(ORLANDO, FL) -- Hundreds of leaders from the timeshare industry will be convening this week at Orlando's Peabody Hotel for the annual Vacation Ownership Investment Conference organized by Interval International.
One of the main messages sure to be told is the vacation ownership industry remains as viable as ever.
Indeed, the industry registered $6.4 billion in total sales volume for 2010, a 1.6 percent increase from the previous year, according to the "State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry: United States Study 2011 Edition," an annual study of the timeshare industry produced by the American Resort Development Association's International Foundation.
Marriott's Newport Coast Villas
In the study, conducted by Ernst & Young, there were about 329,200 timeshare intervals sold last year at an average price of $19,300. The average maintenance fee charged per interval was $731, up more than 9 percent from 2009. The average fees were $588 for studios, $619 for one-bedroom units, and $840 for units with two or more bedrooms.
Meanwhile, average occupancy was 79 percent in 2010. By comparison, hotel occupancy increased just 58 percent in 2010, according to Smith Travel Research. Timeshare occupancy includes about 65 percent who were either owners or exchange guests and 13 percent who were renters and/or marketing guests.
Other interesting findings from the study:
Smaller resorts have higher average prices than large resorts; larger resorts have higher maintenance fees.
About 95 percent of resorts had annual sales of less than $25 million -- about 55 percent reported no sales volume. Sales price and maintenance fees tend to be higher for resorts with greater levels of sales volume.
The most common resort type is the beach resort. Golf and theme park resorts tend to be the largest; island resorts are the most expensive and have the highest occupancy.
Florida continues to have the most resorts, and resorts there tend to be much larger than in most other regions. California resorts, like Marriott Vacation Club's Newport Coast property shown in the accompanying photo, have the highest interval prices; Pacific resorts have the highest occupancy rates.
Resorts with higher average sales prices also tend to have higher occupancy and maintenance fees.
Overall, there were 1,548 timeshare resorts in the United States as of December 31, 2010, representing about 197,700 units for an average resort size of 128 units. There were 8.1 million intervals owned.
The compounded annual growth rates for sales price and maintenance fees from 2006 to 2010 were one and seven percent, respectively. The average resort size has been relatively flat during this period; except for an increase in 2010 that is mainly attributable to changes in the respondent pool.
Respondents expect little in the way of new construction. They anticipate building about 1,900 new units in 2011 and 1,500 in 2012 or beyond. Only six new resorts are planned for construction in 2011, with another three on tap for 2012 and beyond.