ATSA President Luigi Heredia, speak at the quarterly meeting

On the occasion of the quarterly Members’ Meeting, Luigi Heredia, President, Aruba Timeshare Association, addressed an audience of hoteliers at La Cabana Beach Resort & Casino, delivering the latest updates regarding timeshare and vacation ownership.

The timeshare industry was founded, he said, to create opportunities for owners to access popular destinations and stay in world-class accommodations, those statements are true especially for Aruba who takes credit for the best beaches in the Caribbean.

What ATSA members passionately know in their hearts to be true, is that vacation ownership is the best way to vacation.

AS per the ATA reports there has been the significant shift in accommodations with an increase in the category we call “other” including vacation rentals, condos, and homes. The “other” category now  represents 27.3% of market share.  Timeshare continues to capture 27.3% of the arrival market, with no change from 5 years ago and the 2018 report. Timeshare claims 31.1% market share of “nights,” because our members stay longer.  This % will decline over the next coming years as currently there are no new development of timeshare properties in Aruba but many new condos, private vacation rentals and hotels are in the pipeline.

Today’s timeshare owners are younger than ever, and they love timeshare.  Timeshares is back, and this time, it’s not just for grandparents.

What was considered old, is new again—and that goes for timeshares, they are back in a totally different and better package and seeing record sales.

In fact, a 2022 study, by ARDA, American Resort Development Association, found that Gen Z and Millennials now account for more than half of all timeshare owners, 57%, and more than half of new sale purchasers, 53%.

I can personally attest that at Costa Linda we are now seeing younger owners buying timeshare, not only are they buying but they are also opting for more than the traditional one week. I have also learned from these young owners that they are opting for timeshare because they have learned from the pandemic experience that timeshare destinations are safer, and they offer a caring family feel.

The timeshare industry has evolved significantly in the last few decades to become an attractive vacation option for younger customers, and the results speak for themselves. Today’s timeshare products allow for flexibility. Owners clearly enjoy these options and continue to rate “overall flexibility” and “exchange opportunities” as their top reasons for purchasing timeshare.

The 2022 report found an astounding 90% satisfaction rate among owners. Even more, 84% of owners would purchase a timeshare product again – a significant increase from 77% in 2020. Moreover, 82% of all owners would recommend timeshare in general.  In Aruba we also get a high satisfaction rate from our members, we see the loyalty our members have, returning time after time, even through difficult and challenging times.

So much of the growth that timeshares are experiencing can be traced to the industry’s evolution toward meeting the needs and desires of today’s travelers. Revamped points-based systems allow members to adjust their travel plans, making a timeshare an excellent choice for young people who are just starting their careers and need the flexibility to accommodate any job changes or moves. Now, owners can have a home away from home around the world, a place where they can relax and unwind without the hassles of a traditional hotel stay or an unregulated vacation rental.

Of course, the industry still has its critics. Some argue that ownership fees and maintenance costs can be a turn-off, especially for those on a tight budget.   Additionally, while not the case for all timeshare properties, the idea of being tied to a specific property or location can be unappealing for those who prefer the flexibility of a more traditional vacation rental.  Fortunately for Aruba we have different, varied timeshare options. Something for everyone.

A TUG study, Timeshare Users Group, found that 79% of owners indicated they go on more vacations than they would otherwise, without their timeshare. ARDA research found that timeshare owners took an average of four vacations in 2021.

Our industry is well positioned when compared to other travel and hospitality providers and timeshares offer large accommodation at a time where “work from anywhere” is the new norm.

We need to continue protecting the timeshare industry in Aruba, which we refer to as the backbone of the tourism industry here. We must keep inflation in check, in spite of the increase in the cost of doing business, taxes and labor force challenges.  Timeshare in Aruba is now in its 46th year, and is also challenged by an aging labor population.

The timeshare industry has always been, and remains, committed to meeting the needs, wants and expectations of its owners and employees, taking care of its community  – and it’s clear we’re hitting the mark, there truly is a timeshare experience for everyone.



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October 01, 2023
Rona Coster