23 September 2012: At its annual conference in London today, RDO released its latest report on timeshare, revealing that despite the recession, it remains a robust industry, with European sales totaling €750 million in 2011.
The report was compiled on RDO’s behalf by The Market Research Group (MRG) at Bournemouth University and analyses the performance of the industry in 2011, focusing on sales volumes, value of sales and employee numbers and payroll.
The results indicate that there were an estimated 78,118 sales across Europe in 2011, with an average of 121 sales per resort. The average value of sales at each resort was more than €1 million, and the average value of each sale was more than €9,500.
In previous years, this per sale figure would have been based purely on the average price of a traditional timeshare week but it now includes products of a shorter duration, that are more economically priced. This reflects a change in consumer demand as today’s buyers, the younger families, have less of an appetite for the long-term ownership that appealed to their parents’ generation and are buying shorter-term ownerships, typically of a five to ten year duration. Families are then able to secure future holidays at resorts around the world that offer luxurious and spacious accommodation – far more than the average hotel room.
With 1,345 resorts around Europe, there were an estimated 40,000 employees supporting resort sales and operations during 2011, with an average of nearly 30 employees at each resort. Each developer had an average of 152 employees.
The corresponding payroll across Europe was more than €848 million with an average of more than €630,000 per resort. Each developer had an average payroll of more than €2.3 million.
These results reveal that far from being in decline, the industry is flexible, forward thinking and has risen to the challenge of changing consumer demand, developing products that suit buyers’ requirements during difficult and uncertain times.
To find out more about the industry and to speak with RDO’s Chief Executive Paul Gardner Bougaard, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring + 44 20 7554 8634.
The Resort Development Organisation (RDO) is the pan European trade body for vacation ownership.
Covering usage types such as timeshare, fractional ownership, private residence clubs, condo hotels and destination clubs, it was established to improve representation for reputable companies in the industry and to promote fair-trading, quality and growth.
The evolution of timeshare
Timeshare has come a long way since the first resort was developed in the Alps in the 1960s and now provides 1.5 million European families with quality holidays each year. A study conducted by the Travel and Research Institute at Nottingham University in 2008 revealed that it generates €3.2 billion in tourism expenditure in Europe annually. And with high occupancy levels, averaging at 72% year round, the industry is an important contributor to economies in parts of Europe that traditionally suffer from high unemployment.
As the needs and aspiration of buyers has evolved over the years, so has the industry and vacation ownership, as it is called, now includes high-end concepts such as fractional ownership, condo hotels and destination clubs as well as traditional timeshare. These developments, which are marketed to high net worth individuals, frequently include services such as 24-hour concierge service, airport lounge access and a personalised travel service.
There has also been a rise in the development of fractional properties for those whose pockets are not so deep and this is proving to be a successful concept for RDO members, some of whom are moving away from traditional timeshare sales to focus on this new market.