Today’s Timeshare Owner More Diverse, Younger

42% of New Owners Are African American or Hispanic; 10 Years Younger

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WASHINGTON, November 4, 2014 – The timeshare industry has returned to growth mode, in part due to the influx of a new type of owner—one that will help to continue the trajectory of the industry.  According to the newly released Shared Vacation Ownership Study from the ARDA International Foundation (AIF), these new owners are younger, have higher incomes than current owners and represent a more culturally diverse cross-section of U.S. households.

“We’re excited not only about the fact that sales are up in our industry but also about why they are up,” says Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA.  “While existing owners continue to enjoy the lifestyle and purchase more timeshare, it’s the new owners that are responsible for the majority of qualified new sales.”

The profile of the new owner has changed.  They are nearly 10 years younger than typical timeshare owners.  Thirty-nine percent are Gen Xers and thirty percent are Millennials, with the median age of thirty-nine.  Forty-two percent are African American or Hispanic.   They are also highly educated, with seventy-two percent being college graduates and twenty-three percent of those having graduate degrees.

Their median household income is $94,800 and they have plenty of disposable income—forty-seven percent of new owners made just a single payment to cover their purchase and fifty-seven percent spent $10,000 or more on their timeshare. In terms of financial commitment, the new timeshare owner values the long-term vacation savings and flexibility timeshare provides: thirty-six percent purchased timeshare to save money on future vacations and thirty-one percent bought for the flexibility the product offers.

The new owners are also savvy consumers, with seventy-five percent having had some form of interaction with a timeshare resort before purchasing.  Forty-four percent initially stayed at the resort where they bought as a guest of another owner and forty-two percent experienced timeshare vacations through renting first.  Thirty-five percent attended multiple sales presentations before buying.

And overall ownership has increased: U.S. households that own a timeshare rose from 7.2 percent in 2012 to 7.9 percent today, with the purchase price having risen to an average of nearly $20,000.  Among overall timeshare owners, timeshare vacations are fairly evenly spread between summer, fall and spring and forty percent are as likely to travel under 500 miles as they are to travel 1,000 miles or more (43%).  Seventy-five percent of owners vacationed at a timeshare resort while sixteen percent converted their timeshare to a different type of vacation or vacation-related purchase (cruises, airline tickets, car rentals, hotel stays etc.).

The report was conducted by HSR Associates and commissioned by the ARDA International Foundation.  For more details, see ARDA’s “Today’s Timeshare Owners: They’re Changing” infographic and for a copy of the full study, visit www.arda.org/foundation.

The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Established in 1969, ARDA today has almost 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. 

The ARDA International Foundation (AIF) is the timeshare industry’s leading source for market intelligence and career advancement resources. AIF, a 501(c) (3) organization, serves to enhance knowledge for the public and industry through its comprehensive timeshare research studies, and aims to enrich careers through ongoing training, learning and development. For more information, visit www.arda.org/foundation.