ARDA Insights Blog                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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. 

 

Vacations Make for Happier People

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Vacations Make for Happier People 

By Peter Roth, Vice President of Marketing and Communications

January 15, 2014 

Vacations Make for Happier People

We often communicate to prospective owners the value of vacation ownership comes from knowing that you’ve already pre-paid for your vacation.

The guarantee of a vacation at least once a year is a commitment to vacationing better. And that the benefits of vacationing are many: lifetime memories, more spacious accommodations, no stress from planning, and more! That’s part of why timeshare occupancy (76%) continues to outpace traditional hotel stays (56.6%).

Helpful to the larger travel industry in general is that each year there is more research conducted about the benefits of vacationing—a fact that our industry has utilized for years. In fact, Expedia conducted a survey this past year that evaluated the link between personal happiness and vacations. They learned that 61% of people who vacation at least three times annually are satisfied with life—and that vacations boost job satisfaction, marriage happiness, and even intimacy.

With those statistics in mind, here’s to hoping 2014 is the year of the vacation! Do your vacations make you happier? Let us know in the comments. 

 

American Vacation Statistics Are Depressing

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American Vacation Statistics Are Depressing 

By Peter Roth, Vice President of Marketing and Communications

January 9, 2014 

American Vacation Statistics Are Depressing 

An annual study by Expedia® about vacation habits revealed that Americans earn among the fewest vacation days (14) in the world each year and also leave among the most (4) unused days on the table. On average, about 10 out of every 14 days are left—more than 500 million days each year!  

While we know our owners love and continue to use their timeshare product, there is still a mindset that vacations are a luxury, not a necessity. How do we change this? By encouraging our own employees to utilize their vacation days so that they return refreshed, relaxed, and ready to work.

We can also make strides by sharing the benefits that vacations provide through owner stories, pictures, and videos that show the positive effects of vacationing. In the coming months, ARDA’s newly refreshed consumer website, VacationBetter.org, will be posting fresh owner content, promoting third party data, and publicizing the positive attributes of timeshare vacations. We will need the help of the entire industry to expand the reach of the website and become a valuable resource to owners and developers alike.

In the meantime, you can read about resolving to take a timeshare vacation in the New Year. And share your vacation habits in the comments!

 

Taking Vacation Time Boosts Productivity

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Taking Vacation Time Boosts Productivity 

By Peter Roth, Vice President of Marketing and Communications

December 16, 2013

Taking Vacation Time Boosts Productivity

New research by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) shows that employees who take vacation time enjoy greater productivity, increased job satisfaction, and higher organizational morale than those who do not.  

However, the “Vacation’s Impact on the Workplace” survey also shows a disconnect between the positive attitudes surrounding vacation and Americans’ actual behavior—61 percent of organizations report that their employees leave three or more days on the table each year...not much of a surprise!

ARDA partnered with the U.S. Travel Association (and its innovative campaign, the Travel Effect) to announce this important research. This is the kind of data that is important to share with our industry, timeshare owners, and prospective owners. There are so many reasons to take regular vacation—and now we see that productivity at work is yet another.

And clearly, owning a timeshare makes people more likely to take their vacation since it’s pre-paid—just one huge benefit to owning a timeshare that the industry should continue to tout.

What are your thoughts on boosting productivity in the workplace by taking time to vacation? Let us know in the comments! 

 

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!

A Snapshot of Timeshare Ownership

(Research, Initiatives and Trends) Permanent link

A Snapshot of Timeshare Ownership

By Alexa Antonuk, Communications Manager

February 5, 2013 

A Snapshot of Timeshare Ownership 

While some of us might love to sift through pages and pages of data, in this time of information overload, most prefer instead to get a quick snapshot. With infographics we can now show data, information, and knowledge in a highly consumable, easy to understand way.

ARDA has developed an infographic based on AIF’s 2012 Shared Vacation Ownership Owners Report. As you can see below, it clearly highlights some of the more important findings in a fun and readable format. It was developed to share with ARDA members, influencers, and consumers through social media.

We are distributing this through our Facebook page, Twitter, and Pinterest account, as well as sending it to our media/blogger contacts for use in their online efforts. The Communications Committee will also help us spread this Infographic through their channels. View the full infographic (PDF).

Please feel free to share it and look for more to come! Our next one will be in February and will “lasso” the Wild, Wild West of Resales.

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.