State of the U.S. Vacation Timeshare Industry Study Shows Increased Sales, Steady Occupancy Rates Give Industry Healthy Outlook
According to the State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry: United States Study 2012 Editionconducted by Ernst & Young, sales of vacation products increased slightly from the previous year, while nearly 80 percent of owners continued to travel to their timeshare destination—a figure that continues to outpace traditional hotel occupancy (60 percent in 2011 according to Smith Travel Research December 2011 report) year after year. Twelve percent of the timeshare occupancy rate was comprised of renters, with 86 percent of timeshare resorts offering some form of rental program.
Additionally, timeshare resorts continue to add flexibility and ease to the way a consumer can buy timeshare intervals. Instead of selling just one week per year, many offer increased flexibility through "points" that owners can use to customize their vacation needs. They can break up or extend vacation weeks, travel during various times of the year, and/or stay in various unit types at a range of locations. Some also offer biennial products that allow owners to use intervals every other year, instead of each year. About 72 percent of survey respondents have intervals of the traditional weekly variety; about 67 percent have some form of points-based products; and 42 percent of respondents have biennials.
The continued growth in the rental market and sales from existing owners are also indicators of the industry's vitality. In 2011, renters accounted for 10.4 million nights of total occupancy, while 42 percent of timeshare sales are from those who already own a timeshare product, demonstrating the continued high satisfaction with the product offerings.
The industry's outlook for the future remains positive based on consumer demand for expanded product offerings, occupancy remaining steady, and the success of rental programs with existing inventory.
The report was conducted by Ernst & Young and commissioned by the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) International Foundation.
Lou Ann Burney