40 Years of Timeshare in Aruba I

In honor of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Timeshare Industry in Aruba, a report was commissioned by the Aruba Timeshare Association, ATSA, to provide an overview of the island’s timeshare landscape from data collected in 2017. The report was commissioned in collaboration with Aruba Tourism Authority, ATA, and prepared by the University of Aruba, UA.

The following is the first article in a series of six, summarizing the study.

The study examined the motivations and perceptions of timeshare owners on Aruba, assessed spend and economic impact related to the timeshare industry, and assessed satisfaction and return intentions of timeshare owners through a large online survey conducted by the Aruba Tourism Authority (A.T.A.). The Aruba Timeshare Association (ATSA) requested that the study be done as a part of the 40th year anniversary of the Aruba Timeshare industry. Data was collected online during the months of July and August, 2017 of timeshare owners primarily from the U.S., who own a timeshare residence in Aruba. In total 3410 respondents completed the survey (either partially or completely) and were consolidated into a database that could be used for analysis of the data.

The findings of the study show that overall perceptions of the Aruba timeshare industry are very high. The general satisfaction with the purchasing of timeshares and with visitor experiences at the timeshare resorts on Aruba all are outstanding with rates of extremely to very satisfied for more than 85% of respondents. The timeshare industry is very important to Aruba as the direct and indirect economic impact was determined to be more than US$530 million for 2017 and individual spend while on island exceeded US$1,422 per person per visit. The last academic study done by Dr. Ryan Peterson, done in 2008 put Aruba’s timeshare industry’s economic impact at approximately US$600 million. This study shows that the timeshare industry provides revenue for a large variety of parts of the hospitality, tourism, retail, and transportation sectors on Aruba. The timeshare industry provides more than 20% of the GDP for the island of Aruba.

Overall, the study finds that the timeshare customer in Aruba is older, has higher income, and has a larger average maintenance fee when compared to the global timeshare industry. The findings from this study lead to some interesting recommendations related to creating new ways to engage timeshare owners in unique experiences and activities to increase spend and continued satisfaction moving forward. As the timeshare owners pass on their timeshare or sell when they age, there is a new direction that could help to continue the long history of success in the Aruba timeshare industry. Recommendations are discussed in detail in the conclusion of this report, and in an upcoming article.

It is important to note that timeshare is one of the essential components of tourism activities in many tourism destinations, including Aruba. Timeshare has been a significant contributor to the local economy for Aruba for over 40 years. And while the timeshare industry has been experiencing substantial growth over the past decades globally, Aruba’s timeshare industry has been experiencing lower growth when compared to the global timeshare industry primarily due to the limited supply of the product.

Timeshare units represent over forty percent of Aruba’s total room inventory, in sixteen (16) properties with approximately 3712 units. In 2017, a little more than 28 percent (299,909) of overall total visitors (1,070,548) to Aruba stayed at timeshare properties. The average occupancy percentage for timeshare properties in Aruba has until recently been higher than those of the general hotel industry. Timeshare industry occupancy on Aruba reached 85%.

 

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June 30, 2018
Rona Coster