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The Wellness Trend: Opportunities to Improve Our Health

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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. 

 

Asia’s Emerging Market

(International, Developments Magazine, Guest Blogger) Permanent link

Asia’s Emerging Market 

By Annemarie Valli, Wyndham Exchange & Rentals
ARDA Guest Blogger
April 22, 2014 

Asia's Emerging Market 

Timing is everything—and being the first to deliver new and exclusive vacation experiences to consumers is invaluable. Today, Asia represents one of the world’s largest growth markets for tourism and leisure. 

Given the sheer size and demographic of the region, its timeshare market is primed to experience incredible growth levels over the next 10 years. Several factors—including a growing and prosperous middle class, shifting consumer preferences and attitudes toward vacationing, and the elimination of currency controls—are all contributing to this region’s fantastic future development.

Forecasts designate China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia to host 64 percent of the global middle class, and account for 40 percent of global middle class consumption by 2030—a huge opportunity!

Asia’s estimated average household income boom, combined with a steady increase in its consumer confidence and spending intentions, are all important growth catalysts for the region. Developers who can capitalize on Asia’s favorable economy and lucrative location are best positioned to secure the land and buying dollars of timeshare travelers seeking memorable vacation experiences.

Read much more on the specific market conditions and opportunities in March’s Developments magazine article on this topic. 

Another Great ARDA World Convention is in the Books!

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Another Great ARDA World Convention is in the Books! 

By Peter Roth, ARDA Vice President of Marketing and Communications
April 17, 2014 

Another Great ARDA World Convention is in the Books! 

I know that many of you attended this year’s ARDA World Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas—in fact we hosted nearly 3,000 timeshare professionals from around the world, with over 35 countries represented! And I think you’ll agree that the content, the networking, and the all around sentiment were all top notch. 

But in case you weren’t able to join us, here’s a brief rundown of just some of the highlights. 

Scott Klososky, a business leader and social technology and trends guru, was the keynote speaker and he definitely got the crowd thinking about their use of technology and what it means for their business in the future. His message was clear: take a chance on embracing technology to reshape your business now…before you are left behind.

Attendees also got more “food for thought” from several timeshare CEOs from Disney Vacation Ownership, Marriott Vacation Club International, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, and Welk Resorts. They talked about how the industry is evolving to meet the next generation of customers, technology, products, employees, and distribution channels.

Another well-attended, positively-reviewed session was “Getting Serious About Social: A Social Media Show & Tell.” The panelists shared strategies to communicate with consumers before, during, and after their vacation. And they gave the audience ideas of how to do this whether they were a social media novice or expert—all geared toward using social media as a way to engage customers.

At the Awards Gala on Wednesday night, the best and brightest in the industry were recognized through the ARDA Awards program. A complete list of winners is available on ARDA’s Awards website. Congratulations to all!

And finally, I have to mention the golf, the parties and the camaraderie—it’s often these kinds of activities that bring the most benefit to attending Convention: the relationships you take home with you. Hope to see you at the 2015 ARDA World in Orlando! 

Expansion in Latin America

(International, Developments Magazine, Guest Blogger) Permanent link

Expansion in Latin America

By Matt McDaniel, Tourism and Travel Journalist
ARDA Guest Blogger
April 15, 2014 

Expansion in Latin America 

Of the 550 million people who reside in Latin America, an impressive one-third is part of the middle class. And this emerging group is expected to grow across the region—presenting substantial opportunities for the leisure industry. 

Interval International’s Marcos Agostini, senior vice president of resort sales and business development for the region, says that “both the overall economic health and its emerging middle class are a boon for shared ownership.”

The economic outlook for Latin America is encouraging for the remainder of 2014, with growth projected to be up nearly three percent. The global recovery and faster growth in the United States will also have a positive impact on the region’s expansion.

An article on this topic in the March issue of Developments magazine delves deeper into highlights from four key Latin American markets: Brazil, Columbia, Peru, and Mexico. Get all the details here! 

 

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.