Sharon Scott Wilson RRP Publisher

What happens to small towns throughout rural America when a Walmart comes to town? How about when small banks close and you’re left with only large, nationwide conglomerates? Sadly, it’s not so great for the people who are forced to find other ways to earn a living. But such changes. There are still consumers buying food and clothes, applying for loans. And, yes, a few smaller companies can leverage a niche location or service to survive.

Consolidation has hit the vacation ownership/timeshare industry in a similar way, causing a dynamic shift: There are no more ‘new’ developers. Older properties are either being acquired by larger companies or struggling to stay alive. And then there are the occasional success stories like Scottsdale Camelback Resort or Christie Lodge sustained by a loyal following. According to all the latest research, however, people are still seeing the value of buying a prepaid vacation at sought-after locations.

So, while many may decry the consolidation trend, we serve the same number of readers – proof-positive that while their titles and responsibilities may have changed, they’re still there, working to provide unparalleled vacation experiences! Our audience hails from the back office to the front desk; from the salesroom to the corporate office. Resort Trades’ print and digital media is proud that for more than 30 years, we have sent free monthly subscriptions to the entire industry.

We were pretty encouraged by the results of a Reader Survey recently executed on behalf of Resort Trades by CustomerCount®. Allow me to recount some of our findings:

  • Reader Interest: More than 88 percent of respondents were loyal readers with 14.3 percent who said they “Read every word!”
  • Digital Edition: 84.5 percent said they receive our weekly emailed digital magazine, Resort Trades Weekly.
  • Audience Description: 30.1 percent of CEOs/Chairmen/Presidents, 16.9 percent Vice Presidents
  • Greater Than 50 percent Interest Ratings: New Developments (67.5%), Property Management and Operations (62.7%), People (56.6%), New Products & Services (55.4%), Industry Threats (55.4%)
  • Greater Than 40 percent Interest Ratings: HOA Matters (48.2%), Resort Developments, architecture, design (48.2%), Marketing (47.0%), Legal (44.6%)
  • Likely to Recommend: 96.4 percent

Our audience is still interested in the industry and in defining their role in it. I share this data in the hope that if anyone reading it is worried about their personal future in the vacation ownership industry, it might encourage you. This is still an active, vibrant industry with growth potential. There’s still plenty of opportunity out there for personal development.

This year Resort Trades is undertaking a research effort that we hope will result in two series. The first of these is our “State of the Industry,” in which we conduct interviews with resort professionals to gain insight into their perspectives. The second will be a study of recruiting and human resources, with a particular focus on attracting and mentoring newcomers – young and not-so-young.

I invite you to participate by writing to me at Sharon@TheTrades.com or calling me at 310-923-1269. (Please leave me a voice mail message if I don’t answer!) I really want to hear from you. Thank you, in advance!