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How vacation ownership drove local economies in four states.
Vacation ownership doesn’t benefit just the owners. Timeshares in California, Florida, Nevada and South Carolina added billions of dollars to their respective local economies in 2015, according to a report that Ernst & Young compiled for the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) International Foundation.
Contributions in California, Nevada and South Carolina were generally consistent across the board, averaging $2.8 billion in total economic output, and Florida had a larger impact of $14.9 billion. According to Peter Roth, vice president of marketing, communications and industry relations at ARDA, Orlando is the largest market for timeshares in the country because of the density of properties in the area. Eighty-seven timeshare resorts were identified in the region, helping the industry contribute 45,236 jobs, $6.4 billion in economic output and $502 million in tax revenue.
The success in these four states stems from both the resorts and the timeshare model itself. “These locations have a destination allure,” says Roth. “They also have the advantage of a wide roster of great timeshare products to choose from.”
The timeshare industry is especially well positioned to give back to local economies because owners typically stay in a destination for an extended period. Unlike shorter-term vacationers, owners may buy groceries at the market or have the opportunity to discover more venues in the area. They often return to a destination year after year, becoming regulars at the businesses they get to know and potentially generating referrals.
“Timeshares consistently have high occupancy rates, because of the nature of the product,” Roth says. “Timeshares have held consistent occupancy rates during economic downturns, in which traditional lodgings have typically declined.” In addition, resorts in active sales help grow an area’s economy and increase tax revenue by providing jobs for marketing, sales and operational professionals.
Studies like this one showcase the many ways timeshares can enrich local economies as well as exactly why destinations lacking resorts may want to consider diversifying. Ultimately, it’s when various hospitality models work together that the industry can have the most significant impact on a community’s economy.
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