Timeshare Popularity On The Decline Amid The Rise Of Home-Sharing
Today, would-be travelers have more options than ever when it comes to booking and planning for their next trip. A recent survey from the International Society of Hospitality Consultants, brought to our attention by Bisnow, suggests that “the appeal of timeshares are diminishing due to the availability of home-sharing services.”
In fact, according to that survey, 69% of respondents indicated that they thought timeshares’ appeal was declining as a result of “the sharing economy.”
For instance, a growing class of apps is making it easier to find inexpensive flight and lodging arrangements. And, what’s more, there are now mainstream options for finding accommodations that would have been far more niche and difficult to access, even a few years ago.
Home-sharing and short-term vacation rentals are now a much more viable option for travelers, thanks in large part to the rise of services like Airbnb, VRBO, and others. And studies suggest that the growing popularity of these home-sharing options might be taking a bite out of more traditional vacation options, including timeshares.
When asked why they responded this way, a few industry insiders weighed in, according to Bisnow. In general, respondents connected the issue to “flexibility” and “unique experiences.”
For instance, as one hotel consultancy professional put it:
“Why would a consumer want to lock into a particular exchange system when everything is easily available on Airbnb or VRBO?”
Another hospitality group CEO added that there is a “generational component” to the potential shift away from timeshares, according to Bisnow. As he said:
“It has less to do with the sharing economy and more to do with changing demographics… While the [timeshare] model is still popular with baby boomers, the concept struggles to sell with millennials. This younger group prefers to spend their money on unique and authentic experiences while also not being tied down to commitments.”
Indeed, according to industry statistics, the average timeshare consumer is on the older side. Bisnow is certainly not the first publication to argue that the timeshare industry needs a new approach to targeting millennial consumers, who are typically more interested in vacation options emphasizing freedom, spontaneity, and flexible pricing, according to reports. It could certainly be argued that the timeshare model – built on a long-term commitment to a single vacation option, and often associated with hefty annual maintenance fees and poor reservation options – does little to appeal to this younger generation.
Still, as we’ve noted before, the ongoing horse race (of sorts) between home-sharing and fractional ownership is sure to shape both industries in the years ahead. There is far from a definitive “victor” in this fight yet.
To wit, Bisnow even acknowledges that 31% of survey respondents “said the sharing economy isn’t diminishing the appeal of timeshares.” And prominent writers and industry experts have issued consumer protection warnings about home-sharing options, as well; this point should not be forgotten.
For more information and insights, you may read the full report from Bisnow here.
Other Timeshare Articles of Interest:
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.