ARDA Insights Blog                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Resale Infographic Outlines Important Steps for Consumers

(From the CEO, Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

Resale Infographic Outlines Important Steps for Consumers 

By Howard Nusbaum 

November 7, 2013 

Wild West Resale Infographic 

Our newest infographic focuses on steps timeshare owners can take to help them navigate the resale market. As you know, ARDA has worked closely with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and many states to educate consumers about how to avoid scams in the secondary market over the years. This latest effort—our easy-to-follow infographic—will provide guidance to consumers that are confused about where to turn. 

The incidents of reseller-related scams are growing as owners are reporting them to the appropriate authorities more frequently, and lawmakers are taking steps to put stronger protections in place.  

ARDA has released ten consumer advisories about specific bad practices and created a section on its advocacy-based website devoted to resale resource information 

Feel free to share this infographic and accompanying press release with your owners and constituents—and direct them to ARDA-ROC’s Timeshare Resale Resource Center for more information. 

 

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!

Satisfied with Your Timeshare? Welcome to the 83%!

(From the CEO) Permanent link

Satisfied with Your Timeshare? Welcome to the 83%!

By Howard Nusbaum

July 17, 2013 

Did you catch personal finance guru Dave Ramsey on the popular Fox & Friends show, doling out advice on the “do’s and don’ts” of travel spending this morning? 

Dave gave timeshare a “don’t” vote, not only wrongly claiming that there is a 98% dissatisfaction rate amongst people who buy timeshares, but also claiming that most owners are “stuck” with their timeshare, there is no flexibility or choice of vacation destinations, and that timeshare is not a “good investment.”

While Dave is an excellent advice-giver when it comes to true financial investments, I respectfully disagree that he is qualified to offer advice on something that isn’t supposed to be a financial investment at all—vacationing. Whether you are renting a hotel room, buying a timeshare, or even just taking grandma out to dinner for allowing you to vacation on her couch—vacations do not offer a financial ROI, they are a lifestyle enhancement. 

Timeshares as “bad investment” is simply a matter of apples and oranges. However, timeshare does have a key value proposition—for example, contrast the lifetime expense of vacationing, assuming you take a 2-week vacation in a hotel property and spend $3,000 each year. In just ten years, you will have spent $30,000, which is $10,000 more than the average cost of a timeshare!  And that doesn’t even count the savings from eating some meals in your timeshare unit, rather than the 21 meals out in a week.

Not only do our owners report an 83% satisfaction rate* (a complete 180 from Dave’s claim of only 2% satisfaction!), but we hear time and time again from happy owners who take vacations with timeshare year after year—thanking themselves for the wise purchase that grants them the discipline of better vacationing. They are doing what is truly important: spending time with people they love.  Whether it’s heading to their favorite beach resort that feels like a second home, or exploring a new destination through the vast network of properties all over the world, timeshare owners do have a choice.

So Dave, please stick to traditional investment advice and leave the vacation advice to the lifestyle gurus! At the end of the day, the time one enjoys with family (including the comforts of home that a timeshare offers) offers a huge dividend—just ask those you love. It’s that simple.

Thanks for the advice Dave, but I think you should take “two weeks of timeshare,” and then call me in the morning! 

*Source: Shared Vacation Ownership Owners Report – 2012 Edition, prepared by The Research Intelligence Group for the ARDA International Foundation. 

 

What is “Obligatory Travel?”

(From the CEO, Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

What is “Obligatory Travel?” 

By Howard Nusbaum, CEO and President of ARDA

May 8, 2013

National Travel and Tourism Week 2013 

It is National Travel and Tourism Week (traditionally the first full week of May and first celebrated in 1984), and therefore it makes sense to blog about the importance of vacation planning. 

But before I go there, I should take a minute to dissect the thought of what constitutes a vacation versus other types of trips. Now I’d admit up front I have a bias—not all time off, and certainly not all travel, equals vacationing. And I don’t just mean business travel (something I do a lot of and have learned to enjoy and value) but I also mean the very important, enjoyable, and family-life affirming “obligatory travel.” 

So what do I mean by “obligatory travel?” I mean family life cycle events. For example, over the next thirty days I will gladly and proudly attend two college graduations (one in Ohio and one in New Hampshire), a Mother’s Day trip to celebrate my 87-year-old mom, and a friend’s wedding to which I was pleased to be invited to attend. This isn’t counting the five business trips I will be taking between now and the end of June.  

So, what is my point? I get a lot of travel and all of it is highly enjoyable and often important to me. However, none of it rejuvenates me the way true leisure travel does.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not “dissing” obligatory travel or business travel. They are both important to the relationships we value most in our lives, and are at the heart of what we do at work and home; however, they should not be mistaken for or “horse-traded” for vacationing. Vacationing is about wanderlust, new adventure, recharging your batteries, spending time with those you love—without an agenda or the emotions (and yes, sometimes baggage) of life cycle events.

We all deserve to get away and truly connect.  Your kids, your spouse, your boss, your co-workers, and your inner guru will all thank you. It matters. So plan a vacation this week—and I don’t mean Cousin Bertha’s 90th birthday celebration!

 

Maximize Your ARDA World Experience

(Meetings and Events, From the CEO) Permanent link

Maximize Your ARDA World Experience 

By Howard Nusbaum, CEO and President of ARDA

March 7, 2013 

 ARDA World 2013 

Today we are exactly one month away from Timeshare’s Big Global Event—ARDA World (April 6-11 in Hollywood, Florida). As our dedicated staff, engaged volunteers, and active members ready themselves for this annual industry extravaganza, I’d like to take a few minutes of your time to “prime your ARDA World pump,” thus ensuring the best experience and opportunity the ARDA World convention has to offer.

1)   Go to our Convention schedule web page and check out the meeting agenda. Planning out your itinerary from the many professional development opportunities to the general session is key to getting the most out of what is offered. Think of it as the “vacation buffet table”—peruse what is there to enjoy before you fill your plate, that way you will get what you want. Be strategic! 

2)    Check out the exhibitor list as these are the companies offering the cutting edge products and services designed just for your business. The exhibit hall is large and chock full of great business opportunities. Map out your experience! 

3)   Prepare to party: and that means pace yourself and bring comfortable shoes, because you will want to hit it all—from the opening AIF Golf Tournament presented by RCI, to “The Opening Night” brought to you by ICE and RCI, to Interval International’s Party with a Cause, and finally the ARDY Gala Awards.

4)   Promise yourself you will learn something new. It may be a chance to better understand the next generation through “co-creation” at the Sales & Marketing Forum, or taking note of thought leader and keynote speaker Don Tapscott to better understand the value and impact of information technology, or the chance to understand the opportunities for creating a healthier sold out resort at the Legacy Resort Workshop. Opportunity abounds! 

5)   Put yourself out there. With more than 2,500 of the industry’s top professionals at ARDA World, be a networker. Make a new business friend and enhance your business relationships by leaving your comfort zone—promise to make at least one new acquaintance each day.

You’ve got thirty days to get ready for the one event of the year that matters most to your business—be a scout and spend some time getting ready to maximize your ARDA World Experience.

 

Timeshare Exchange Programs Give Owners Vacation Flexibility

(From the CEO, Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

Timeshare Exchange Programs Give Owners Vacation Flexibility  

By Howard Nusbaum, CEO and President of ARDA 

February 20, 2013 

  Timeshare Exchange 

A recent focus group we conducted confirmed what many of you may have suspected—there is a belief among would-be timeshare purchasers that the product is inflexible. In an effort to help dispel this myth, we recently issued a press release on exchanging.  

As noted in the release, it is the flexibility provided by exchange programs that make owners say timeshare is a better way to vacation. Last year, 38 percent of traditional timeshare owners either banked or exchanged their timeshare, according to ARDA’s AIF 2012 Shared Vacation Ownership Owners Report.  

We also shared stories of owners exchange experiences from companies Interval International and RCI. Both Interval and RCI recommend that owners first develop a list of ideal vacation destinations, be flexible with dates of travel, and understand their product type and exchange program in order to best evaluate and use their trading power.  

We will continue to communicate the flexibility of timeshare and welcome your ideas! 

 

Work in Travel! It’s a Great Way to Launch a Career

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

Work in Travel! It’s a Great Way to Launch a Career

By Howard Nusbaum, CEO and President of ARDA

January 24, 2013 

U.S. Travel Association 


The latest results of a new study “Travels Means Jobs,” conducted by the U.S. Travel Association, got a lot of play recently in the press...and for good reason. It found that people who start their careers in hospitality and travel end up with better earnings and growth potential—even if they move into other fields.

To provide insight into the benefits of a travel industry job and the career progression of workers who began in travel, the U.S. Travel Association analyzed data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Here are a few key findings:

  1. Earning Higher Wages: The average maximum salary for employees who start their career in the travel industry reaches $81,900 (significantly more than the other industries followed).
  2. Building the Middle Class: The travel industry is one of the top 10 largest employers of middle-class wage earners in the United States. More than half of all travel industry employees (53 percent) earn a middle class or higher salary.
  3. Promotional Educational Opportunities: One-third of the 5.6 million Americans who work part-time while continuing their education work in the largest component of the travel industry—leisure and hospitality (including timeshare).
  4. Leading to Rewarding Careers: Two out of five workers who start their careers in travel go on to earn more than $100,000 per year. The travel and hospitality industries offer a diverse workforce the real opportunity to develop a wide variety of life skills.

And I believe that timeshare (although not separated from other travel jobs in this study) has even another advantage over general travel jobs, with more positions in robust sales and marketing, regulatory compliance, and financial services. This job diversity offers timeshare employees the ability to start in resort operations and then move into finance, real estate, sales and marketing, and other disciplines while staying within vacation ownership and often within the same company.

As a board member of U.S. Travel, I am proud of these findings and am excited to have this data available as we recruit the next generation of professionals. And in our industry advocacy work, this critical data will serve us well as we engage local, state, and national leaders about the timeshare industry and its role in travel.  

Note: This blog post is based on a January 2013 Developments magazine article.