Shared vacation properties and timeshares are a form of leisure travel accommodation which allow travelers to purchase a share of a holiday home. The industry originated with the selling of timeshares, a system in which a customer could own a portion of a property which enabled them to stay in the property for the duration that the segment allotted. Most commonly properties would be divided among 25 owners at two weeks each, leaving two weeks a year for maintenance and repairs.
Due to the fact that contemporary owners want more flexibility in their vacation choices, companies today often offer timeshare exchange programs at a fee. This allows owners to vacation in a different timeshare resort, paying only an extra fee to the timeshare company. There are also points based systems which allow owners to plan vacation stays throughout an entire resort group. The owner purchases points and use more or less depending on factors such as the size of the accommodation and the season of the year.
In the U.S., sales of timeshares timeshares reached 7.9 billion dollars in 2014. However, the highest sales of timeshares since 2000 occurred in 2007 at 10.9 billion dollars. In 2009, the industry saw a dramatic drop in sales from 9.7 billion U.S. dollars the previous year, to 6.3 billion in that year. Since this period, sales have been growing year on year but have not yet reached the height of 2007. In 2014, the industry sold over 397 thousand timeshare intervals. In the same year, the the average sales price of a vacation timeshare in the U.S. was 20,020 U.S. dollars. Of the timeshare tours given, vacation property sharing companies have a close of sales rate of around 15 percent regardless of size of the company.
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