Advantages of Timeshares Appeal to More Baby Boomers

Timeshare sales are enjoying a boost as increasing numbers of baby boomers retire and dedicate more time to travel and adventure. As buyers’ preferences turn towards shorter getaways, and a varied vacation, timeshares have become more attractive. This will impact the timeshare industry in a variety of ways.

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Retirees dream of greater freedom, and more opportunities for enjoyment and relaxation. Many look at “60 as the new 50,” and this group understands retiring from the workplace does not mean retiring from life. Boomers are rewriting the rules on retirement. Unlike their parents, baby boomers are not sitting back and aging quietly. Most are empty nesters with no responsibilities, and lots of disposable income – timeshare ownership being one increasingly popular outlet. They are enjoying better health and a longer lifespan, resulting in more spare time, which has led to new cycles of activity.

For many, the appeal of vacation ownership is the opportunity for vacation exchange. Timeshare ownership allows retirees the opportunity to swap their vacation week for different experiences at other resorts around the world. More than seven million timeshare owners are taking advantage of this ability at thousands of resorts worldwide.
Retirees are a bulging population segment, and a vital source of consumer spending. This group has approximately $2.3 million in disposable income, and more than 50 percent of baby boomers plan to travel or purchase a new home after retirement. Domestic sales of timeshares reach into the billions, and trends indicate the industry can continue to expect significant growth.

Advantages of Timeshares

With timeshare ownership, baby boomers make a one-time purchase of a furnished condominium, along with an annual maintenance fee. Timeshares offer more home-like amenities that are much more attractive when compared with other hospitality options like traditional resorts and hotels. Baby boomers often prefer timeshares for such reasons as the space to accommodate large travelling parties; flexibility and floating time agreements on such issues as the size of the unit, the time of year and the resort location; the option to exchange with another resort; and the reliability of quality accommodations.

The baby boomer demographic tends to seek vacations that offer options, while also suiting different lifestyle needs. Depending on the destination, timeshares can be economical, especially compared to the traditional cost for upscale locales. In addition to having the security of certain timeshare weeks, baby boomers have the advantage of last-minute bargains and arrangements, which enhances the benefits of vacation ownership.

Today, well-known resorts like Marriott, Hilton and Starwood dominate the timeshare industry, and have transformed their image into that of a preferred vacation club. After eliminating a major flaw of the traditional timeshare – fixed vacation days at a fixed location – timeshare sales are starting to surge.

As with many industries, timeshare sales have fluctuated. Retiring baby boomers, however, seem to be reviving the trend of vacation ownership. The involvement of companies like Disney and Marriott has captured the eye of the over-50 crowd, helping resorts emerge with profits.

Growth Impact

Resorts are anticipating a continued influx of baby boomers and the related dramatic increase in property investing. Many feel that baby boomers will drive up the costs of vacation ownership. Over time, hotel costs will increase as well, placing many accommodations out of range. As demand increases, however, so will supply, with additional timeshare resorts being built. This of course will paint a bright future for timeshares.
Compared to competing hotels, timeshares offer convincing incentives like designer-decorated residences, multiple bedrooms, 24 hour reception and exchange opportunities. Baby boomers are in for some fabulous deals, and the opportunity to enjoy experiences that might otherwise be out of financial range.

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Boris Razmiki

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