Hawaii Calling

Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club is one of Oahu's premiere
timeshare resorts
One thing about Hawaii - once you visit, it always seems to be on your mind, calling you to come back. The intense beauty of both land and sea, the flower scented trade winds, the inherent feeling of relaxation and peace linger on far after you return to your real world. Hawaii continues to be one of the world's most popular destinations with Americans leading the pack - about 6 million of us visit per year. Japan is second with 1.3 million visitors and Canada third at 800,000. Many are repeat visitors and many are owners or renters of timeshare.

Timeshare in Hawaii 

Timeshare is ideal for Hawaii vacationing. Visitors often stay anywhere from five to seven days on an island, and Hawaiian vacations often include multiple island stays, particularly for first time visitors who want to get a little taste of each island. Joe Toy, president and CEO of Hospitality Advisors, says that "after about eight visits, vacationers start to look at timeshares as alternative accommodations instead of hotels." Fortunately for them, there are timeshares on every island.

Vacationing in Hawaii is often a family event with parents, children, and other family members, or friends too. Timeshares have multiple bedrooms, multiple baths, and extra living space to accommodate groups.  Families often need to economize and timeshares always have a kitchen for cooking meals to avoid the cost of dining out. Included balconies and patios not only provide great views, but also add additional space. Timeshares offer conveniences such as washers and dryers, free parking, and concierge service. Generous onsite amenities include swimming pools, fitness centers, family activities, beach equipment and more.


Each island has its own unique characteristics and each has a variety of timeshare accommodations from luxurious to economy. Oahu makes up about half of the state's tourism market. Waikiki, with its storied past, is a big draw for Oahu, as is the historical Pearl Harbor. Though you'll find timeshares in Waikiki, it's nice to get further away from the tourists. Visit the world-famous surfing havens of the North Shore, or the beautiful beaches of Ko Olina where you’ll find Marriott's Ko Olina Resort and Disney's Aulani perfectly positioned on the leeward coast of Oahu. Both feature multiple pools, golfing, water sports, spas and five-star dining. 


For an exceptional timeshare experience, Maui has it all.  Visitors are drawn to the gorgeous Ka'anapali Beach, historical Lahaina, the many spectacular trails of Haleakala National Park and the precarious highway to Hana. Those who prefer luxury accommodations head to Ka'anapali to Hyatt Ka'anapali Beach where owners enjoy all the fabulous amenities of the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa. For affordable accommodations with all the comforts of home try the Sands of Kahana Vacation Club or Kahana Beach Resort on Maui's west coast.


The intense verdant beauty of the "Garden Isle" of Kauai is for those who enjoy a laid-back vibe and utter serenity. Friendly locals give visitors a taste of community life with farmer's markets, art walks and festivals open to all. Helicopter rides, kayaking, golfing, snorkeling and tours to the many movie sites are popular. Brave souls test their hiking skills and bravery on the ruggedly beautiful Napali Coast. The North Shore's Princeville, greener and wetter than other areas, is home to the popular timeshare resorts of Hanalei Bay Resort and Weston Princeville Ocean Resort Villas. The South Shore's sunny Poipu has the incredibly upscale Marriott Waiohai Beach Club - even if you can't afford to stay there, a walk-through is a must.


Home to volcanos, lush green coffee plantations, and calm, clear waters perfect for snorkeling, Hawaii, the "Big Island" is less visited than the others mentioned, but continues to grow in popularity. Offering affordable timeshare accommodations in Hawaii's main town of Kona, is Kona Islander. It has a great location across from a sandy beach, ocean views, and a short walk into Kona to restaurants, shops and nightlife. The more upscale Hilton Grand Vacations Club is located in the heart of picture-perfect Waikoloa. A haven for golfers, visitors also have an opportunity to visit an active volcano, a working coffee plantation or just relax beside one of the many gorgeous pools.   

New Legislation Set to Increase Timeshare Presence in Jamaica

Jamaica's Ministry of Tourism is pushing for more timeshare in the country. It's part of a long-term growth strategy to diversify Jamaica's tourism product, increase tourism, and favorably position Jamaica's tourism industry among its global competitors. Revenue estimates for global tourism indicate that the timeshare industry has consistently been one of the fastest growing tourism segments.

In a recent article in the Jamaica Observer, "Timeshare: Big Possibilities for Jamaica", Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, said, "the ministry plans an aggressive focus on tapping new innovations, products and trends in global tourism to boost Jamaica's appeal to more tourists from both traditional and non-traditional markets." It aims to keep pace with the global tourism trend of more segmented accommodations and services catering to the specific needs, wants or preferences of individual travelers. Bartlett sees timeshare as a perfect product to help achieve the ministry’s overall goals.

Jamaica Behind Other Caribbean Islands in Tourism

Though demand for Caribbean timeshare resorts among international tourists is greater than any other region in the world, Jamaica's share of the regional timeshare market is currently less than one per cent. According to Mr. Bartlett, one of the main reasons Jamaica's timeshare has lagged behind the other islands was an absence of a statutory framework. Now, with Jamaica's new Timeshare Vacation Act, enacted in May of this year, the country has a modern regulatory framework that lays the foundation for the country to make significant gains in timeshare development. 

Great Timeshare Destination

The Caribbean is a great timeshare destination for good reason. Its many gorgeous beaches of white sand and aquamarine waters, lush tropical landscapes, perfect weather, and variety of experiences, are the answer to every vacationers' dreams. Family-friendly vacations or romantic getaways can be equally accommodated. If you can't find your perfect activity, you're not looking very hard. The majority of timeshare resorts can be found in Aruba, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. Occidental Vacation Club, Hyatt, Wyndham, Westin, and Marriott are just a few with a major presence in the area.


ARDA, the American Resort Development Association, is making sure that these timeshare island paradises are protected. In 2008, ARDA-Caribbean was formed in response to the high demand as a travel destination for timeshare developers and owners. ARDA works collaboratively with local governments to ensure they have the tools to develop and maintain a healthy timeshare marketplace. The most important tool is to ensure appropriate timeshare laws and regulations to establish a framework for the growth of the industry while also protecting the owners' interests. ARDA-Caribbean supported the Jamaican government as they worked to develop their timeshare legislation. 

Learn more at:

Concept of Shared Accommodations Not New - Timeshare Started it All

Kauai Kailani, the U.S.'s first timeshare.
With all the attention given to home sharing services such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and others, one would think they had originated the concept of the sharing economy. The truth is timeshare started it all. 

Timesharing began in the mid-sixties in Europe with a French ski resort.  It offered the new concept of selling units for vacationing and used the slogan, "No need to rent the room; buy the hotel, it's cheaper." The first timeshare in the U.S., Kauai Kailani, began selling units in 1969. As timeshare grew in popularity, the concept of timeshare exchange was added. In 1974, RCI led the way by helping owners trade their week at their resort for a week at another resort. In the early 2000's, online timeshare rental companies such as RedWeek (now the largest online site), provided another benefit to owners, a safe and easy way to rent their timeshare. Timeshare revolutionized vacationing by giving vacationers more flexibility and control over the way they vacationed.

Sharing Services Risky Business?

Though companies like Airbnb and Homeaway have many fans, there has been criticism about these companies. The risk of booking through peer-to-peer listings, the lack of regulation and guarantees on what the host is like, or whether the properties meet safety requirements are a few of the issues. 

Recently, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors hit the home-sharing industry with a new bill requiring home-sharing services to remove listing for units that are not registered with the city's Office of Short-Term Rentals. The bill allows the city to fine sharing services not registered with the city, up to $1000 per listing. A study from financial services firm, Canaccord Genuity, says other cities are likely to follow San Francisco’s example resulting in a significant reduction of listings for these companies.

Timeshare Offers More

Though timeshare and sharing services both share some of the same concepts such as a variety and diversity of destinations and residence types, there are advantages that only timeshare offers. A big one is knowing what you are getting - the consistency of brand product, brand experience, and level of service that well-known timeshare companies such as Westin, Hilton and Marriott can be counted on to deliver. 

Timeshare resorts are owned and run by professionals, they have strict standards for accommodations and traveler experiences. They follow safety regulations and tax laws. Home sharing services may not even be aware of these practices and many sharers have no experience in the hospitality industry.

Another advantage of timesharing is the family orientation. Children who have grown up with a positive relationship of timeshare often carry on the legacy. 

Potential Distribution Channel for Timeshare Industry

One professional who sees a positive alignment of timeshare and sharing economy alternatives is ARDA President and CEO, Howard Nusbaum. He sees them as potential distribution channels when listings comply with timeshare standards. 

In a recent article in Hotel Management, he was quoted, "Homeaway and Expedia are members of ARDA. We have a program through VacayStay Connect where timeshare resorts can list their product on those sites and harmonize it with them, and I think we offer a better environment because you're not seeing somebody's family pictures, you don't feel like you're invading somebody's privacy, you don't have to worry about cleanliness, or health, or safety, and you still get that condo environment."

For more information, please visit www.hotelmanagement.net

Timeshare Big Contributor to the U.S. Economy

Owners and industry professionals are aware of timeshare's benefits to the consumers, but timeshare also has a huge impact on both local and national economy. The recently released report, 2016 Economic Impact of the Timeshare Industry on the U.S. Economy, from ARDA International Foundation's (AIF), provides impressive figures on the actual size of timeshare's impact.

"It is not just the vacationers that benefit from the timeshare industry," said Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA, in a recent press release. "This industry has a huge impact on local economies through jobs, spending by vacationers, and taxes."


The report, conducted by Ernst & Young, illustrates that timeshare's influence on the U.S. economy goes far beyond timeshare resorts. It includes the sales and marketing offices, corporate operations, construction of new resorts and renovation of existing resorts. It has significant effects on vacationers’ expenditures during timeshare stays. Here are a few of the highlights of the report.
  • Economic Output
79.5 billion in consumer and business spending
16% increase over 2013
  • Employmen
511,782 full and part-time jobs
8% increase over 2013
  • Labor Income
$28.1 billion in salaries and wages
19% increase over 2013
  • Consumer Spending
$10 billion total spending by timeshare vacationers
$3.4 billion onsite, $6.6 billion off-site

Everyone in the timeshare industry has real reason to feel proud of these achievements. Not only does the industry provide millions of people a perfect vacation year after year, and many private sector benefits, it also provides substantial tax contributions that are a source of revenue for federal, state and local governments - $10.2 billion in 2015, a 21% increase over 2013.

Timeshare in Brazil?

Many of us have always had a romantic image of Brazil. When the song "The Girl from Ipanema" came out we were seduced by thoughts of long lazy days on gorgeous beaches, with azure oceans and swaying palm trees, and nights of partying carnival style to throbbing Brazilian beats. But recently, our pleasant thoughts have been intruded upon by what the press says is reality in Brazil - Zika Virus, pollution, a high rate of street crime and corruption, and the recent impeachment of Brazil's president.

This year's chaotic Olympic Games have added more fuel to that tarnished image. Some Olympians have refused to compete in the games because of the doping scandals (no fault of Brazil), and the substandard facilities for athletes—clogged toilets, leaking pipes and exposed wires in the athletes' accommodations (definitely a Brazilian problem).  The boa constrictors, crocodiles, capybaras and burrowing owls on the Olympic Golf Course have not helped. So far, hotel and airline bookings have suffered, but last minute demand from regional and international buyers is expected to bolster sales.

A Beautiful Country 

Amidst the negativity, Brazil still remains a beautiful place of vast natural beauty, and the joyful spirt of Carnival prevails. With its many attractions - the vibrant nightlife, music and food of Rio, the great Amazon River and its wildlife, the pristine white beaches, and the clear, calm waters filled with colorful sea life - Brazil is still a popular destination and not to be missed. Throughout the enormous country there are paradisiacal landscapes, astounding rain forests, exuberant activities to try, and an impressive culture to explore. There is something for everyone to enjoy in Brazil. 

Timeshare in Brazil

With all that Brazil has to offer it’s an excellent choice for a timeshare vacation and timeshares offer the perfect accommodations for staying there. They are usually more spacious and often more luxurious than a hotel room, and outfitted with kitchens, living rooms and multiple bathrooms. A family or group of friends can stay for weeks in complete comfort and also save money. Onsite amenities offer great perks - concierge service, pools and spas, laundry facilities and the ability to communicate with other timesharers who offer valuable suggestions and insider tips about activities, restaurants and the customs of the country.

Where to Stay

A good place to start your timeshare search is exchange and rental sites, as well as user group sites like RedWeek, of course! As an example, one of the resorts listed on several of the sites was the Marina Palace, a high rise rated 4 ½ stars, located in an upscale section of Rio across from Ipanema beach. It's family friendly, loaded with amenities and near to many attractions. Westin, Sheraton and Starwood have resorts in Rio and other cities across Brazil. You’re sure to find just the right timeshare for your Brazil vacation. 

To get started, consider checking out these sites:

Youth and Diversity Top Influencers

It seems that for most industries, reaching youth and diversity demographics are at the top of their marketing efforts, and many think that millennials are the most important demographic influencers to reach. Even politicians consider it a primary concern - Ivanka Trump, a millennial woman herself, introduced her father at the convention last week.  Early in her speech, she emphasized that as a millennial, she doesn't follow the status quo, but votes her conscience.

Companies are eager to understand the traits of and quirks of millennials. Taco Bell recently incorporated a company feature at its headquarters called, "Millennial Word of the Week". The words are curated by a group of employees in their twenties. The purpose - to keep its employees up on the lingo of Millennials to better communicate with their young customers. 

Timeshare Reflects the Trend

Timeshare is no exception to the trend. Our industry is also reflecting a different age and diversity. The profile of the new owner has changed. Information from ARDA International Foundation's (AIF) newly released Shared Vacation Ownership Study shows that new owners are younger, have higher-incomes than current owners, and are more culturally diverse. Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA, attributes the increase in timeshare sales (another positive in the study) to the new owners, "While existing owners continue to enjoy the lifestyle and purchase more timeshare, it's the new owners that are responsible for the majority of qualified sales".

What's changed?

  • Age: New owners are nearly 10 years younger than typical timeshare owners. Millennials actually give way to Gen X'ers here. Millennials, with a median age of 39 years, represent 30% of new owners. Gen X'ers represent 39% of new owners.
  • Ethnicity: Forty-two percent of new owners are African American or Hispanic. 
  • Education: New owners are highly educated. Seventy-two percent are college graduates and 23% of those have graduate degrees.
  • Income: The new owner has a median household income of $94,800 and disposable income to spare. Forty-seven percent made just a single payment to cover their purchase. Fifty-seven percent spent $10,000 or more on their timeshare.
  • Value: New owners are savvy consumers. They value long-term vacation savings and flexibility in timeshare. Thirty-six percent purchased timeshare to save on vacations and 31% bought for the flexibility timeshare offers. Seventy-five percent had some form of interaction with a timeshare resort before purchasing including staying as a guest at the resort where they bought or rented first. Before making a decision 35% attended multiple sales presentations.

Find more information at www.arda.org/foundation.

State of the Industry: 6th Year of Growth!

The 2015 numbers are in and we are pleased to announce another great year of substantial growth in our industry! Here are some highlights from the 2016 State of the Timeshare Industry Study conducted by Ernst and Young for ARDA International Foundation (AIF).

Sales Volume $8.6 Billion

Sales volume rose by nine percent in 2015 from $7.9 billion in 2014 to $8.6 billion in 2015. That’s the second largest increase percentage-wise since the recession!

Timeshare Resorts in U.S. at High of 1,547

In 2015 there were 1,547 timeshare resorts in the U.S. representing about 200,720 units. The average resort size was 130 units. Occupancy rates were up to nearly 80 percent, a two percent increase.  In comparison, the hotel occupancy rate was only 66 percent. Vacationers are loving their timeshares!

Average Sales Price for Timeshare at $22,240

That's a nine percent increase over 2014. Howard Nusbaum, President and CEO of ARDA was thrilled with our industry's performance in 2015 and said in a recent press release, "Timeshare offers a flexible vacation experience anywhere in the world. And with over 70% of the properties being two or more bedrooms, families are enjoying the space for everyone to actually relax and the privacy for individual or group time while on vacation."

Interesting Facts Quiz

Here’s a quiz to test your knowledge of the industry and see if you know the answers to some of the other interesting findings from the study. Don’t look at the answers before you choose!
  1. What is the most common type of resort? 
  2. Which resort has the highest occupancy?
  3. What state has the most resorts?
  4. What state has both the highest average occupancy and highest maintenance fees?
  5. What region has the lowest average maintenance fees?
  6. What state has the largest resorts?

Answers to Quiz

  1. Beach Resorts
  2. Theme Park Resorts
  3. Florida
  4. Hawaii
  5. Northeast ($690 per interval)
  6. Nevada (230 units on average)

For even more information, see ARDA's State of the Industry infographic at www.arda.org/foundation.

A Look at the Big Picture - Sale of Diamond Resorts

Mergers and acquisitions continue in the timeshare industry, and the most recent involves Diamond Resorts International Incorporated. On June 29th, private equity firm Apollo Global Management announced a $2.2 billion agreement to acquire Diamond and its network of 420 properties in 35 countries.  

Win-Win for Both Companies

The deal appears to be a win-win for both Apollo and Diamond. Following the announcement, Apollo’s stock rose 23.7% to $29.79. Apollo has been on an acquisition spree this year of more than $1 billion, buying among other entities, the grocer Fresh Market, Incorporated. Apollo's hospitality interests currently include a large amount of stock in Caesar's Entertainment Corporation and Norwegian Cruise Line. Last year, Apollo sold its Great Wolf Resorts to Centerbridge Partners LP.

The all-cash agreement valued Diamond at $30.25 per share, a 26% premium over its Tuesday closing price. It's a strong testament to the business acumen of Stephen Cloobeck, Diamond's founder and chairman, who owns about a quarter of the company's stock. His shares rose by $60 million after the announcement. Cloobeck created Diamond in 2007 and is credited with coming up with Diamond's unique points-based system which allows customers to buy points to use in several select vacation destinations. Under his direction, Diamond’s annual revenue rose from $371 million in 2010 to $954 million in 2015.  Said Apollo partner David Palmer:

 "The management team and Diamond's more than 8,000 team members have built an amazing customer-centric business with a great reputation that delivers award-winning hospitality experiences at great value."

Even More Deals

The Diamond/Apollo deal follows this year's industry trend of mergers and acquisitions beginning with the merger of Starwood with Marriott. Starwood sold Vistana Signature Experiences, its timeshare business, to timeshare and exchange business Interval Leisure Group for $1.5 billion.  Diamond acquired Intrawest Resort Club Group for $85 million. Just last Wednesday, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Incorporated announced that it filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to spin off its timeshare business, Hilton Grand Vacations, into a publically-traded company. 

Is the Industry Changing?

ARDA's "2015 edition of the State of the U.S. Vacation Timeshare Industry" may have some of the answers to that question. The report gives proof that the industry is thriving. Sales volume increased almost 25% since 2010 with an average annual growth of 6%. ARDA's results for 2015 are expected soon, and President and CEO Howard says the year 2014 shows the fifth consecutive year of sales increases in the industry. Reported sales grew by 4% to $7.9 billion in total sales in North America. 

Strong Growth Motivates

The healthy growth seems to be motivating big players such as Marriott Vacation Club, Breckenridge Grand Vacations and Welk Resorts to add new properties, and to bring new entrants into the market such as U.S. based Tropicana Entertainment. According to an article in Hotel Interactive, "Transformative Timeshare Market", other influences on market growth could include the move into different markets such as the urban market, new and different travel opportunities such as experiential travel, the changing demographics of the timeshare buyer and the willingness of companies to cater to their needs. Whatever the reason for the current state of the industry, it's all good right now! 

For more information:

Is Timeshare Popular in Costa Rica?

Breeze Private Residences Club, a timeshare resort
located in Playa del Coco, Costa Rica
One would certainly think so - just google it and you’ll see major timeshare companies such as Marriott and Wyndham featuring locations in Costa Rica, and major exchange companies such as RCI and II advertising their Costa Rica properties. And why wouldn’t it be popular - Costa Rica is one of the most stunning and unique countries, close to the U.S., and appealing to tourists, particularly millennials and families, because of its many offerings. 

Why the Popularity?

Everywhere you travel in Costa Rica, you'll see the expression “Pura Vida” emblazoned on billboards, resorts, t-shirts and souvenirs.  It's a common saying among locals which simply put, means "pure life", but it's more than that to the people of Costa Rica. The real meaning is more to remember to enjoy what you have, because there is always someone less fortunate than yourself. Life is short and we are all here together, so enjoy it! And there are many things to enjoy in Costa Rica.

One of the reasons Costa Rica is a top tourism destination is because of the vast diversity of its landscape. Its many ecosytems, range from rainforests with exotic flora and fauna, to pristine beaches with excellent surfing, and diving, from lush highlands that grow the best coffee in the world, to still active majestic volcanoes surrounded by gorgeous trails for hiking and mountain biking.  All ensure visitors never run out of adventures.

Something For Everyone

Millennials can find all the adventure and thrills that they crave - see the country from above by zip-lining or taking a canopy walk over the rainforests, experience white water rafting on world-class rapids, scuba dive, kayak, sky dive and pretty much any adventure aspired to can usually be found.

Families enjoy many national parks and attractions such as the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a private wildlife refuge where visitors can feed toucans, and hummingbirds by hand, release newly hatched butterflies and get up close to jaguars and red-eyed leaf frogs. A visit to the Po├ís Volcano in Arenal Volcano National Park is an educational experience for everyone. Visitors can learn all about how a volcano is made, and then hike up to the crater to see the actual caldera and sulfur pool. 

Popular for anyone are the abundant spas and retreats where tired visitors can refresh and repair mind, body and spirit. Take your pick of wellness retreat, holistic or luxury spa, featuring specialty massages, facials, yoga, aromatherapy and a soak in a hot tub or natural hot springs. 

Ideal for Timeshare

Since you need as much time as possible to see all there is to see and do all there is to do in Costa Rica, visitors usually spend more time vacationing, from two to four weeks on average. Often traveling with family and friends, timeshare is a welcome respite. There's enough room to spread out, kitchens to cook money-saving meals, a place to wash clothes well used from all the activities, and opportunities to mingle with other owners and renters to share travel tips and comradery. Costa Rica is a perfect place for timeshare.

Britain Leaves the European Union - How Will it Affect the Timeshare Industry?

On June 24th, major banks took a pounding and stocks plummeted when the Brexit referendum passed. Brits voted 51.9% to leave the EU and 48.1% to stay. Naturally, our thoughts turned to how it would affect timeshare and travel. 

The Good News

The good news is that in the short-term the drop in the pound precipitated by Brexit will benefit American tourists. Americans can expect huge price breaks in the UK - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland this summer. That's according to a Detroit Free Press article that said, "normally Americans pay $1.50 per British pound, but after Brexit, the cost was $1.37 per pound, a 30-year low". British tourism data reports Americans make up 9% of all tourists visiting Britain and spend the most—= - 3 billion pounds in 2015. And it doesn’t stop there - the euro also fell after the vote. It now costs $1.10 to buy one euro. Most of Europe is now a good deal for Americans.

After the vote on June 24th, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) issued this statement, "Travel to, from and within the EU and UK will not be affected in the short-term. The Lisbon Treaty allows a two year period of negotiation once the UK formally states its intention to leave the EU and this period could be extended by an agreement of all parties. During this period the legislation around Travel & Tourism will remain the same."

David Scowsill, President & CEO of WTTC, said, "We are entering a period of market uncertainty which will undoubtedly put pressure on Travel & Tourism businesses, however we know that our sector is resilient and we expect business and leisure travel to hold up in the face of these challenges."

Affect on Timeshare

As of now, it doesn't look like Brexit will directly affect the timeshare industry in the U.S. The UK, however, is a different story. An April blog post from Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket®, a leading European timeshare resale company, outlined several ways the referendum could affect timeshare owners and travelers. It may have unexpected implications on timeshares UK citizens pay for in other EU countries. The currency fluctuations could also impact UK timeshare owners' annual management fees, the UK's free health care options for travelers and EU passenger rights and airfares.  

EU Timeshare Directive 

The WorldWide Timeshare Hypermarket® blog speculated that "the inconsistences between the UK and the EU on timeshare regulations may provide disincentives for UK consumers to purchase timeshare resorts outside of the UK". Before Brexit, "consumers were protected by the EU timeshare directive which benefits UK citizens considering purchasing timeshare in the EU as well as organizations owning, managing or selling timeshare. Now, owners may be exempt from the EU timeshare directive and at risk of losing protection, unless the Prime Minister secures assurances from the EU for UK timeshare owners." As you know, here in the US each state has a set of laws governing timeshare and they can vary from state to state. We wish the UK the best in this time of change.

Summer Airline Travel Will Be Challenging

Flying to your vacation destination may not be the best way to travel this summer. All indicators point to a record number of summer fliers and a long list of problems to follow. TSA staffing shortages and fewer than expected PreCheck signups (meant to shorten wait lines) have already left many airline travelers standing in line for hours. 

Security procedures were recently tightened when federal auditors managed to get fake bombs and weapons past screeners during a security test. The June 12th attack in Orlando brings even more aggressive security measures. Travelers are advised to get to the airport two hours early for domestic travel and three hours for international travel. 

Not Just the Lines...

Baggage Fees

Other issues compound the annoyance and inconvenience of flying. The high cost of baggage fees can add more expense to your trip. A recent check of airlines showed both American and Delta with baggage fees of $25 for the first bag, $35 for the second and additional bags $125- $200 each.

Of course carry-on bags are free, and that's fine for some who have mastered the fine art of squeezing everything needed for a seven day trip into a smaller bag. But the struggle of finding an overhead bin that's got any space to fit the bag, and lifting the bag in and out the bin and hauling it around the airport just doesn't cut it for everyone.

Extra Fees

Paying for checked bags, meals, food, entertainment, and even pillows and blankets, once free to all fliers, quickly add to flight costs. Apparently, these fees were started in 2008 as a way to counteract the rising cost of jet fuel, and the economic disaster after 9/11, but now airlines are making money. One would hope the fees would go away, but they haven't yet.

Comfort Issues

Comfortable flight? Hardly. We all know we can pay extra for comfort by buying business class or first class tickets, but some travelers are required to pay for an additional seat if they are deemed too large for the standard seating arrangements. Who decides who is too big for the seat? It can cause some very sensitive issues and most people confronted with this have just gone along with paying for another seat rather than causing a scene. 

Maybe it’s Time for a Road Trip...

Avoid the problems of flying this summer. Timeshares offers many great drive-to locations and though you may get into some traffic, you can go on your own time schedule and set your own course. You won't have to deal with the tangle of airline setbacks and delays.

Owners on the West Coast can find outstanding summer deals in Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Phoenix. The California coast is beautiful and offers many beachfront timeshare opportunities. Lake Tahoe is a favorite timeshare location and a quick drive from the Los Angeles area.

Owners on the Eastern Seaboard have Florida, Hilton Head, New York and more.  Popular ski resorts in both areas are perfect for family summer vacationing (no long ski lift lines!) with hiking, biking, river rafting and other activities. Have a stress-free summer vacation! 

If you’d like to express your views on airline travel, contact us at Timeshare Info.

Is Gaming a Draw for Timeshare Owners?

Some in Northern New Jersey think so and if a ballot question is approved by voters on November 3, there will be two new casinos in the area. Voters will be asked whether to amend the state constitution to repeal a provision that limits casinos only in Atlantic City. The approval could bode well for New Jersey's timeshare industry, which has suffered from being clustered in struggling Atlantic City. Atlantic City has lost half of its casino revenue to competitors in neighboring states. Some of the new casino revenues may be used to aid Atlantic City's floundering economy and casino business.   

The timeshare developments, possibly to be built in the Meadowlands sports complex where the New York Jets and Giants play, and in Jersey City, will offer more affordable lodgings with easy access to New York City and its attractions.

Pros and Cons

A recent article in The Real Deal, "Timeshare Trials and Tribulations" says those in favor of the referendum claim the revenue-sharing would help Atlantic City casinos, bring more visitors to a rejuvenated resort destination and make its timeshare resorts more attractive to potential owners and guests.

New Jersey attorney, Vincas Vyzas, says local timeshares now promote their proximity to the seashore and gambling, but many people want other activities. Perhaps better to promote would be the proximity of the new timeshare resorts to New York and Philadelphia for easy access to alternative activities, like day trips to museums, parks, concerts and theater. 

New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie, who is against the referendum, says, "Atlantic City is headed for a disaster, and north Jersey gaming is headed for defeat."

Another opposed to the diversion of funds from the new casinos to aid Atlantic City, is Andrew Mulvihill, chief executive officer of Crystal Springs Resort Real Estate in Vernon, New Jersey. Quoted in the Real Deal article he said, "I don’t believe the proliferation of gaming into Northern New Jersey will have any impact on increasing the number of timesharing offerings in New Jersey. The main players are promoting locations next to Manhattan in very urban settings that are more industrial than commercial."

Las Vegas Positive Example

For an example of the positive effects of gaming on the timeshare industry, just look at Las Vegas with its numerous timeshares. Along with the attraction of the casinos, the popularity is due in part to the perfect accommodations timeshares offer for Las Vegas vacationing. Families and friends can vacation together in comfort and still have privacy. Timeshares have the winning combination of home-like accommodations along with resort-style amenities. Activities to satisfy both adults and kids are onsite. All are located in close proximity to the casinos, and a few like Westgate even have casinos onsite.

Keep Competitive With Mobile Apps

Does it seem like there is a new technology innovation popping up daily in our world? Every industry is affected by technology, and timeshare is no exception. Anything that makes it easier, faster and more convenient to travel is key. Owners and guests are using their mobile devices to get what they want from the travel experience. The use of travel mobile apps for smartphones and tablets to explore areas and activities, book reservations, control in-room features, and carry out resort transactions, are a few of the ways mobile apps are used.

Gain an Edge on the Competition

"Incorporating an app-driven experience into your resort service strategy can be a key differentiator in attracting and retaining visitors and potential owners," says Christine Ciccone, vice president of online marketing at RCI. Apps can provide a better customer service experience. They can be a great way to explore the property and showcase the location and amenities with vivid video images, one of the fastest-growing trends on social media. According to Jessen O’Brien in his article, "The Power of Video" in Ventures magazine, statistics show that both Facebook and Snapchat have recently recorded eight billion daily video views.

Use Apps for Resort Transactions

Mobile apps such as Oombaga make it convenient for owners to take care of business seamlessly via their mobile devices. Owners use the mobile app to pay maintenance fees, make reservations and carry out various resort transactions. They can choose float assignments, exchange, rent and book their time all in one place through mobile interfaces, websites, emails and instant messaging. Taking care of business has never been easier.

Personalize and Add Value to the Owner Experience

Resort apps are a way to personalize the resort experience for owners and potential owners and to highlight the resort's special offerings. It may be as simple as a greeting using the owner's name whenever they download the app. It can be used to keep owners aware of special promotions and new activities, or include a chat function that makes it easy to ask questions and get quick responses. Apps provide immediate information relevant to the resort area such as weather information, particularly important in ski areas when the amount of snow is a big factor.

The information an app can provide is endless. It's a perfect tool for the timeshare industry. A recent Skift's trends report, The Future of Messaging Technology in the Travel Industry states, "As their customers adopt new ways to communicate, resorts and hotels must do the same. With upward of 2.5 billion people using messaging platforms, the vacation industry needs to ensure that it is meeting consumer demand for this form of communication."

When Are Timeshare Owners Vacationing?

Is there a particular time of year that most owners are using their timeshares? We found that just like other vacationers, timeshare owners are dependent on their life circumstances to determine when they vacation. There is another factor though that is exclusive to timeshare - the type of timeshare plan.

Life Circumstances 

  • Owners with families are likely to make their vacation plans around school schedules - summer, spring and winter, school holidays. Year-round school schedules can add other options for vacationing.
  • Business circumstances play a large part in decision making. People who are employed have to plan vacations well in advance. Companies may have regulations on when employees can vacation.  A recent trend noted is to book a timeshare around a company conference, or when calling on clients. It's nice to have a comfortable timeshare to come home to after a day of stressful work. You may be able to combine business with pleasure and use a few vacation days.
  • Generally retirees have more flexibility in choosing vacation months. Retirement can be the perfect time to take advantage of the many timeshare options.
  • Special activities or special events can be another factor in vacation decisions. Skiers want to vacation in the winter months and look for timeshares in ski resorts. A horse racing enthusiast may want to book resorts where major racing events are taking place.
  • Where you live full-time plays a big part in vacationing choices. Those that live in colder climates want to escape in winter to sunny resort areas - those living in desert areas want to leave the summer heat for cooler beach areas. 

Type of Timeshare Plan

The particular timeshare plan owned affects the choice of vacations and times that can reserved. Vacation clubs and points programs require advanced bookings and the willingness on an owner's part to work a little harder in monitoring availabilities and planning vacations well in advance. 

By owning multiple properties in different areas, vacation clubs increase their variety of vacation options. There is an initial cost to join and an annual fee. Points programs offer multiple resort choices too. Members buy a membership and receive a number of points every year. They can exchange the points for participating resorts. There is an annual maintenance fee.

Exchange companies are another way to find flexibility in vacationing. It requires the owner to deposit a week with the exchange company. As others deposit their weeks and resorts deposit unsold weeks, the exchange company builds up inventory of exchangeable weeks. Exchanging works particularly well if the owner is willing to vacation in off seasons when inventory is more available.

Timeshare Advantage

Take the advice of VacationBetter.org and others - it isn't just where you vacation that matters, what really matters is that you take a vacation. Americans are not taking their vacation time and it's not good for their health and well-being. Timeshare guarantees regular vacation time away with all the relaxing and rejuvenating benefits of vacationing.