In the ever-evolving landscape of vacation ownership, staying attuned to the pulse of traveler sentiments is paramount. Enter the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), a trailblazer in unraveling the intricacies of traveler behavior in the United States with their Vacation Ownership Sentiment Index—a groundbreaking initiative poised to reshape our understanding of timeshare owners’ travel preferences in comparison to the average leisure traveler.
ARDA’s Vision: Mapping the Traveler’s Mind
“Domestic travel and tourism create economic growth, vital to our nation, states, and local communities,” emphasizes Jason Gamel, President and CEO of ARDA. “Having a tool that gives industry stakeholders insights into how leisure travelers think about, plan, and take vacations equips them to anticipate future consumer behaviors and trends.”
Unveiling the Insights: Journey Since February 2023
Since its debut in February 2023, the Vacation Ownership Sentiment Index has been more than just a barometer; it’s a compass navigating the currents of traveler attitudes. Here are some compelling takeaways:
Positive Vibes: Owners’ Sentiment
Timeshare owners emerge as torchbearers of positivity, reflecting an upbeat sentiment within the industry. “The most significant insight from the index so far is that timeshare owners generally express more positive attitudes and behaviors,” notes Gamel.
Travel Enthusiasts: Active Timeshare Owners
Timeshare owners exhibit not only a positive attitude but also a more active travel lifestyle. Their vacations are not just getaways; they are immersive experiences laden with enjoyment. “Timeshare owners remain more active travelers, get more enjoyment from vacations, and have higher expectations for future travel service quality,” adds Gamel.
Consistent Excellence: Vacation Satisfaction
For the fifth consecutive month in 2023, over 75 per cent of timeshare owners perceived their recent vacation as notably superior to a typical one. This consistent trend underlines the enduring appeal and satisfaction derived from timeshare experiences.
Flexibility Amidst Uncertainty
“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,” highlights Gamel. This adaptability positions timeshare ownership as a resilient choice in times of uncertainty and economic fluctuations.
Economic Catalysts: Local Spending Impact
The index uncovers a remarkable facet: timeshare owners are more inclined to invest time and money in their upcoming vacations compared to non-owners. In October, there was a staggering 45 per cent greater likelihood that timeshare owners would spend more time on vacation and a substantial 36 per cent greater chance that they would allocate more funds locally than their counterparts.
Strategic Spending: The Owners’ Advantage
“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,” notes Gamel. This pre-payment dynamic, intrinsic to timeshare ownership, extends beyond the resort, generating a positive impact on local communities and businesses.
Forward Momentum: Monthly Index Releases
The journey doesn’t end here. ARDA’s commitment to unraveling travel intricacies continues with the promise of monthly releases of the Vacation Ownership Sentiment Index. The insights derived will be a lodestar for industry professionals, offering a nuanced understanding of evolving trends.
For those eager to stay abreast of these insights, the future ARDA indexes will be regularly posted here. Dive deeper into the evolving landscape of vacation ownership by exploring the ARDA website.
At Inside Hospitality Solutions, we celebrate initiatives like ARDA’s that elevate the understanding of industry dynamics. Stay tuned for more updates, insights, and innovations as we navigate the currents of the ever-evolving hospitality landscape together!
Do you have any industry knowledge, experience, or news you’d like to share? Why not send us your press releases, survey results, news, and articles? We will review them and may publish them on the IHS website Just complete the contact form and get in touch.