This month, over 3,000 industry professionals gathered at vacation ownership’s largest annual event, ARDA World 2014.
As mentioned previously, this year’s theme was “Next Gen”, a focus on the next generation of timeshare owners, products, distribution sources, and business models. As timeshare ownership continues to evolve, resorts and developers will need to adjust their business practices. At the same time, a new generation of travelers is beginning to think about investing in timeshare.
ARDA’s president and CEO Howard Nusbaum said, “We were excited to have so many people in our industry embrace this year’s theme and share their business approach about reaching the next generation. Learning from the best and brightest makes our industry poised to move forward together to reach the Millennial generation and continue to share why timeshare is a better way to vacation for so many travelers.”
ARDA World attendees learned from some of the industry’s biggest organizations. These speakers focused on maintaining a flexible product that can attract more than one type of consumer. Featured speakers included the CEOs from Disney Vacation Club, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Welk Resorts, and Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation.
President and CEO of Wyndham Vacation Ownership and ARDA Chairman, Franz Hanning shared, “Our developers are meeting the demands of the Millennial generation by providing more variety and flexibility in the products, as well as new ways to enhance the vacation experience.”
Welk Resorts shared that they have begun using social media to engage consumers. President of Welk Resorts Jon Fredericks commented, “Next Gen travelers increasingly rely on vacation opportunities where they can co-create their own experiences.”
Through social media, consumers can communicate with the resort before, during, and after their vacation. From Facebook to Twitter, more brands are creating an online presence in order to connect directly to the new generation of timeshare consumers.
President and CEO of Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation, Steve Weisz added, “The oldest of the Millennial generation turns 35 this year and is entering their prime family vacation years, making them an important audience to engage with about the benefits of traveling with timeshare.”
According to a recent Pew Research Study, 73% of adults are active on social media.
Senior VP and general manager of DVC, Ken Potrock said, “Clearly, technology is becoming more and more important when people make decisions about their travel. As an industry, we must continually enhance our use of online and social media to help our members engage with us —and with each other—in new and meaningful ways.”
To learn more about ARDA World 2014, visit ARDA.org.