London, 5th April 2005 — Research released today by Interval International and Marriott Vacation Club International (MVCI) shows that the number of UK residents interested in purchasing timeshare or vacation ownership products has increased 3% since 2004, with an estimated 7 million adults (16%) now open to the timeshare proposition and all its benefits.
The research also reinforces that the depth of product available worldwide now appeals to leisure travellers of nearly every socio-economic category. This range of product, in tandem with its geographic variety and people's increased understanding of what timeshare offers compared to traditional package holidays, is critical to the continual growth of the industry.
The majority of people now understand timeshare and respond well to how it meets the needs of today's holiday-makers. The following attributes were said to be strongly understood and perceived favourably by survey respondents; home-like accommodation (69%), exchange (65%), flexibility (62%), resort-style accommodation (60%) and securing via prepayment quality future holidays (55%).
The growth area in terms of potential purchasers is in the diversity of locations on offer and the opportunity to holiday in a range of resort types. Findings show that the majority of respondents still prefer the "traditional timeshare experience" of beach destination and an all inclusive style resort; however, growth seems to be in more diverse products, with urban locations, lakes and mountain settings and cruise holidays all scoring highly. Couples only and boutique style resorts were also cited as being among the more favourable alternative resort types of interest.
Almost half of MVCI's sales in Europe come from owner-generated sources such as friends, family or other referrals that have most likely been previously exposed to the vacation ownership product.
The entry of well-known and recognizable hospitality and leisure brands into the industry has also had a major impact on people's perception of timeshare, as nearly nine out of 10 (89%) of those surveyed state that they are either "equally" or "more" likely to consider the purchase of a timeshare or holiday ownership interest from a hospitality brand they currently prefer. In addition, 59% of those surveyed reported that being associated with a recognized hospitality brand is either "very" or "extremely" important if they are considering the purchase of a holiday ownership interest, due principally to the brand's guarantee of quality and its promise of security and reliability.
Ed Kinney, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Brand Awareness for MVCI said, "We are enjoying the culmination of the most significant growth in our history. The results of the UK survey further validate the steady growth we are seeing in the European and UK markets as well as at our other resorts around the world. We have experienced nine consecutive years of 20% growth with annual sales of $1.46 billion USD in 2004. Customer confidence and satisfaction in our UK owner's holiday experience is reaching new levels beyond our expectations."
"Consumer perceptions are becoming increasingly positive as more leisure travellers discover the appeal of timeshare's home-like accommodation plus the flexibility of exchanging their holiday ownership interests so they may gain access to popular holiday destinations across the globe," continues Darren Ettridge, Interval's European director of sales. "The results of the survey speak to the significant consumer interest for holiday ownership that exists in the UK. It is consumers' interest that informs where future resorts will be. Just like hotels, we need to meet customer demand, and the requirement by timeshare owners to have the opportunity to purchase in a range of resorts in a range of locations, means we all need to look to the next trends when developing."
For more information on MVCI and Interval International, please visit the respective websites atwww.marriottvacationclub.co.uk and www.intervalworld.com .
For more information contact:Adrian Bascombe, Interval InternationalPhone: +44 (0) 20 8336 9573Fax: +44 (0) 20 8336 9110E-mail: email@example.com
Andrea Knowles, bgb communications for MVCIPhone: +33 (0) 20 7808 1393Fax: +44 (0) 20 7233 2301E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interval International:Since 1976, Interval International has led the vacation ownership industry with its hallmarks of quality and innovation. Interval has a global network of more than 2,000 resorts in 76 countries, and serves its developer clients and nearly 1.7 million members - worldwide timeshare vacation owners - through 26 offices in 17 countries. Interval provides a variety of exchange services and year-round travel related benefits to enhance member vacation experiences. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Interval International is an operating business of IAC, which operates leading and diversified businesses in sectors being transformed by the Internet, online and offline. Other IAC companies include Ticketmaster, HSN, Lending Tree, Citysearch, and Entertainment Publications.
Marriott Vacation Club International:As the interval ownership division of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR), Marriott Vacation Club International (MVCI) is a premiere provider of vacation and leisure experiences. Since entering the timeshare industry in 1984, Marriott has earned its position as the recognized innovator and leader in vacation ownership worldwide by incorporating its signature quality, product excellence and management expertise. Since that time, the company has segmented the industry to offer distinct vacation and real estate offerings. The brands are: Marriott Vacation Club, Horizon's by Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club and The Ritz-Carlton Club. Today, MVCI is enjoying nine consecutive years of over 20% annual sales growth, and in 2004 alone, hit a new industry sales record by reaching $1.46 billion USD, 50% of which was from current owners purchasing additional weeks and referring family and friends.
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Interval International, 6262 Sunset Drive, Miami, FL 33143www.intervalworld.com www.resortdeveloper.com