The timeshare industry is a growing market that is expected to continue its growth in the coming years. This is due to several factors, including favorable demographics, technological advancements, and growth in business travels.
Timeshare ownership started in Europe during the 1960s and quickly spread to other parts of the world. Its popularity grew significantly after the emergence of exchange companies like RCI and Interval International in the 1970s. These new products offered more flexibility for owners, which helped to grow the popularity of timeshare.
During the 1990s, large hospitality brands such as Disney, Hilton, and Marriott joined the timeshare market, bringing a level of credibility to the industry that was lacking before their entry. These companies also offered more diversified vacation packages than their counterparts and appealed to a wider range of consumers.
Today, the timeshare industry has grown into an important component of the global economy and is estimated to account for $1.9 billion in direct labor income, $843 million in off-site spending, and 26,696 jobs, according to ARDA’s most recent State of the Industry report. Nevertheless, it has its fair share of challenges and issues that need to be addressed.
Aside from the obvious challenge of finding and retaining qualified employees, the industry is struggling to find ways to improve communication with its members. Moreover, the rise of digital payments is creating additional complications for companies that need to offer a variety of options for billing and payment.
Another concern for the industry is a rash of fraudulent companies that are seeking to take advantage of dissatisfied timeshare owners and evict them from their homes and properties. These companies often hire undercover investigators to approach disgruntled homeowners and lure them to renegotiate or walk away from their contracts.
Despite these challenges, timeshares are a solid investment for most owners, especially those who plan to use their property frequently and for long periods of time. Many timeshare owners are also pleased with their timeshares’ flexibility, as they are able to trade their vacation week for another at other resorts around the globe.
The timeshare industry continues to be a popular choice among upper-middle-income, middle-aged, and well-educated consumers. They are satisfied with their timeshares, and more than half say they would recommend it to others.
While COVID-19 has slowed the industry’s growth, there are signs that the industry is recovering and will return to its pre-pandemic levels of growth in 2020. This is possible because of the continued traction among millennials, which are becoming more and more frequent visitors to timeshare resorts.
It is also worth noting that while the industry has been hit hard by the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, many of its members are focusing on their recovery efforts and making plans to grow and increase revenue. Some are investing in additional marketing, while others are improving their customer service to ensure customers have a great experience with their timeshares.
In general, the timeshare industry is a mature, well-regulated business that has grown substantially over the years and offers many benefits to consumers. Its primary concerns are ensuring that its members are not being exploited by unscrupulous third-party exit companies, and advocating for consumer protection and legislative changes to help prevent future problems. It is also working to educate the public on the value of timeshares, as well as the experiences they can provide.