If you are a timeshare owner, or are considering becoming one, you'll want to learn about the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). ARDA is the main trade association for the timeshare industry. It has almost 1000 members, ranging from privately held companies to major corporations, in over 20 countries. This Washington, D.C. - based association promotes the growth and development of the timeshare industry in a variety of ways.
Of particular interest to consumers is ARDA's Advocacy program. ARDA is actively involved in local, state and national governmental affairs, monitoring regulatory issues that affect timeshare. The ARDA "…actively engages in lobbying efforts focused on the establishment of a legislative environment that fosters an industry growth that further enhances consumer confidence and protection.
In this same vein, the ARDA's Educational Institute offers its membership professional and educational development covering the industry's ethical, legal and regulatory areas.
Through the ARDA-Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC), owners can be part of an effective grassroots lobbying coalition of timeshare unit owners dedicated to preserving, protecting, and enhancing vacation ownership. ARDA sees this as the first line of defense against legislation that may negatively impact timeshare owners and their
ARDA's Outreach program provides news of the bright future and positive economic impact of the timeshare industry. To assist in this, an on-line newsletter, "ARDA NewsFLASH," provides up-to-date news on legislation, events, and other important industry and membership information.
The news posted on ARDA NewsFLASH this week is the just-released report "State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry: United States Study, 2010 Edition." The study states that timeshare occupancy is on the rise, indicating recovery with a healthy trend. The timeshare industry reported an average of 79.7% occupancy rate in 2009, compared with the 54.7% occupancy rate at the hotel industry. (Source: "STR Trend Report," Smith Travel Research, April 2010.) Around 54% of resorts are at least 80-percent occupied, and 34% have occupancy of at least 90%. Only 12% of resorts are less than 60-percent occupied. This is good news for the timeshare industry, of which every timeshare owner and timeshare renter is a part.