The U.S. timeshare industry witnessed its ninth consecutive year of growth in 2018, according to the State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry: United States Study 2019 Edition, conducted by EY for the ARDA International Foundation (AIF). Sales volume increased by nearly seven percent to $10.2 billion and the average occupancy rate was consistent at 80.8 percent in 2018.
“Our members continue to evolve their product and strive to provide owners and guests unique and experiential vacations at a great value,” said Jason Gamel, president and CEO of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). “Timeshare offers owners and guests the ability to vacation at over 1,500 resorts in the U.S. and over 5,300 resorts worldwide. In addition to offering more space for the entire family, including kitchens, our members’ resorts provide owners and guests with high brand standards and a consistent vacation experience that is regulated for safety, security, health codes, business licensing and accessibility.”
Sales volume rose from $9.6 billion in 2017 to $10.2 billion in 2018, nearly a seven percent increase and more than 26 percent increase since 2014 – an average of 6 percent annually. Rental revenue increased from $2.3 billion in 2017 to $2.4 billion in 2018.
Average occupancy rate was nearly 81 percent in 2018, compared to the 66.2 percent average hotel occupancy rate. This higher occupancy rates extend benefits beyond the resort itself, into the local surrounding markets and communities such as spending at local restaurants, purchasing groceries for the fully-equipped in-unit kitchens, and on other experiential and cultural activities that timeshare resorts are able to offer due to their deep community involvement. “Today’s vacationer is looking beyond resort amenities and for unique experiences both on and off property,” continued Gamel. “The combination of our on-site staff that is rooted in the community and our single focus on hospitality enables us to provide guests with the knowledge to experience the local culture and unique activities, whether that be through an immersive cooking class on property or a first-hand recommendation of the area’s best kept secrets.”
There were 1,580 timeshare resorts in the United States in 2018, representing approximately 204,100 units. About 68 percent of timeshare units are two bedrooms or more and the average unit size is over 1,000 square feet. Annual maintenance fees averaged $1,000 in 2018, an increase of just two percent over 2017.
 STR Monthly Hotel Review: December 2018, Smith Travel Research
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 600 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‐ROC. For more information, visit www.arda.org
The ARDA International Foundation (AIF) is the timeshare industry’s leading source of market intelligence and career advancement resources. AIF, a 501(c)(3) organization, serves to enhance public and industry knowledge through its comprehensive timeshare research studies, and aims to enrich careers through ongoing training, learning and development. For more information, visit www.arda.org/foundation.