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State of the Industry Report: Industry Outlook is Strong

(Research) Permanent link

State of the Industry Report:  Industry Outlook is Strong 

May 31, 2012 

AIF Research 

Results from the 2012 State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry: United States Study indicate a positive industry outlook based on consumer demand for expanded product offerings, high occupancy remaining steady, and the success of rental programs with existing inventory. The study found that timeshare resorts continue to offer more flexibility and ease to the way a consumer can buy intervals, especially through points-based systems, to new consumers and existing owners.

Continued growth in the rental market and sales from existing owners are also indicators of  industry vitality. In 2011, renters accounted for 10.4 million nights or 12% of total occupancy, and 86% of timeshare resorts now offer some form of rental program. Timeshare sales  from existing owners accounted for 42% of overall sales, demonstrating the continued high satisfaction with the product.

New consumers offer a  promising area of growth. While ARDA continues to educate consumers about the extra benefits offered with timeshare vacations, the expanded product offerings and rental programs are proving to be appealing qualities to new consumers who want to try it out first.  In fact, 58% of sales this year came from new owners and 72% of resorts have at least half of their sales from new owners. 

More evidence of the industry’s resilience is that occupancy remains steady at nearly 80%—a figure that continues to outpace traditional hotel occupancy (60% according to Smith Travel Research December 2011 report).  

For more information or to order the report, contact us here.   


“No Vacation Nation”: US Says No to Time Off

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

“No Vacation Nation”: US Says No to Time Off 

By Howard Nusbaum 

May 25, 2012 

Paid Vacation Around the World 

As we approach the start of summer vacation season this weekend, it shocks me that Americans are actually opting out of their vacations. It’s bad enough that U.S. companies aren’t required to offer paid time off. But now this Harris Interactive survey shows that even workers that do get vacation don’t take it. 

About 57% of working Americans had unused vacation time at the end of 2011, and most of them left an average of 11 days on the tableor nearly 70 % of their allotted time off! 

One of the biggest reasons was that workers felt they had too much work, and many said that they couldn't afford to travel. Nearly 10% of the survey respondents said they were afraid to take time off amid an unstable job market. 

If only they’d realize the health and wellness benefits they are missing! It’s proven that taking time  to break away from the daily grind goes a long way in promoting both physical and mental health. 

There are long-term health, relationship, and job performance benefits associated with taking regular vacations. For example, men who don’t vacation regularly are 32 % more likely to die of heart attacks. And women are 50 % more likely. 

One to two weeks away from the daily routine leads to better job performance and productivity, increasing reaction times by 30 to 40 %. In addition, quality of sleep increases by about one hour a night upon return from vacation.  

Simply put, people can’t afford not to take a vacation. 

So, as the summer season kicks off, take a vacation.  It will do you good. 

2012 First Quarter Pulse Survey Findings

(Research, Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

2012 First Quarter Pulse Survey Findings 

By Darla Zanini

May 21, 2012 

AIF Research

The Q1 results of our survey measuring the overall state of the vacation timeshare industry in the United States are just in—and they are encouraging. Here’s a snapshot:

Timeshare sales volume increased by 14.7 percent from Q1 2011. The average transaction value was $17,719 during Q1 2012, a decrease of 0.6 percent from Q1 2011. However, the volume per guest (VPG), a measure of the average value of consumer purchases per sales tour, was $2,657 during Q1 2012, an increase of 3.2 percent from Q1 2011.

Consumer timeshare loan portfolios experienced an increase in currency and a decrease in gross defaults when comparing Q4 2011 and Q1 2012. Consumer timeshare loan portfolios delinquencies and defaults decreased when comparing Q1 2011 and Q1 2012.

Resort occupancy increased slightly (1.5 percentage points), remaining strong at 74.1 percent. One resort company reported a Q1 2011 to Q1 2012 occupancy increase of 8.2 percentage points, while the next largest increase was 4.4 percentage points.

The average new consumer timeshare loan term was shorter by 0.7 months at approximately 115.4 months, compared to 116.1 months in Q1 2011.

Capital expenditures related to new timeshare inventory projects increased by 47 percent from Q1 2011, while capital expenditures related to existing timeshare inventory projects decreased by 32 percent from Q1 2011. Overall, capital expenditures related to timeshare inventory decreased by 28 percent compared to Q1 2011.

The survey was conducted by Deloitte and Touche in conjunction with the ARDA International Foundation (AIF). If you’d like more details, please contact me at dzanini@arda.org.

Stay tuned for our upcoming Global Survey results in just a few weeks! 


How Can ARDA Be Global….When the “A” Stands for American?

(From the CEO, International) Permanent link

How Can ARDA Be Global….When the “A” Stands for American? 

By Howard Nusbaum

May 14, 2012

Global Exchange 

As I travel the world talking to timeshare developers, owners and other industry watchers, it occurs to me that many of them are probably wondering how ARDA can say that it has a global reach when our title has “American” in its name.

Well, the only real part of our charter that is uniquely "American” is our advocacy effort. One of the big things we do for our members is to monitor and impact the regulatory issues that affect timeshare by engaging in lobbying efforts. These efforts focus on the establishment of a legislative environment that enhances consumer confidence and protection.

But beyond this, everything we do is global. 

Our convention attracts industry people from around the world, and this year it was dubbed “ARDA World” to highlight the focus on global issues and opportunities, as well as the global marketplace in which we all operate. 

In addition, the ARDA International Foundation (AIF) offers professional and educational development and important primary research to our members. We are close to releasing our World Wide Shared Vacation Ownership Survey that will give perspective on the timeshare market in many countries around the world.

So whether our owners want to travel to Breckinridge, Bangkok, or Belize, they will be supported by the “ABCs” of ARDA.

Why Was Convention So Upbeat?

(Meetings and Events, From the CEO, Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

Why Was Convention So Upbeat? 

By Howard Nusbaum

May 11, 2012

ARDA World 

This year’s convention was the best I’ve seen in years. And it’s not just that Las Vegas is such a great destination—what has changed is the mood of the industry. After several years of struggling in the economic downturn, things are changing. The feeling was electric.

I believe the biggest positive factor right now is renewed access to capital, which is driving built-up demand to make new deals and form new global alliances.

For some developers, especially those large enough to go straight to the “Street” for securitizations, the credit freeze began to melt in 2009. But for many mid-sized and smaller developers, the hypothecation lending took much longer to de-frost. It is only within the past six months that the world of credit has stabilized for the vast majority. The good performance of our consumer notes coupled with healthier balance sheets has opened a wider flow of capital for the larger part of the industry. And, if this downturn taught us anything, it is that access to capital is at the foundation of our business.

Pairing this with the positive changes the industry has made and the overall entrepreneurial spirit that exists among us made for an upbeat convention, and hopefully an upbeat year to come. 

Celebrate National Tourism Week

(Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

Celebrate National Tourism Week 

By Lou Ann Burney

May 9, 2012 

National Travel and Tourism Week 

While our industry always celebrates the value of vacationing, the week of May 5-13 gives us yet another reason to do so. This week is National Tourism & Travel Week, a week-long annual celebration of the tourism industry that began in 1984 with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan.

ARDA is marking this week as a time to revisit our consumer outreach campaigns that showcase timeshare as a better way to vacation. VacationBetter.org, ARDA’s consumer website, houses our current Timeshare Fan initiative—where you can get a first-hand look at real timeshare owners and learn why they love vacationing with timeshare.

We are now expanding upon the success of this initiative to feature stories and highlights from vacation resort employees who help make vacations a special and time-honored tradition for owners. In addition to monthly owner spotlights, we will be sharing profiles of the “Faces of Timeshare” to not only celebrate the efforts of those working in the industry, but also to provide consumers an inside look at the resorts and the employees who make our owners rave about their annual vacations.

Take some time this week to plan your next vacation!  

The State of Florida: Working Hard for Timeshare Consumers

(Legislation) Permanent link

The State of Florida: Working Hard for Timeshare Consumers 

by Jason Gamel, ARDA State Affairs

May 7, 2012 

Florida Timeshare Resale Accountability Act 

 What do the Florida Office of the Attorney General, Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) all have in common?

They are all working tirelessly to protect timeshare owners from fraudulent actors in the secondary resale market. In the past six months, the industry has seen the passage of landmark timeshare resales legislation (thank you to Attorney General Bondi and her staff), dozens of investigations and arrests made by DACS related to timeshare resales fraud, and educational efforts spearheaded by DBPR to inform consumers about their rights as timeshare owners. After meeting with representatives from each of these offices this week, I am more convinced than ever that Florida is truly finding ways to help those who take their hard-earned vacations there.

Expect plenty of industry cooperation in the upcoming months to help identify fraudulent businesses (that have targeted timeshare owners as their victims) and to aid in the drafting of future legislation to put more tools in the hands of law enforcement to eradicate fraud in the industry. Along the same lines, expect increased educational efforts to come from the state and the industry that will put consumers in a better position to make good decisions about how they sell their timeshare interests. You can also visit www.arda-roc.org/resales for information related to timeshare resales and other consumer protection issues.

For now, if a consumer wishes to file a formal complaint against a person or company who they suspect may be involved in fraudulent activity, we encourage them to visit the Florida Attorney General’s website, the Florida DBPR website, and the Florida DACS website.

ARDA and ARDA-ROC are very excited about working with these agencies and see great things happening for the industry and consumers in 2012 and beyond.


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