ARDA Inside Look - Issue 5
Issue 5 | June 29, 2020
The Timeshare Industry Today
President/CEO Jason Gamel
As timeshare resorts begin to reopen across the United States, we are reminded once again of the resiliency of our product. A recent Florida Politics article summed it up nicely: “Timeshares hold key advantages over other forms of lodging: the prepaid nature of the product gives owners motivation to show up; amenities such as in-unit kitchens, washers and dryers play nice with social distancing guidelines; and prepaid professional maintenance ensures units and public areas are routinely cleaned to a high standard.” An increase in bookings and high occupancy numbers, especially in drive-to locations, are good indicators of a positive summer ahead. And on the employment front, according to a recent survey by the AIF, more than 35% of furloughed employees were brought back to work this month, with more expected next month. We know there is still a very long and winding road ahead to recovery. Still, we, at ARDA, remain committed to serving our members as they return to business through our advocacy efforts, research programs, and continued communication with media and our membership.
The Fall Conference scheduled for November 2020 at the Conrad, DC has been cancelled and will return in its traditional format in 2021. Instead, please SAVE THE DATE for a business gathering this September in Orlando, FL.
Save the Date
ARDA Fall Forum September 24-25, 2020
The Waldorf Astoria, Orlando FL
Click here for Fall Forum details
ARDA International Foundation
The ARDA International Foundation released the Annual State of the Industry Report. Some highlights from the report are below:
- Sales volume increased for the tenth straight year by nearly 3% from $10.2 billion in 2018 to $10.5 billion in 2019.
- The number of timeshare weekly intervals or interval equivalents sold was 457,060 in 2019.
- Average occupancy was 79.3% compared to 66.1% average hotel occupancy rate in 2019.
- There were 1,582 timeshare resorts in the US in 2019, representing approximately 206,380 units (includes lock-offs).
Federal and State Legislation
The spring months are traditionally some of the busiest for the government affairs team, often traveling around the country to wrap up legislative sessions, fundraise for key legislators and continue to build relationships. All of that work has still taken place this year, but with the team grounded for now it has looked much different. We now lean on technology much more in our advocacy work and that has afforded us a strategic opportunity to include members in legislative meetings that often would have been conducted face-to-face with a single member of the government affairs team. In mid-April we launched the Legislative Policy Council (LPC) Conversation Series consisting of 30-minute meetings with key legislators and regulators moderated by our CEO, Jason Gamel. They have given our LPC members the ability to participate in our work and also a firsthand account from key policymakers during each stage of the COVID crisis.
To date here are some of the great speakers we have featured: Incoming FL House Speaker Chris Sprowls, US Congressman Michael Burgess, Incoming FL Senate President Wilton Simpson, MO Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and Chairman Richard Neal.
A Return to Timeshare Vacations
When asked what was missed most during these past months, the answers from timeshare resort leaders across the US are the same: ”We miss our owners and members!” Congratulations from all of us here at ARDA for re-opening your doors and delivering fantastic vacation experiences that embody the heart and soul of who we are. The safety and health considerations, reservation flexibility and on-site amenities and services exceed expectations. It's a great time to remind everyone that our doors are open and it's time to enjoy your timeshare today.