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About Timeshare

Welcome to the world of vacation ownership (timeshare), one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel and tourism industry. The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Below are excerpts from ARDA's web site that will help you understand the dynamics of vacation ownership.*

Overview
Why Timeshare?
The Timeshare Advantage
How Timeshare Works
Today's Products
What Is a Maintenance Fee?
Exchange Offers Flexibility
Timeshare Statistics

Overview

The concept of vacation ownership originated in the 1960s. Now, 50 years later, it is firmly positioned as one of the most popular vacation options enjoyed by today's leisure travelers. Timeshare owners have an ever-expanding range of travel options to choose from, allowing them to design their own vacations and enjoy some of the most exciting and appealing destinations around the globe.

Why Timeshare?

Millions of owners have found timeshare resorts' spacious floor plans and home-like amenities very attractive when compared with traditional hospitality products. Most units include a fully equipped kitchen with dining area, washer and dryer, stereo, televisions, DVDs and more.

While most vacation ownership condominiums have two bedrooms and two baths, unit sizes range from studios to three or more bedrooms. Truly a home away from home, vacation ownership provides the space and flexibility needed to easily accommodate families and larger traveling parties.

The Timeshare Advantage

Current timeshare owners state that they purchased for the following reasons:

  • Flexibility (including location, unit size and time of year)
  • Opportunity to exchange with other resorts
  • Consistency of quality accommodations
  • Credibility of the timeshare company

How Timeshare Works

With vacation ownership, consumers make a one-time purchase of furnished resort accommodations, at a fraction of whole ownership costs, and pay an annual maintenance fee. Each condominium, or unit, of a vacation ownership resort is divided into intervals, either by the week or points equivalent, which are sold separately.

Accommodations are priced according to a variety of factors, including size of the unit, resort amenities, location and season. The purchaser owns the vacation accommodations - but only for the amount of time he or she plans to use it, typically one or two weeks each year. With timeshare, the owner has all the benefits of a vacation home without the year-round costs. From its origin, the idea behind timesharing was to give people the ability to purchase their future vacations - at current prices.

Today's Products

Fixed and flex week. The traditional interval week program offers owners the use of their accommodations for one week - either for a specific week during the year or for a week during a time period or season.

Vacation points. In point-based programs, owners purchase points that can be redeemed for access to various types of accommodations, resort locations, amenities, number of days' use and other travel services. Point-based programs appeal to owners because they provide the flexibility to design their own vacations.

What is a Maintenance Fee?

Just like taking care of a home, resort maintenance fees help maintain the quality and future value of the resort property. They pay for on-site management, unit upkeep and refurbishing, applicable real estate taxes and utilities, as well as for maintenance of the resort's common areas and amenities, such as pools, tennis courts and golf courses. Maintenance fees are assessed and paid annually by each vacation owner.

Exchange Offers Flexibility

Vacation exchange allows owners the opportunity to trade their vacation week for new or different vacation experiences at other comparable resorts across the country and around the world. Most resorts are affiliated with an exchange company that administers the exchange service for its members.

Timeshare Statistics

Timeshare Owners:

  • More than 7 million vacation intervals owned in the U.S
  • Close to 7 million worldwide now own a vacation interval, more than 5,000 resorts in almost 100 countries
  • Timeshare owners tend to be upper-middle-income (median income of around $80,000), middle-aged (median age 53) and well educated (at least a bachelor's degree).

Satisfaction Ratings:
Timeshare continues to have satisfaction rates close to 85%, with nearly 60% saying they would recommend timeshare ownership to others.

Location of Resorts:
There are more than 5,000 resorts worldwide, with more than 1,600 of them in the United States.

Resorts are located in the most popular destinations--everywhere you want to go--including Florida, California, South Carolina, Hawaii, Colorado and more!

*This material used with permission from the American Resort Development Association.



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