SOURCE: Wyndham Vacation Ownership

Wyndham Vacation Ownership

September 21, 2009 08:00 ET

If They Own It, They Will Come

Despite Downward Travel Trends, Timeshare Occupancy on the Rise at Wyndham Vacation Ownership

ORLANDO, FL--(Marketwire - September 21, 2009) - Bucking current travel patterns that continue to trend downward in nearly every segment of the hospitality industry, timeshare owners -- particularly those participating in points-based programs -- are still taking vacations.

According to Smith Travel Research, 2009 full-year hotel occupancy is projected to be 55.4 percent, a decline of 8.4 percent from 2008.* Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVO), the world's largest provider of points-based timeshare, has experienced no decline in year-over-year occupancy to date, despite the addition of nearly 1,300 condominium-style units to its portfolio in 2008. In fact, WVO resort occupancy was slightly up at about 75% across its network of more than 150 resorts from January through June over the same period in 2008. Advanced bookings are also up three percent for the balance of the year, further demonstrating that timeshare owners continue to vacation despite a weakened economy.

Points-based programs, such as CLUB WYNDHAM(SM) Plus and WorldMark, The Club, provide owners with an annual points or credits-based currency to select when and where they want to vacation -- a contrast to traditional fixed-week timeshare, which locks vacationers into the same time, unit and location year after year.

"It stands to reason that if you've already paid for your vacations, chances are you're taking one this year," said Franz Hanning, president and chief executive officer, Wyndham Vacation Ownership. "With points-based timeshare, it's as if someone hands you vacation cash each year to spend however and wherever you like. Vacation excuses are pretty hard to find among timeshare owners."

OCCUPANCY

Given the flexibility of Wyndham's points-based programs, resort occupancies are a strong measure of where owners decide to travel. Hawaii, which is widely recognized as one of the world's most renowned vacationing spots, continues to experience record lows in hotel occupancy -- Wyndham's timeshare occupancies remain level there. Perhaps more impressive, occupancy rates at select Wyndham timeshare resorts in traditionally popular vacation destinations, including Florida and Southern California, are up considerably year over year.** Points-based programs also enable owners to divide their time into multiple, shorter vacation stays throughout the year, mirroring recent consumer travel trends. Although a number of Wyndham owners are still flying to their next vacation, many are also opting to stay closer to home or travel to resorts located in drive-to or regional destinations. WVO's top 10 travel markets based on increased year-over-year** occupancy levels are:

Region                          Occupancy***

Panama City Beach, Fla.         +12.4%
Destin, Fla.                     +6.0%
San Diego, Calif.                +5.3%
Bass Lake, Calif.                +4.4%
West Yellowstone, Mont.            +4%
Palm Springs, Calif.             +3.5%
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.             +2.7%
Branson, Mo.                     +2.5%
Nashville, Tenn.                 +1.9%
San Antonio, Texas               +1.6%

ABOUT WYNDHAM VACATION OWNERSHIP

Wyndham Vacation Ownership, a member of the Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) family of companies, is the world's largest vacation ownership business, as measured by the number of vacation ownership resorts, individual vacation ownership units and owners of vacation ownership interests. Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its three primary consumer brands, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, WorldMark by Wyndham, and Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific. As of January 1, 2009, Wyndham Vacation Ownership had developed or acquired approximately 150 vacation ownership resorts throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and the South Pacific that represent approximately 20,000 individual vacation ownership units and more than 830,000 owners of vacation ownership interests. Wyndham Vacation Ownership is headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and is supported by approximately 13,800 employees globally.

* According to "Smith Travel Lodging Research Review" Smith Travel Research published February 7, 2009.

**Year-over-year occupancy is defined as January - June 2008 vs. January - June 2009.

*** 2008 vs. 2009 year-to-date occupancy rates for the Wyndham Vacation Ownership resort portfolio, which includes Wyndham Vacation Resorts and WorldMark by Wyndham.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Liz Hutchison
    Director, Corporate Communications
    Wyndham Vacation Ownership
    Office: (407) 626-4594
    Cell: (407) 462-6085
    E-mail: Liz.Hutchison@wyndhamvo.com