The International Society for Hospitality Consultants, or ISHC, released a survey on June 7th, 2018 that said 69% of its members believed that the appeal of timeshares are diminishing. The ISHC asked their members why they thought this was happening, and they came up with two different answers.
The first was to point to AirBnB and the sharing economy, saying that those websites are more easily accessible and more flexible than timesharing. Accessibility is one thing that the industry could improve on, with the addition of online booking, billing, and social media accounts for resorts. However, it’s not always the case that an AirBnB is more flexible than a timeshare, or is better than a timeshare overall. AirBnB’s are a gamble; they might not be the least expensive option on the market, or cleaned by a professional cleaning company. With a timeshare, you always know what you are going to get, which is a space that’s been prepared and designed to house travelers. Timeshare point systems are also a flexible way to timeshare in different locations around the world.
The second answer is that timeshare just don’t appeal to millennials, citing experiences and commitment as reasons the younger generation does not buy in. Statistically, younger families are buying into timeshares at a faster rate than before. The model of paying for vacations ahead of time is appealing to those with fast lives who don’t have the time to plan out a full vacation. It’s also true that a lot of millennials enjoyed their parents timeshare when they were younger, so they understand the commitment of a timeshare. And again, a points system can help people who want new experiences while having easy booking.
Overall, the decline in timeshare appeal is probably because of a lack of adaptation to a changing marketing landscape. There is a lot of misinformation about timesharing out there, but that can be corrected by having a bigger online presence as an industry as a whole. A bigger, more visual industry will help alert younger consumers to their options on our side of the industry, and help our numbers rise.