This is part of our series "The Changing Face of Travel"...exploring specific topics and trends affecting travel in 2021 and beyond. To read more articles click here

Changing consumer behavior and the evolution of an industry 

In just over 25 years the internet has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives. It has revolutionized communication, entertainment, education and almost all business operations and has provided access to the world’s library of information with the click of a button. Companies like Netflix, Amazon, Uber, Airbnb and Carvana have completely upended entire industries and in the process, altered our very behavior as consumers. The way we think about purchasing goods and services has been forever changed along with the way these new companies communicate and deliver their product.

The travel industry is no exception, with online booking being the most obvious. And while typically it is the companies that evolve to match new consumer behaviors, sometimes those new behaviors just happen to match a product that has been around all along. As the new “subscription economy” emerges, with consumers shelling out monthly payments for everything from gourmet meals to fashion, there has been one segment of the travel community that has been ahead of the curve for nearly 50 years. But as we’ll see, even this industry is evolving to meet consumer demand, and with it comes even more choice and flexibility for savvy consumers.

What is “Vacation Ownership”?

More than 50 years ago, timeshare arrived in America and changed the travel industry,
seemingly overnight. The value of ownership was deeply ingrained into our culture and the world began to appear smaller with airline travel on the rise. This was further supported by the allure of hassle-free ownership for one week at the amenity-rich resort of one’s choice. The concept was simple and was tailor-made for the typical suburban lifestyle at that time. However, as the landscape of the modern-family changed, the timeshare industry failed to keep pace. The once popular concept of a fixed calendar-week along with often times the same condominium location and size, began to quickly lose its shine. When you couple this rigid approach with high-pressure sales practices, it was a sinking ship for the industry and a perceived liability for the consumer.

Then, as quickly as timeshare seemed to arrive, the industry was forever changed. The American-based hotel brands realized the need, as much as the opportunity, to create a Vacation Ownership program that addressed the needs of the modern-family, while adopting the core concepts of timeshare, that millions of families found so appealing. Vacation Ownership had now evolved into a dynamic and flexible program, offering flexible and spontaneous travel, in well-appointed, residence style accommodations.


“Home away from home” takes on a whole new meaning

One of the elements of Vacation Ownership that has stood the test of time, is the accommodations that provide all of the same space and comforts of home. This feature was at one time seen as a luxury or selling point but now is undoubtedly a necessity for so many people looking to travel in the midst of today’s global pandemic. Vacation Ownership today, offers spacious accommodations to include full-kitchens with the entire family in mind. Also, larger accommodations are perfect for working from “home” while the rest of the family relaxes after a full-day’s adventure, exploring the mountains or the beach. There are as many Vacation Ownership options today as there are opinions on which program provides the best ownership experience. The reality is that while Vacation Ownership is a viable option for many, it is not a one size fits all as its roots in timeshare would suggest.

Today, purchasing a Vacation Ownership program often focuses on a customizable entry level plan that is complimented by a host of value-adding, fringe benefits. Most points-based programs provide the ability to travel with total flexibility and are supported by a strong customer service team, partially due to the emphasis that is placed on consumer reviews.

A smart investment equals time well spent

Though the focus tends to be centered around the cost associated with purchasing Vacation Ownership, you may need to first take a step back to determine if Vacation Ownership is the right approach for you. The most important question that has to be answered is, how strong is your vacation commitment or is travel something that is now taken a front seat in your life? The common thread with virtually all owners, is they found they have consistently taken more frequent vacations. The value proposition for most, is they are simply getting more with less by staying in superior accommodations then they would have in the past, for the same or less money. When taking this approach, the true investment is not monetary. The value lies within deciding to invest in creating deeper personal experiences through travel and then assessing if the financial tipping point is clearly in your favor.

If you have questions or want to learn more about vacation ownership options, feel free to chat with us by clicking the chat button in the lower right of your screen, or contact us below.

This is part of our series "The Changing Face of Travel"...exploring specific topics and trends affecting travel in 2021 and beyond. To read more articles click here

About InnSeason Resorts and our commitment to customer service:

As the northeast’s largest Vacation Ownership developer, InnSeason Resorts has always held our customer’s needs at the forefront of everything we do. We are a family-owned, award-winning, New England company providing a variety of Vacation Ownership products that focuses on the Northeast Experience and what that means for each owner. InnSeason Resorts provides access to the region’s most sought-after destinations or thousands of resorts around the world. One of the most used benefits of ownership encourages owners to use their network of InnSeason Resorts to stay in a vacation state of mind year-round. This Gold Card membership program allows 365 day a year access to some of New England’s most demanded locations and is simply one of the benefits that has established Innseason Resorts as the gold standard in Vacation Ownership with the New Englander specifically in mind.

Allan Guilbeault

Written by Allan Guilbeault

Managing Partner & Creative Director at LGA Media Group - A Hubspot certified marketing agency located in the White Mountains of NH & specializing in the resort and destination industry. Allan has more than 20 years experience in the tourism industry, working in operations, education, management, marketing and consulting. He has worked with companies in Hawaii, Central America and throughout the United States.