Travel Association, and developed an infographic looking at the “Timeshare Effect”—a look at how timeshare vacations have a positive effect on lifestyle, family memories, and finances.   

As you all know, we hear from our owners every day about how their lives have been positively changed because of their timeshare ownership. This is a way for us to capture this anecdotal sentiment with hard facts for other would-be timeshare owners.

We look at how timeshare vacations have a positive effect on lifestyle, family memories, and finances. On the financial side, it’s clear that owning a timeshare enables families to take annual vacations for much less than what they would pay for a traditional hotel, saving an average of $25,000 over 20 years of vacationing.

We also look at how owning a timeshare has significant effects on lifestyle. Since timeshare owners have essentially pre-paid for their annual vacation, they are much more likely to take that vacation, which leads to many health and wellness benefits.

And finally, we share some compelling statistics from U.S. Travel on the importance of vacations for family memories.  Check out all the details here!

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