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Generation Next

(Initiatives and Trends, Guest Blogger) Permanent link

 

Generation Next  

By Franz Hanning, President & CEO of Wyndham Vacation Club and ARDA Chairman
ARDA Guest Blogger

July 11, 2014 

 

 Generation Next Photo sized 

 

As an industry, we are witnessing how technology validates the role we play in providing an outlet for people to unplug and spend quality time with loved ones. We’ve all seen the expansion of technology’s impact on travel over the last decade, and we have recognized how consumers use technology before, during, and after travel. That’s why the role technology plays in our industry was a key focus at this year’s ARDA World Convention in Las Vegas.

During many of the educational sessions, we shared lessons learned about how developers incorporate technology into their business models, products, operations, communications, and sales and marketing efforts. From a renewed focus on in-room technology to enhanced customer experiences and owner-engagement programs, our industry is constantly adapting. The use of technology has enabled our industry to communicate better with our owner base, and taught us how to communicate with the next generation of owners. This means gaining an understanding of digital marketing, social media, and new technologies.

Be sure to catch-up on technology-themed lessons from ARDA World in the June issue of Developments magazine 

Going Digital in the Sales Room

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

Going Digital in the Sales Room 

By Judy Kenninger, RRP
ARDA Guest Blogger

May 14, 2014 

Going Digital in the Sales Room 

Today people increasingly turn to technology to get their news on-the-go, communicate with friends and family, shop, research, and more. Consider the statistics: Facebook counts 945 million monthly users of its mobile service, Yahoo! has 400 million monthly users who access it on their mobile phones alone, 89 million people in the U.S. watch 1.2 billion online videos each day, and 73% of adults online use a social networking site of some kind. According to Deloitte Hospitality 2015, mobile technology and social media are transforming the hospitality industry. People can research and book their own travel, visit peer review sites, take an interactive tour of a resort, and share their own vacation experiences online—all from their tablets or phones. 

The timeshare industry is adapting to the fast-paced environment by integrating more visual content into their websites, developing interactive marketing tools, using social platforms to deliver meaningful content, and enriching the communication channel between brand and consumers. Such tools are particularly evident in timeshare sales organizations. Gone are the days of printed materials and brochures as consumers want to visually experience the vacation before they plan a trip. Resorts now incorporate multi-dimensional visuals and graphics into the presentation and some have developed a real-time inventory search and pricing information.

To read more about innovation in timeshare sales and marketing, check out the article on this topic in the April/May 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. 

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. 

 

The Universal Appeal of Timeshare

(Meetings and Events, International, Developments Magazine, Guest Blogger) Permanent link

The Universal Appeal of Timeshare 

By Franz S. Hanning, RRP, Chairman of the ARDA Board of Directors
ARDA Guest Blogger

March 28, 2014
 

The Universal Appeal of Timeshare 

Vacations have a universal appeal—they’re a common interest that crosses cultures and borders, as evidenced by the expansive international presence timeshare already has today. 

From Finland to Thailand to South Africa, timeshare is not only breaking ground, but also breaking records around the world. Sales at the Anantara Vacation Club: Phuket in Mai Khao, Thailand, have increased 100 percent, year over year. Kodagu Valley Resort in Coorg, India, is now working on a sister property, thanks to overwhelming demand. And a full sell-out of Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is projected in the next two years.  

This indicates that demand for timeshare across the world is growing steadily—a trend we hope to see continue in the coming decade.  

But the real beauty of international expansion is that everyone benefits. Consumers abroad have access to the product in their local regions, owners have the opportunity to travel to new, exciting destinations through exchanges, and the communities in which we operate locally reap the rewards from the continued growth of international tourism to America. 

Over the years, we’ve broken down borders to the point where vacations are now a global enterprise. It’s safe to say the world is now more interconnected than ever—and when it comes to timeshare, the sky is truly the limit. 

Read more about the universal appeal of timeshare in this month’s Developments magazine. And I’ll see you soon at ARDA World in Las Vegas! 

 

What Lies in Wait for You in Vegas!

(Meetings and Events, Guest Blogger) Permanent link

What Lies in Wait for You in Vegas! 

By Georgie Bohrod, RRP
ARDA Guest Blogger

February 26, 2014 

What Lies in Wait for You in Vegas!

With ARDA World right around the corner, it’s not too early to start planning for the industry’s biggest gathering. In addition to all the networking, festivities, and renewed connections that surround the event, ARDA offers the most comprehensive educational sessions to help newcomers and seasoned professionals stay current and informed. 

This year, under the umbrella of the Resort Operations Council, Suppliers Council, and Construction & Design Council, members have the opportunity to help educate attendees about two important topics:

The new generation of owners – As we see an increase in ARDA members who represent mature resorts, it is clear that operations are just as important as a component of timesharing as sales and marketing. The session Generation Transition: How to Keep Your Resort’s Product Relevant is directed at resorts whose aging owner base may be looking for a way to leave. The session will explore ways to physically improve the product to better appeal to a younger buyer, including what interior designs and components will best attract this segment and what technologies and amenities could be implemented to stay current.

The conversion of existing properties to timeshare products – On the flip side, a session called Everything That’s Old is Renewed Again will discuss relevant issues pertaining to conversion. They will examine important topics such as the best ways to assess which hotels and condominiums are candidates to be converted to timeshare. The panel will also look into risks and rewards in making this change. Converting condos and hotels into timeshares delves deep into the history of our industry, and this new spin on the historically successful concept is bound to offer innovative insights.

Educational sessions are only one aspect of ARDA World. The Expo Hall is another excellent place to learn more about what’s going on with members of the Suppliers Council, as well as scores of other vendors. Whether it is textiles, patio furniture, homeowner’s kits, cleaning supplies, or insurance—this is where you will be able to talk with experts first hand.

So mark your calendars and prepare yourself for ARDA World. Las Vegas is waiting for you! 

 

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