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Major Change Underway in Industry Sales Approach

September 30, 2011

WASHINGTON – September 30, 2011 – The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) reports that a majority of its member companies now offer rental programs as a great way to experience the timeshare vacation lifestyle.  And nearly half of timeshare purchasers rented first, according research conducted by Ernst & Young.

This represents a significant shift in the way vacationers purchase timeshare vacations.  With more than 5,000 timeshare resorts in 100 countries and the many benefits of owning a timeshare property, more consumers are exploring their options.  ARDA offers a few tips for would-be purchasers when in the market for a timeshare.  In addition to renting, ARDA recommends taking a mini-vacation, finding a location you love and doing your research.

“We developed VacationBetter.org as a resource to help consumers learn about the value of taking regular vacations and to share why vacation with timeshare is a better vacation,” said Nusbaum.  “We encourage people who enjoy vacation, want to get more ‘bang for their buck’ and have the comforts of home to visit the site.”

TIPS:

Try before you buy. There are many ways for vacationers to ensure the right timeshare rental to meet their travel needs. Rentals can be found at aggregated sites such as www.redweek.com and www.tug2.net, as well as with many timeshare developers that may be offering rental packages.

Take a tour or a mini-vacation. Most developers offer interested vacationers an opportunity to stay at their resort for a very reduced rate in exchange for learning about and touring the property.  Contact the developers you are interested in to arrange this.

Choose a vacation and a location that fits your lifestyle. Think carefully about what you value most in a vacation and travel experience, then explore the wide variety of vacation ownership products and options available. Many developers offer points systems and the ability to exchange from your home property to others around the world.  But be sure to visit that home property to ensure that it’s the best location and has the best amenities – for you and your family.

Be an informed consumer. Learn about the various types of shared ownership, from timeshares to private residence clubs.  There is something for everyone.  Also, learn about the marketplace you are purchasing in.   Individual state timeshare laws govern the purchase process.  These laws usually address such issues as financial requirements for the developer, rescission rights, disclosures about the resort for consumers, and provisions for resort management.  Be careful when purchasing a vacation product that sounds like a timeshare but isn’t registered as one under state timeshare laws.

“We have always recommended to prospective buyers to first pick a timeshare that they will use often over the years,” says Ed Hastry, President, National Timeshare Owners Association.  “The week and number of bedrooms is also important.  We recommend they rent a week before buying to see if they like the timeshare and if it has all the amenities they are looking for.”

Timeshare can be a much better way to spend your vacations.  Take the time to find out how. Visit www.VacationBetter.org for more information.

 


The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries.  Established in 1969, ARDA today has almost 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate.  The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit www.arda.org or ARDA’s consumer website at www.VacationBetter.org.

Why Timeshare Occupancy is Outpacing Hotel Occupancy by 21 Percent*

August 2, 2011

WASHINGTON – August 2, 2011 – Another hot summer has many would-be vacationers trying to figure out how to get the most from their time off.  Nearly eight million timeshare owners would encourage them to try vacationing with timeshare.  With a satisfaction rate of 85 percent and an occupancy rate that outpaced hotel occupancy by over 20 percent*, a timeshare vacation may be the ideal solution for maximizing vacation time.

The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) has found that many consumers are often stressed by vacation planning, agreeing on the destination, cost, available activities and the uncertainty of knowing what your room will look like.  Timeshare vacations can help to alleviate that stress, but how do you know if they are right for you?   To help determine if a timeshare vacation is a good fit for some travelers, ARDA has created a checklist to help consumers make an educated decision.

“If you’re the kind of vacationer who is happy spending a week at Grandma’s house or taking short trips to the local lake, timeshare vacations may not be right for you,” said Howard Nusbaum, CEO and president of ARDA.  “But for people that put a priority on regular getaways, the value of a timeshare is unmatched.”

Should Your Next Vacation Be a Timeshare Vacation?  A Checklist

  • Do you want more bang for your buck? If you compare a typical family vacation spent in a hotel to one spent in a timeshare, the hotel vacation tends to cost more – between eating every meal out and the price of two or more rooms to accommodate an entire family, the value of a timeshare vacation is unbeatable.
  • Do you enjoy beautiful locations? Ranging from mountaintop chalets to beachfront resorts, timeshare offers destinations around the world.  And with the ability to trade from your home resort, you can choose to visit that same destination you love each year or try a variety of other resorts.
  • Do you like the comforts of home? With timeshare, you have plenty of space for the family to relax and spend time together.  As timeshare units typically feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and a full-sized kitchen, a timeshare resort provides both the comforts of home along with the amenities you’d expect at resort destinations.
  • Do you want to take the hassle out of planning each vacation? When you travel with timeshare, there are no surprises. It takes the stress out of planning a vacation while ensuring that every traveler’s vacation desires are met.
  • Do you value the benefits of taking a vacation? From medical doctors to wellness gurus, more experts suggest that taking time off from the stresses of daily life is good for you.  The prepaid nature of timeshare vacations ensures that you are committing to a regular vacation at least once every year.

Today, there are more than 5,00 timeshare resorts in 100 countries and many resorts offer rental programs or packages which offer a great opportunity to experience a timeshare vacation. “I encourage anyone who answered yes to the checklist questions to try out a timeshare vacation,” said Nusbaum. “It’s a better way to vacation.”

Visit www.VacationBetter.org for more information.

*State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry Study 2011, conducted by Ernst & Young LLP.

About ARDA:
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries.  Established in 1969, ARDA today has over 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate.  The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit www.arda.org or ARDA’s consumer website at www.VacationBetter.org.

Family Vacations, Group Getaways are on the Rise

May 23, 2011

Washington, DC – May 23 2011 – As families across America celebrate the opening of summer with the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, many utilize the time to begin their summer travel plans. The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) points to recent surveys as indicators of a busy summer for the travel industry:  more people are planning to travel this year than the previous year, vacationing with family members is a top priority and group getaways are on the rise.

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site, conducted a recent survey which showed 83 percent of respondents are planning at least one family vacation this year, a four percent increase from 2010. While 59 percent of Americans are planning a trip this summer, up from 51 percent in 2010, according to an American Express Company Survey .  That same survey also found vacationing consumers plan to take an average of two week-long vacations, spending an average of $1,200 a person, and three weekend-getaways, spending $300.  Nearly 70 percent of those planning to travel said they’ll go with their immediate families, and girlfriend getaways and “man-cations” are growing in popularity.

While travel plans are on the rise, most travelers are still budget conscious and make travel decisions based on cost-savings factors.  With hotel stays costing five to ten percent more this year than last year (AAA/HIS Globlal Insight 2011 Memorial Day Holiday Travel Forecsast), ARDA believes this is an opportunity to reach travelers unfamiliar with timeshare.

“Vacationing with timeshare provides the luxury of resort travel but with the comforts of home,” said Howard Nusbaum, CEO and president of ARDA.  “There is certainly a monetary value to a traditional timeshare vacation because it affords your family the flexibility to eat meals together in your kitchen rather than splitting a pizza on a hotel bed.  But it’s the sentimental value of spending relaxed, quality time with your family or friends in a spacious setting that allows everyone the space to truly rejuvenate that timeshare owners love most about the products.”

While the travel industry has seen declining numbers since 2009 financial difficulties affected most travel budgets, timeshare owners have continued to travel due to the prepaid nature of the product.  Timeshares enjoy an 80 percent occupancy rate, according to an ARDA International Foundation 2010 State of the Vacation Ownership Industry report.

“Travelers may not be able to pick their families, but they can certainly choose whether or not to plan trips with them – and Americans intend to do so in their droves this year,” said Karen Drake, senior director of communications from TripAdvisor. “Family vacations are no longer the preserve of young kids and their parents, but a time for relations of all ages to come together for quality time.”

Today, there are more than 5,000 timeshare resorts in 100 countries and many resorts offer vacation rental programs or packages which offer a great opportunity to experience a timeshare vacation. “Building memories is what is important about vacations,” continued Nusbaum. “Timeshare is the perfect way for the entire family to reconnect with family members and rejuvenate away from the daily stresses of life.”

Visit www.VacationBetter.org for more information.

About ARDA:
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries.  Established in 1969, ARDA today has over 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate.  The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit www.arda.org or ARDA’s consumer website at www.VacationBetter.org.

Plan Your Next Vacation to Shake Those Winter Blues

March 2, 2011

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2011 – From Boston to the Carolinas to snow in Dallas during the Super Bowl, this season has been one of the coldest, snowiest and most difficult winters in recent years. For Americans who want to escape this season, there is good news from a study that shows how vacationing can have a positive impact on your quality of life.

A recent study conducted by the Applied Research Quality of Life shows that a vacation starts the day you begin planning it. And one of the biggest mood boosters you get from a vacation is planning it.

“We encourage everyone to take the time to think about – and plan – your next vacation,” says Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). “Planning a tropical beach vacation or a week in the mountains will help to cure those winter blues many of us feel this time of year.”

Planning a vacation is not only an important logistical step, it helps psychologically as well. Taking the time to ensure that the location is right and the amenities that you want are available alleviates stress when you arrive at your destination.

One type of vacation to consider is vacationing with timeshare. “We recognize that while most people may wake up and think about vacation, they may not be thinking about a timeshare vacation,” said Nusbaum. However, with more than 5,000 resorts located in over 100 different countries, a timeshare vacation may be ideally suited for many families and vacationers especially because many resorts offer rental packages as a way to test out the product. Timeshare resorts offer convenience and high quality amenities with the luxury of a top-notch resort and the comforts of home. Vacationers can eat in or dine out, have their own bedroom and bathroom and not feel restricted by the parameters of traditional hotel rooms.

Travelers are encouraged to visit www.VacationBetter.org to learn more about the benefits of vacationing with timeshare.

About ARDA:
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries.  Established in 1969, ARDA today has over 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate.  The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit www.arda.org or ARDA’s consumer website at www.VacationBetter.org.

New Video Gives Travel-Lovers a Taste of Timeshare

January 11, 2011

WASHINGTON, January 11, 2011 – For consumers unfamiliar with timeshare stays or for those who think a timeshare resort is just like a traditional hotel room, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) released a video that captures the essence of a timeshare vacation and a look into the modern amenities that the product offers. Without leaving home or sitting through a sales presentation, curious travelers can clearly see what the benefits of timeshare are through the two-minute video.

Spacious accommodations, beautiful locations and the comforts of home are the most cited reasons for purchasing a timeshare. Over seven million U.S. households have embraced this way to travel precisely because of these benefits and take advantage each year of the 5,000 timeshare resorts in 100 countries around the world.

“This video is intended to provide consumers with a clear visual of the qualities, amenities and offerings of timeshare products,” said Howard Nusbaum, ARDA president and CEO. “A picture speaks a thousand words and we hope this video entices people to test the waters and see what they’ve been missing.”

Many timeshare resorts offer rental and promotional packages for those that want to move from a virtual look to a real one. To learn more about timeshare vacations, please visit www.VacationBetter.org. The video may also be viewed at www.youtube.com/ARDAtimeshare.

About ARDA:
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Established in 1969, ARDA today has almost 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit www.arda.org or ARDA’s consumer website at www.VacationBetter.org.

Seasonal Touches Create Special Experience for Vacationers

November 3, 2010

From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, millions of Americans travel to celebrate the holidays with friends and families. With timeshare being a natural choice for a spacious, homey vacation, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) recently surveyed its members to discover what exciting holiday events they were offering. From Arizona to Colorado to Florida, timeshare resorts across the country are rolling out the sleighs and cooking up the turkeys to help guests have fantastic, memorable holidays.

“Spending Thanksgiving or Christmas in a special place with the ones you love not only provides fun times, it creates important memories,” said Howard Nusbaum, ARDA president and CEO. “We encourage everyone to explore timeshare for their next holiday get-together.”

Imagine arriving at your fully decorated unit already stocked with groceries for the week. That’s one of the amenities that Breckenridge Grand Vacations in Colorado offers. Set against a beautiful backdrop of decorations and lights, guests here tend to come back year after year and look forward to celebrating the holidays with their extended resort families. They go on sleigh rides, dog sled adventures and simply kick back and enjoy time with family.

“There is a lot of tradition at our resort and the guests seem to enjoy getting away from their normal routines and spending the holidays in this great location,” says Kit Armour, general manager, Breckenridge Grand Vacations.

Guests at the Scottsdale Camelback Resort are treated to a grand themed vacation every year. This year’s theme is gingerbread and it can be seen in the decorations as well as the activities. There will be a gingerbread house-building contest and special menu items including gingerbread-flavored milkshakes for the kids.

“Many of our guests come for a New Year’s celebration that includes the January 1 Fiesta Bowl,” says Clark Rowley, director of marketing and public relations, Scottsdale Camelback Resort. “This is one of the major college bowl games and there’s a week packed with bowl activities for the football enthusiast.”

On the other side of the country, Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort in Orlando caters to the vacationers looking to escape winter and celebrate the holidays in a warmer climate. An oversized gingerbread house provides an apt setting for family photos and guests can order a full holiday meal – including turkey with all the trimmings – to eat in their comfortable, large in-unit dining areas. There is always an amazing array of holiday activities at nearby Disney resorts that guests can take advantage of and in addition, this year Holiday Inn Club members can use their Club Points to see the world-famous Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s 2010 Holiday Tour.

“From our tree lighting ceremony on the day after Thanksgiving through our multiple New Years’ parties we have a very active and fun holiday season for our guests,” says Stacy Sutherland, vice president of corporate communications for Orange Lake Resorts, home to Holiday Inn Club Vacations.

There are timeshare resorts around the country offering great holiday packages. For more information on timeshare vacations, please visit www.VacationBetter.org.

About ARDA:
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Established in 1969, ARDA today has almost 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit www.arda.org or ARDA’s consumer website at www.VacationBetter.org.

More Space, Great Locations, Good Deals

July 7, 2010

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2010 – As we enter the summer vacation season, families are looking for travel savings ideas everywhere and are prepared to jam their families into small hotel rooms if the deal is right. The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) has a solution for the budget-conscious, weary traveler: rent a timeshare villa for your next vacation.

“Many vacationers don’t yet realize that they can rent a week or two at a fabulous resort and stay in spacious accommodations with one or more bedrooms and bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room – all the comforts of home,” said Howard Nusbaum, ARDA president and CEO. “While it may be the destination that gets them there, it’s the guarantee of high-quality accommodations that keeps them returning year after year.”

According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers research on the state of the timeshare industry in 2009, nearly half of timeshare purchasers rented first. Among six million-plus timeshare owners, timeshares continue to enjoy an 85 percent satisfaction rate. “Timeshare owners place value on having the space to truly rejuvenate – a benefit that comes with a timeshare vacation,” said Nusbaum. And, because of the pre-paid nature of the product, timeshare owners continue to travel despite historic lows in traditional hotel occupancy. For 2009, the timeshare industry reported an occupancy rating of nearly 80 percent.

“We have created a rental engine for consumers to take advantage of the convenience of vacationing ‘timeshare-style.’ The opportunity for consumers to spread-out with all the conveniences of home as well as enjoy a host of on-site activities and amenities has been very positive,” said Don Harrill, president and CEO of Orange Lake Resorts, home to Holiday Inn Club Vacations. “We have seen an increase in our rental activity and our guest surveys reflect high product satisfaction ratings. In addition, we have opened our channels to mini-vacation packages and specials and are beginning to use social media as a way to market directly to consumers,” Harrill continued.

There are many ways for vacationers to ensure the right timeshare rental to meet their travel needs. Rentals can be found at aggregated sites such as www.redweek.com and www.tug2.net, as well as with many timeshare developers that may be offering rental packages. “We have two to three thousand rentals on our site at any given time,” said Brian Rogers, president of the Timeshare Users Group. “We frequently encourage travelers to explore this vacation experience because renting provides the perfect “try before you buy” solution.”

ARDA’s consumer website, www.VacationBetter.org, is a resource for all timeshare information. Visit it to discover what you’ve been missing.

About ARDA:
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Established in 1969, ARDA today has almost 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit www.arda.org or ARDA’s consumer website at www.VacationBetter.org.

ARDA Survey Supports Trend of Women-Only Travel

June 10, 2010

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2010 – Like the ladies of the new “Sex and the City” sequel, data from a survey released by the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) shows women are taking girlfriend getaways more than ever. Thirty-eight percent of women have taken a girlfriend getaway with female family and friends, and 63 percent plan on taking one in the next two years. This is a trend that has been seen over the past several years as more women in their 30s and 40s opt to spend some of their vacation time bonding with the girls rather than taking a traditional family vacation.

To support these Girlfriend Getaways, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) offers “how-to” travel options to help make Girlfriend Getaways fun, affordable and stress-free.

The phenomenon of women traveling together on vacation has exploded because there are more career women with expendable income. They are busy, stressed out and tired from the multiple roles they perform at work and at home and a Girlfriend Getaway gives them the chance to recharge their batteries. This husband–free and children-free time is a way to reconnect and focus on their own well-being.

“Making the Girlfriend Getaway special starts with selecting the right place,” said Howard Nusbaum, ARDA president and CEO. “Timeshare provides spacious accommodations in fabulous locations and are a terrific option for these girls-only vacations.”

ARDA’s “Girlfriend Getaways” Guide provides women with everything they need to plan that once-in-a-lifetime adventure including reasons for considering this kind of getaway including planning tips, types of vacations to consider and how to make the most of your time away.

The Guide is available for download at http://www.vacationbetter.org.

About ARDA:
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Established in 1969, ARDA today has almost 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit www.arda.org or ARDA’s consumer website at www.VacationBetter.org.

Valentine’s Day is Perfect Day to Pledge Spending Time Together

February 12, 2010

Washington, DC – February 12, 2010 – As another gift-giving holiday approaches and with affordability on everyone’s mind, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) reminds people that there’s no gift like the gift of spending time with your loved ones and away from the strains of daily life. ARDA points to a growing body of research that show there are undisputed, long-term benefits associated with taking vacations that contribute to stronger relationships and better health.

“Let Valentine’s Day be the reason to give a pledge to your family and yourself to take at least a one week vacation this year,” said Howard Nusbaum, ARDA president and CEO. “Medical research shows that spending quality time with loved ones – not the occasional day here or there – has proven beneficial in strengthening relationships and rejuvenating your overall well being.”

According to ARDA, such medical data supports the view that vacations should be seen as a necessity rather than a luxury. The timeshare industry has long since promoted the need to take time to vacation at least once a year. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why timeshare owners continue to travel despite tough economic times. According to the exchange companies RCI and Interval International, among the top most traveled U.S. destinations for timeshare were Florida, Nevada and South Carolina.

“People are looking for options to get the most value out of their vacations,” said Nusbaum. “Timeshare accommodations allow for families to enjoy each other’s company eating around a dining room table instead of spending money at restaurants every night or sharing a pizza on a hotel bed.” And timeshare ensures this process will happen at least once a year, every year, which means a healthier, more relaxed life.

For further information, please visit www.VacationBetter.org.

About ARDA:
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Established in 1969, ARDA today has almost 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit www.arda.org or ARDA’s consumer website at www.VacationBetter.org.