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Interval International Releases Latest in Series of Company-sponsored Research

Orlando, FL, November 3, 2003 – Interval International, a leading global vacation exchange company, today released Future Timeshare Buyers: 2003 Market Profile, a study that supports the appeal of timeshare vacation attributes given the continuing propensity towards travel with family and friends. The findings reveal that fully 15 percent of U.S. pleasure travelers, or approximately 12.5 million adults, familiar with the concept of timesharing are interested in purchasing some form of vacation ownership during the next two years.

“This profile of tomorrow’s vacation-owning consumer demonstrates that the resort timeshare sector is attractive to a broad cross-section of U.S. adult leisure travelers and continues to evolve as a vital and fundamental component of the overall hospitality sector,” said David Gilbert, executive vice president of Resort Sales and Marketing for Interval International.

Future Timeshare Buyers: 2003 Market Profile is the latest in a series of research studies that offer resort developers and marketers unique insights into the vacation habits, preferences and intentions of these pleasure travelers who are interested in purchasing some form of vacation ownership. Developed exclusively for Interval International, this study was prepared from data collected for the renowned YPB&R/Yankelovich Partners 2003 National Leisure Travel MONITORSM, and summarizes the social values, travel trends, purchasing behavior, and media habits of a nationally-representative sample of prospective timeshare owners.

While the overall demographic profile of the typical prospective timeshare consumer remains relatively unchanged from prior years, some interesting observations arise in this year’s research.
In fact, some of the fastest emerging groups expressing future purchase interest are found among the African-American population and singles. Pleasure travelers aged 37 years or younger – and especially those between the ages of 24 and 37 – also express statistically significant degrees of future purchase interest (when compared with their non-interested counterparts).

Savvy and experienced with travel research, these consumers rely heavily on the use of the Internet when obtaining travel information and pricing. Interestingly, nearly one-half (47%) report making travel bookings online – most frequently when making hotel (77%) or air (74%) reservations.

The focus on traveling with family and friends is another finding that remains firm among prospective timeshare purchasers. While these consumers report a strong penchant for traveling with children (as more than half plan to do so within the next 12 months), spouses traveling without children, and travel with friends continue to be preferred companions of choice. More prospective buyers are interested in traveling with friends (70%) or spouses without children (74%) than with children who reside in their home (67%). During a one-week vacation – characteristic of timeshare – prospective buyers expect to travel in parties of three to four persons.

When asked about specific regions within the United States that they are interested in visiting, the West is clearly the most popular, cited by fully eight in 10 future timeshare buyers. Florida is by far the most popular specific state (50%), followed by California (39%), and New York (22%). Prospective timeshare purchasers also report significantly greater interest than their non-interested counterparts in visiting the Hawaiian Islands (more than 80%), and the Florida Keys (78%).

“Purchase interest is certainly an indicator of a product’s future success. With this study representing the intent of millions of U.S. adult leisure travelers, expect resort timeshare to continue its record of expansion and growth,” said Gilbert.

For more than 27 years, Interval International has led the vacation ownership industry with innovative products and the highest levels of quality, service and value complemented by a global network of 2,000 resorts in 75 countries. With its headquarters located in Miami, Florida, Interval serves its developer clients and more than 1.5 million members through 26 offices in 17 countries and employs more than 1,700 people worldwide. Interval International is an operating business of IAC, formerly USA Interactive.

Demographic Profile of the Typical Prospective Timeshare Buyer
Aged 38 or older52%
Annual household income greater than $50,00059%
Graduated college or attained post-graduate degree38%
White collar occupation70%
Groups expressing the fastest-growing levels of purchase interest – African-Americans, Singles, Generation Xers (aged 24 – 37)

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Interval International, 6262 Sunset Drive, Miami, FL 33143