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Timeshare Facts

Who is buying and why

Timeshare Answers Guide
Copyright © Timeshare Resales Worldwide

The timeshare industry is a fast-paced, ever-changing business.

That is one reason a timeshare guide like ours is a handy resource. It is difficult, in fact, to keep up with the many changes in the business because it does change so quickly. The growth of RCI, the world's oldest and largest timeshare exchange company, is one example.

In 1974 the RCI directory had only 20 resorts! Now it is a global corporation with thousands of resorts and a vast array of services and departments. RCI is the leading provider of statistical records and trends in the business, and their reports to the community are very valuable and much appreciated.

Excerpts from articles at
RCI Resort Condominiums Int'l. at

"The timeshare industry is booming. With annual global sales topping $6 billion and growth between 16 percent and 18 percent a year for the past seven years, timesharing is the fastest-growing segment of the global travel and tourism industry.
According to the January 1999 issue of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc.'s "Leisure Almanac," "The growth of the timeshare industry has been nothing short of remarkable over the past 15 to 20 years." Bear, Stearns predicts that "the confluence of a rapidly growing population of income-qualified households and increased utilization should result in collective revenues of $200 billion between 1995 and 2009."

Timeshare Fast Facts

  • In 1998, the United States accounted for $3.06 billion -- approximately half --
    of the world's timeshare sales revenue, according to a recent survey sponsored by the American Resort Development Association.
  • The U.S. also leads in the number of resorts (more than 1,600, and owners (nearly 2 million).
  • According to RCI Consulting, in 1998 there were 4.25 million timeshare owners living in more than 200 countries and over 5,000 timeshare resorts in more than 90 countries.
  • There are nearly 4.5 million timeshare owners worldwide and approximately
    5,000 timeshare resorts in more than 90 countries.
  • About 6 million timeshare sales presentations were conducted throughout the
    world in 1998. Of those purchasing timesharing for the first time, more than 54 percent
    had already attended three or more sales presentations, indicating that consumers
    are beginning to shop for timesharing.
  • In 1998, the average median income of a timeshare owner was $71,000.
    The median age was 51.


Timeshare Resales - Timeshare Sales reached $8 billion in the U.S. for 2005.

According to RCI, Vacation Ownership across the nation continues growing as sales reached approximately $8 billion in the U.S. last year. RCI now has over 3 million members!

A survey conducted by Ragatz Associates notes that the sales increase reflects a 116% increase from five years ago.

With nearly 1,800 timeshare resorts in 46 states, the timeshare industry also plays an increasingly prominent role in the American tourism industry.

RCI initiated the very popular global RCI Points program several years ago and it's popularity has contributed to the growth.

Many buyers who had in the past rejected the traditional one-week timeshare, are now buying at RCI Points affilated resorts because they like the ability to stay one day at a time and use points for airline tickets, cruises, hotels, car rentals and the like.

More information about RCI and timeshare growth here.


The following report, issued on the 20th anniversary of the first survey of resort
timeshare owners in the United States, is the ninth such survey since 1978.

Notable growth has occurred in the resort timeshare industry during this period as outlined below.

Timesharing: Now and Then




Annual U.S. Sales Volume

Less than $300 million

Nearly $3 billion

Number of U.S. Owners

Less than 100,000

More than 1.9 million

Number of U.S. Resorts


More than 1,200

Who They Are

Compared to all U.S. households, timeshare owners earn more (72.9 percent have incomes of more than $50,000, compared to only 34.3 percent for U.S. households); are older (75.3 percent are 45 years of age or more, compared to 52.1 percent); and are more educated (57.4 percent have a bachelorís degree, compared to 24.5 percent).

  • In 1978, the median household income of timeshare owners was about $23,000. It is now more than $68,000.
  • Two-fifths (41.7 percent) of all current timeshare owners have household incomes of more than $75,000. Only 5.2 percent have incomes of less than $30,000, while 21.5 percent have incomes of more than $100,000.
  • The average age of timeshare owners is 54 years.
  • The majority (87.2 percent) of all timeshare owners is couples. 12.8 percent are single.
  • Only 34.8 percent of owners have children younger than 18 years of age living at home.

Why They Buy

The exchange opportunity remains the most frequently cited motivation for purchasing a timeshare interval (84.2 percent), followed by being able to save money on future vacation costs (59.5 percent) and simply liking the timeshare resort, the amenities, and/or the unit (52.2 percent).

Satisfaction rates with the exchange opportunity are very high. Some 78.6 percent of owners express satisfaction with their exchange company, and 83.1 percent express satisfaction with their most recent exchange.

One-half (50 percent) of those surveyed own at seashore or ocean beach areas, followed by golfing destinations at 28.9 percent, snow skiing destinations at 20.7 percent, and lake or large river destinations at 20.3 percent. A high 28.8 percent of owners own timesharing at more than one resort."

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