The answer to this question comes from Don L. Harrill, former CEO of Holiday Inn Club Vacations. A leading brand with 26 resorts, HGVC recorded net revenues of $706 million in 2016.
Harrill responded, “I truly believe some of the best days are ahead for vacation ownership. The industry continues to show solid growth, led by the major brands. What we’re seeing right now is consolidation at greater levels than past years, which I believe is good for the industry.
The major brands have demonstrated a long commitment to maintaining the quality of their brand standards and keeping a keen eye on the wishes of their customers. They continue to elevate the quality of their products by offering more flexibility and adding new, desirable locations with additional amenities to their portfolios. This has led the vacation ownership industry to be more consumer-friendly and open than it has ever been.
Today, top industry players also are no longer fighting over the same narrow demographic groups and traditional vacation ownership destinations to attract customers. Many are making a concerted effort to reach out to new consumer segments. This has shown dividends over the past few years as younger customers are beginning to embrace vacation ownership in greater numbers. It is also helping reverse the industry trend to sell more product to existing customers than new ones that grew out of lingering effects of the most recent major economic downturn. Alongside this, companies are offering new product options, such as luxury products that appeal to empty nesters, to accommodate the shifting tastes and lifestyle needs of their current owners.
Vacation ownership consumers are demanding new experiences outside the traditional vacation ownership markets we all know, such as Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas, etc. Some of it is due to emerging demographics that are bringing younger consumers into the industry with differing vacation tastes. However, you can also point to owners who are increasingly taking advantage of greater product flexibility to seek out fresh experiences. Both trends are helping fuel network growth in emerging markets, another indicator of industry health.
Additionally, well-established vacation ownership companies are committed to this business for the long haul and to the overall reputation of the industry. So they have a vested interest in maintaining their brand reputations and the resorts they represent. This includes ensuring HOAs are financially structured to properly care for the product through time, which helps ensure owners continue to enjoy quality vacation products for years to come.”