Timeshare Convention Thought Leaders Look Toward Travel

Tuesday was another excellent and informative day at the American Resort Development Association Convention 2009.

American Resort Development Association.

In the General Session of the ARDA timeshare convention on Tuesday, we heard from the CEO’s of some of the leading timeshare development and vacation ownership companies. It was great to listen to them really drill down to what they see as the most important issues facing timeshares now and going forward.

The timeshare industry, albeit challenged by the economy and the slow credit market (just like nearly every other type of business in America today), is, in many ways, actually quite well positioned for the future. While there are exciting ideas for strengthening, growing, and generally rethinking the timeshare industry, today’s blog is focusing on the powerful linkage between travel and timeshare.

The travel industry is such a significant part of the US economic structure that it actually employs more people in this country than the auto manufacturers employ – an amazing one out of every eight Americans. As every overworked, under-vacationed person knows, travel and time for leisure is very important. Most people cover a surprising number of miles each year for work and non-vacation related personal reasons … and that type of travel is certainly necessary. But vacation travel is a necessity of a whole different kind. We take vacations because we want to; more importantly, we take them because our minds, bodies, and souls, need them!

Vacation travel gives us the opportunity to clear our heads, step away from our daily responsibilities, and reconnect with families and loved ones in fresh and exciting venues. Despite the economy, 54 percent of Americans in 2008 said they intended to go on a vacation. This year, that number is already up by another 10 percent. There is just too much information out there telling us that mentally and physically, vacationing is vital to our longevity, productivity, and overall well-being for us to eliminate it, even when personal budgets may be a tighter than usual. And the subject of travel, inevitably leads us back to the topic of timeshares, timeshare rentals, and timeshare resales.

Timeshare owners consistently report high rates of satisfaction with the product. Occupancy rates at timeshare resorts are strong. From any angle you view it, timeshare ownership or timeshare rentals offer affordable solutions for easy-to-plan, luxurious vacations. And the CEOs and thought leaders of the timeshare industry, speaking out at the ARDA Convention this week, recognize this connection as an important hinge pin that will help turn the timeshare industry away from its current economy-induced slump and into a profitable and promising future. As Stephen Weisz, president of Marriott Vacation Club International, assures, “timeshares will come back.”