ARDA Launches Vacation Ownership Sentiment Index to Better Track and Understand U.S. Travel Behaviors


American Resort Development Association (ARDA) has been working to better track and understand the behavior of travelers in the United States. Through this research, they have developed the Vacation Ownership Sentiment Index, which officially launched today.

This index provides continuous data and insights into the travel preferences of timeshare owners versus the average leisure traveler. It will help to measure the general heath of the overall leisure travel space.

“Domestic travel and tourism create economic growth, which is vital to our nation, states and local communities,” said Jason Gamel, president and CEO of ARDA. “Having a tool that gives industry stakeholders information on how leisure travelers think about, plan and take vacations will better equip them to anticipate future consumer behaviors and trends for this important economic sector.”

Since the initial launch in February 2023, there have been some takeaways, including:

  • Timeshare owners have a positive overall sentiment, indicating positive industry sentiment from owners.
  • Timeshare owners continue to have more of a positive attitude regarding leisure travel than a sample of general US travelers.
  • Timeshare owners remain more active travelers, get more enjoyment from vacations, and have higher expectations for future travel service quality.
  • For the fifth straight month of 2023, more than 75 percent of timeshare owners felt that their most recent vacation was significantly better than a typical vacation.

“The most significant insight from the index so far is that timeshare owners generally express more positive attitudes and behaviors,” said Gamel. “We know that’s because today’s timeshare products allow for flexibility in where owners go, for how long, and even provide the ability to take a cruise or embark on a different travel experience altogether. Additionally, timeshare by its very nature is built for times of uncertainty and high levels of inflation, meaning owners can continue to enjoy their vacations without concern for market pricing and other macroeconomic fluctuations.”

Additionally, the index revealed that timeshare owners are more likely to spend more time and money on vacation within the next six months compared to non-timeshare owners. Notably in October’s index, there was a 45 percent greater possibility that timeshare owners would spend more time on vacation over the next six months and 36 percent greater chance that they would spend more money locally than non-owners.

“Because owners have essentially pre-paid for vacations, they’re likely to take advantage of this by scheduling more vacations and/or spending more time on vacation,” said Gamel. “They’re also likely to spend more money during their vacation outside the resort, which means they create a positive impact in those local communities and businesses surrounding them.”

The future ARDA indexes will be released every month and will be posted here. Learn more about ARDA by visiting their website.