During the last two years, we had witnessed an economic meltdown that affected everyone severely. And just like any other industry, the timeshare industry is not exempted from this. Since the crisis broke out in the late of 2007, many owners are starting to get out of their timeshares as a way of cutback spending. This also resulted to low sales for this industry. As the industry’s ability to thrive during the downturn has been put to the test, developers are evolving their business models in response to the new realities of the market. This has also made an interesting discussion in the last half of 2009, as more than 500 delegates from around the world met for the Vacation Ownership Investment Conference in Orlando, Florida.
The guest moderator at the said conference is Howard Nusbaum, the president and CEO of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), who spoke to the challenge and to the opportunities ahead. As discussed, timeshare companies are rethinking the way they do business. This year, we’re likely to witness many businesses revisiting, recalculating, recalibrating, and redefining themselves. As forecasted, they’ll be even more focused on new ways to increase their cash sales and they’ll be building strategies to run their business more efficiently. Also, they’ll place more importance on profitability, less on revenue and growth. And they’ll be listening closely to what the consumer has to say.
This year, we might expect to see the following from shared-ownership developers: more affordable products in order to augment traditional sales; short-stay products and points programs which will allow greater flexibility for owners; adoption of more trial products; increased marketing to existing customers; encouraging upgrades or purchase of additional products.
Nowadays, we might be already sensing the way to economic recovery. However, owners who are trying to get rid of their timeshares are still increasing. Some even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart just to get rid of such property. As this still remains a challenge for the timeshare operators, let’s just see how those innovations will improve the industry.