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Timesharing Remains Poised For Continued Growth

Miami, FL, April 9, 2003 -Interval International, a leading global vacation exchange, leisure lifestyle and travel related benefits provider, today released a preview of the results of the 2003 National Leisure Travel MONITORSM co-authored by Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell and Yankelovich Partners, Inc. Sponsored in part by Interval International, this strategic marketing tool summarizes the lifestyles, social values, travel trends, purchasing behavior, and media habits of a nationally-representative sample of U.S. leisure travelers.

Fielded in the first quarter of 2003, the findings are significant because the survey was conducted with the looming threat of war in Iraq and against a backdrop of economic uncertainty. The study reveals, however, that the attitudes and future travel intentions of U.S. adults interested in purchasing some form of vacation ownership have remained generally unaffected by these global trends, reinforcing, once again, the inherent market appeal of the resort timeshare product.

“Vacation ownership appeals to a broad range of consumers because it offers flexibility and convenience in today’s ever-changing travel environment,” said Raul E. Estrada, vice president of Consumer Marketing and Reservation Services for Interval International. “More than one in ten leisure travelers currently own a timeshare vacation and these findings demonstrate that there is tremendous opportunity for resort developers to customize their marketing messages to these distinct groups.”

Positive Outlook for Timeshare
According to the study, the outlook for timesharing remains very positive: fully 15 percent of all leisure travelers, or more than 14 million households, are interested in purchasing some form of timeshare during the next two years.

One noteworthy change was observed between the results obtained in the 2002 and 2003 surveys – singles, while still an emerging demographic group within the overall population base, are now more likely to report an interest in purchasing than their married counterparts. They also express a greater desire to travel more frequently with friends and family, something owners of vacation time are known to prefer.

Awareness of Timesharing and Preference for Condominium Resorts
Since 2002, awareness of timesharing and vacation ownership has increased significantly among leisure travelers who are married, have an annual household income between $30,000 and $49,999 or incomes of over $100,000. This year’s research shows that 86 percent of leisure travelers are familiar with the term “timesharing,” an increase of 5 percentage points over last year. Forty-nine percent are aware of “vacation ownership,” also up from the previous year’s level of 44 percent. The degree of awareness increases proportionately with both income and age.

“Growing numbers of travelers have either experienced the positive attributes of timesharing personally or have heard from family and friends about the positive experiences that they have had while vacationing in timeshare resort properties,” said Estrada. “Today’s consumers are demonstrating a higher level of awareness and acceptance of the product, which is significant in today’s hospitality sector.”

Condominium resorts represent another type of vacation accommodation found desirable by pleasure travelers. Fifty-nine percent, or nearly six in ten travelers, expressed an interest in staying at a condominium resort in the next two years, which will provide them a preview of the spacious accommodations typically associated with timeshare. This interest reinforces the fact that condominium style vacations suit the lifestyle of today’s leisure travelers who prefer the multiple bedrooms, full kitchens and laundry facilities offered by timeshare resorts since many are traveling with children.

“In a year that has experienced erosion in demand for leisure travel, the resort timesharing segment remains poised for continued growth and prosperity,” observed Peter Yesawich, managing partner of Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell. “Timeshare industry marketers who utilize this information and tailor their marketing messages accordingly will undoubtedly be rewarded for their efforts in the months ahead.”

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 27 offices in 18 countries and employs nearly 1,600 people worldwide. Interval International is a division of USA Interactive.

Chris Boesch
(305) 666-1861, ext. 7267

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Interval International, 6262 Sunset Drive, Miami, FL 33143