Affluent Leisure Travelers Remain Committed To Vacations
Affluent leisure travelers interested in resort real estate strongly believe in the value of their vacations, as nearly nine in 10 report that vacationing is important to their well-being and to the health of their personal relationships.
They appreciate leisure travel experiences and activities such as spending time with family and friends, exploring unique and interesting destinations, taking part in new experiences, and setting aside time for rest and relaxation – all components that support their commitment to the concept of vacationing.
These are some of the findings from The Affluent Shared Ownership Buyer: A Market Profile, a study produced exclusively for Interval International, to provide insights about the travel habits and resort real estate preferences of the most affluent U.S. households interested in acquiring some form of resort real estate. Developed from the Ypartnership 2008 Portrait of Affluent Travelers, a comprehensive analysis of highend lifestyles, social values, and travel trends of the top 8 percent of American households defined by current income, the results are being introduced at the 11th Annual Vacation Ownership Investment Conference in Orlando, Florida.
“The fieldwork for this survey was conducted during the tumultuous third quarter of 2008, thus the results provide a unique perspective on how affluent Americans feel about their leisure time, vacations, and real estate,” said Peter C. Yesawich, chairman and chief executive officer of Ypartnership, author of the study. “And the corresponding insights are very provocative.”
The study also reveals that nearly three quarters of affluent leisure travelers interested in purchasing some form of resort real estate confirm their interest in vacationing in condominium-style accommodations during the next two years and are nearly twice as likely as their uninterested counterparts to be familiar with the concepts of vacation ownership, fractional ownership, and private residence clubs. Additionally, they see themselves as value-driven consumers who place a premium on quality and reliability.
“This personal viewpoint combined with their desire to own vacation real estate illustrates how aligning resort development plans with a branded exchange and benefit program can enhance the value proposition for affluent consumers,” said David C. Gilbert, executive vice president of resort sales and marketing for Interval International, a leading global provider of vacation services.
Affluent travelers assign high levels of perceived value to the availability of various attributes and activities when making their resort vacation purchase decisions. These attributes generally take the form of physical features, as well as service offerings to complement their stay. “Having access to features and amenities that extend their luxurious residential lifestyles is a key element in exceeding the expectations of this discriminating traveler. Today’s fractional interest product and private residence clubs are well positioned to appeal to the tastes and desires of this influential group of consumers,” said Yesawich.
“These findings will assist resort developers in offering affluent travelers the vacation experiences they seek,” Gilbert added. “Understanding the specific luxury privileges and services, along with the physical and architectural resort features sought by this consumer group, gives them a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”
What does this all mean to the shared ownership industry? “It’s important to note there are approximately 1.3 million affluent leisure travelers in the U.S. who are interested in acquiring resort real estate during the next two years,” noted Yesawich. “They’re looking for vacation experiences that fit their changing needs and that also fulfill their penchant for status and the personal satisfaction of real estate ownership. Since shared ownership offers consumers the ability to purchase only the amount of time they intend to use, this augers well for the future of this business.”
The data for this analysis were collected randomly during August 2008 using a nationally representative sample of U.S. consumers, prequalified and screened for specific demographic and behavioral characteristics. Respondents were adults who took at least one trip for leisure purposes of at least 75 miles away from home that required overnight accommodations during the previous year, stayed in a “luxury hotel or resort” (by self report) at least once during the previous year, and reported a minimum annual household income of $150,000. Results are representative of the population of all affluent travelers in the United States.
Other Notable Findings
• Affluent leisure travelers interested in resort real estate overwhelmingly tend to be married (93%) and White (80%) with an annual household income of $250,000 or more (52%) and a reported net worth of $1 million or more (72%).
• More than four in ten are Boomers (44 – 62 years of age) (42%) and approximately four in ten are Generation Xers (30 – 43 years of age) (37%).
• Affluent leisure travelers interested in acquiring resort real estate have taken an average of more than seven (7.4) leisure trips during the past 12 months. Of those who took at least one trip in this category, approximately five (5.3) were to domestic destinations, whereas two in seven (3.5) were to international locales.
For more information, contact Chris Boesch on 305-666-1861 ext. 7267 or ChrisBoesch@intervalintl.com.