Shared vacation ownership products have enjoyed very healthy occupancy rates when compared to other forms of vacation accommodation, mainly thanks to its good value proposition.
According to a study done by Grant Thornton on behalf of the Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA), vacation ownership resorts had an average annual occupancy rate of 80.5% in 2010. This figure remained fairly stable from 2009 when occupancies were 81.4%.
"Vacation ownership is a major player in the domestic tourism market, especially for families, contributing approximately 5% to the annual national tourism GDP of South Africa. This is one of the main factors that made it so appealing in the period under review, which was characterised by economic hardship for many around the world, " says Bernadine Galliver, Senior Consultant at Grant Thornton Strategic Solutions.
She explains that consumers with families would often opt for holiday options that offer the best value for money. "Non-vacation ownership accommodation can become very expensive for families especially at times when discretionary spending is low, " she says.
It takes 3,8 years on average to sell out a resort and 40% of resorts sell out within a year. New developments are also very encouraging. "From data gathered, we know at least 30 new resorts were either being developed or completed in the last ten years at an average of five resort developments per developer, " says Galliver.
The South African consumer spending patterns indicate that the average total trip spend for timeshare holidays in 2010 was R7, 358 compared to the much lower R1, 650 on average for domestic holiday tourists in the same period.
South Africa boasts an impressive ZAR 3.5 Billion rand shared vacation ownership industry, with approximately 183 resorts and 400 480 members of clubs (using the points system) and 341 295 owners of shared vacation products at resorts.
Another positive contribution to the economy is the fact that the shared vacation ownership industry permanently employs about 26 000 people, of which 72% are black and 70% is female.
VOASA continues to play a vital and significant role in educating the industry, press and consumers about the various global market changes that will influence the South African industry. VOASA has an extensive educational program that includes facilitating industry events such as the annual VOASA conference, internal and external workshop as well as sponsoring and representing the organisation at other key seminars and industry events.
VOASA now represents over 190 organisations within its membership directory with 8 membership categories to choose and join, each category caters for any company or individual operating within the shared vacation ownership industry, if your organisation is large or small we welcome you.