Timeshare is perhaps the fastest growing segment, in a travel industry that is constantly looking for innovative products and newer horizonsThe concept of vacation ownership originated in the sixties. Over the years, it has become a popular vacation format, and a first option for a wide range of customer profiles. Today’s leisure travelers have a wide range of timeshare destinations to choose from - in the country and around the globe.
Looking at growth figures, timeshare is perhaps the fastest growing segment, in a travel industry that is constantly looking for innovative products and newer horizons. Customers around the world are turning to vacation ownership as their preferred option for holidays and vacations. More than 16 million households own vacation interval products at 5,316 resorts, in over 120 countries. There are nearly 500,000 timeshare units with an average resort size of 94. North America remains the global leader with nearly half-the-pie, and approximately two million owners. Europe is the second most dominant region for vacation ownership, with approximately 22 percent of global figures.
Looking at milestone indicators over the last five years, new customers are adding to the growth charts by an average of 18% per year. Backed by major corporations and global offerings, the timeshare industry is poised to widen market share and reach, in the coming years.
[Source: ARDA AIF study 2008, 2010 & 2013]
The AIF timeshare database lists 1,540 timeshare resorts in United States – which translates to approximately 190,000 physical timeshare units, and 125 units per resort on an average. If we consider lock-offs as separate units, we could add an additional 51,340 units, to reach a total of 243,760. In December 2013, the total number of weekly equivalent intervals owned in these units was approximately 8.5 million.
Over the last couple of years there has been some consolidation, and resorts that were earlier categorized under different brands are now under a common banner - as one resort with co-branding. This has resulted in a correction in the number-count of resorts to realistic figures – the decrease is more a case of reconciliation of numbers and not a reflection of resorts being taken offline or closed down.[Source: State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry: United States Study 2014 Edition. Prepared by Ernst & Young for ARDA International Foundation - AIF]
Timeshare first made its entry into India a little over thirty years ago, bringing in the never-before concept of long-term vacation ownership. Initial formats offered just a roof over your head, in a holiday setting – the attraction those days was a one-time purchase that gave you free holidays every year.
Today, there’s more to it than a long-term calendar. The timeshare space is fast gaining momentum with a spectrum of offerings – exotic locations, modern amenities, theme cuisines, professional sport, and fitness gurus as holiday evangelists. You also have locations that offer golf and extreme sport as part of the package. Even hotels have also worked on a synergy between existing offerings and timeshare, as an added revenue earner.
The industry here has been growing at anywhere between 18-20 percent, year-on-year over the last five years. There is a visible increase in the number of sign ups, because vacation seekers are entering the timeshare market in a big way – an indication of changing trends.
Currently, there are over 4,50,000 households owning timeshare and this figure has been picking up momentum over the last few years - despite temporary slow-downs the world over. Through timeshare, Indians are considering newer holiday experiences, and are no longer narrowing options to popular or mainstream destinations. In fact, destinations off the beaten track rank high on the search list of timeshare customers. This trend has encouraged developers to identify and discover newer locations where projects could be developed.
With a positive change in product perception – especially among new customer profiles – the industry has an identity of its own and makes a sizeable contribution to the tourism inflow –in terms of volume, customer-spend and support to local business lines.
Thanks to focused efforts made by companies in the organized sector – primarily under the AIRDA banner – timeshare today delivers on its promise by helping create memorable vacation experiences year after year.
What does an AIRDA membership mean to resort owners and developers? AIRDA comes in as your industry partner, conscience keeper and business catalyst - with a wide portfolio of support services.
What does AIRDA mean to holiday seekers and prospective customers? AIRDA comes in to provide information and offer guidelines on making the right timeshare decisions.