The timeshare industry is one of the most successful and profitable vacation products in the world. While it may have some challenges in some sectors, such as financial lending and marketing resources for independent developers, the industry is thriving at present.
There are several different types of timeshares available. These include deeded, right-to-use and points-based timeshares. Each type has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to know what is best for you before making a purchase decision.
Today, more than 5,000 resorts worldwide are affiliated with the industry. Most are located outside of urban areas, so they appeal to the growing number of Americans who still prefer nature destinations with outdoor, social-distance friendly activities (Resort Condominiums International, 2007).
In the United States, timeshare sales hit a record $3.7 billion in 1999. In the past decade, a number of large hospitality corporations have taken notice, including Marriott Vacations Worldwide, Sheraton Hotels, Westin Hotels and Hyatt Resorts.
These companies have merged or acquired other timeshare providers, transforming the industry in ways that allow them to better compete with traditional resort brands. As of 2021, the combined companies own or manage nearly 5,000 timeshare properties in North America alone.
The timeshare industry has a long history in the United States, and it is considered one of the country’s most successful industries by both government and tourism agencies. It is often compared to the hotel industry, and its growth has been sustained throughout economic recessions, inflation and political unrest.
Timeshare industry executives say the industry is a great match for leisure travelers who want to stay in a high-quality resort. ‘They are looking for a larger, more luxurious property with a lot of space and amenities’, said a senior executive with a large timeshare company.
They also want to have access to a variety of travel options, which is why they are interested in timeshares. ‘It allows them to go to a variety of places, without worrying about the cost of each stay’, said another executive from a timeshare developer.
Despite the negative press that timeshares received in their early years, they have remained popular with consumers. Some even say that their image has improved, largely due to the industry’s efforts to clean up its own practices and develop relationships with major hotel and other hospitality companies.
While the industry’s early growth was marred by failures, a few of which occurred from the 1980s to the 1990s, it has continued to grow as the product has diversified. The industry has benefited from innovations like the exchange system, which lets owners trade their timeshares to other properties and destinations around the world.
The industry is a strong and growing market, and is expected to continue to expand into new markets. Currently, the industry has about 6.7 million members worldwide.
Many of these members are in the Baby Boomer age group, which accounts for about 35% of timeshare ownership. This demographic is an excellent target market for the industry, and it is vital for the industry to adapt to their needs.