Time-share resorts are growing, along with their popularity

December 27, 1992|By James M. Woodard | James M. Woodard,Copley News Service

The market for resort time-sharing developments has been a growing industry for 20 years. There are now about 3,050 time-share resorts worldwide, a 29 percent increase over the number of resorts in 1990, according to a recent international study funded by the Alliance for Time-share Excellence, an association of time-share developers and suppliers.

The idea of a vacation residence for a one- or two-week interval instead of full ownership is more popular because many people believe it's more cost-effective. The owned interval also can be exchanged with units in other resorts at points throughout the world. And the once-tarnished image of time-share marketing practices is improving.

The study, reported in Vacation Industry Review, a publication of Worldex Corp., revealed there are nearly 2.4 million people who own time shares worldwide -- an increase of 31 percent from two years ago.

The dollar volume of time-share sales is also up by almost that rate. Sales in 1991 topped $3.7 billion, up 26 percent from 1989. Most of the world's time-share owners (60 percent) reside in the United States.

The economic impact of time sharing on communities where the resorts are located is significant, the study said. It generates more than $3 billion in resort-area expenditures by vacationing visitors each year -- or $6 billion if maintenance fees and other expenditures are included.

The study also said time-share owners spend $1.2 billion annually on transportation to and from their resort.

As for the number of jobs generated within the time-share industry, there are 40,000 full-time positions in the area of time-share marketing, maintenance and management. Another 45,000 jobs in the community are related to serving the needs of time-share visitors.

Today's vacation time-share buyers are actively looking for quality in both the resort development and available services, according to Anthony R. Sorrentino, president of Worldex Corp. "They are becoming increasingly selective in deciding on a resort."

Buyers today are looking not only for a quality resort but one that offers the diversified services, amenities and surroundings that will maximize their vacation experience, he noted. "Resorts that meet high standards of quality are popular at points throughout the world."

The European arena, according to a report from Interval International, a leading vacation exchange network, is particularly active. Resorts there also are becoming more diversified, noted Craig M. Nash, president of Interval International.

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