In the early 2000’s, timeshare began to lose some of the gains in made in the late 1990’s. The 90’s were a great time for timesharing, with resorts seeing increases in profitability and property ownership, and it seemed as though timeshare was finally beginning to emerge from the dark cloud of dishonest salespersons, one-star resorts and false promises that tarnished their reputation during the development boom of the 1980’s. As of 2000, resort occupancies were down and the values for properties, as well as room rates, were on a decline.
With the new involvement of companies like Marriott, Disney and Hilton to the timeshare market, the baby boomers and empty-nesters have started paying attention and trying their hand at vacation ownership. It seems as though this group may be single-handedly saving the sinking timeshare ship, as 31% of recent timeshare buyers have children over the age of 18. The average age of recent time share buyers is 52 years old, and their average median income is $74,000 per year.
This new timeshare demographic is looking for a vacation that has options, while also suiting their lifestyle needs. In addition to having the security of deeded timeshare week(s), they have the ability to take advantage of last-minute deals and offers, which further enhances their vacation ownership. These are well-informed consumers that have done hours of research before committing to a timeshare purchase, attending an average of 2.6 timeshare presentations before purchasing. Positive referrals from this group is just going to continue to enhance the market for years to come.
Source: Resort Timeshare Consumers: Who They Are, Why They Buy, 2006 Edition ARDA International Foundation (AIF)