Timeshare is now witnessing huge demand in the Indian market. Sabina Chopra, Managing Director, RCI India, speaks about the growth and challenges in this space.
As per All India Resort Development Association (AIRDA), 3,50,000 families have subscribed to timeshare in India and the estimated market exceeds three to five million. RCI India, one of the largest players in the space believes that this figure is only set to grow at an exponential pace.
How has the concept of timeshare evolved in India? Do you see a significant demand for this segment?
Timeshare, also known as Vacation Ownership, offers the opportunity to own condominium-style accommodations at quality resorts, which typically offer an array of amenities in popular domestic and international destinations. In India timeshare has grown from single resort hotel to chain of hotels and resorts providing consumers with the opportunity to buy vacation time in any of their properties worldwide. When timeshare first entered the Indian market in the mid-eighties, it had to go through an initial phase of acceptance. A few people are still new to the concept of timeshare and vacation exchange as it did not receive the required nurturing it demanded. Today, the situation is gradually improving for the timeshare industry and it is on a path breaking way of establishing a household name for itself. The younger generation is realising the value of owning a timeshare and are eyeing it as a viable investment.
We recently undertook a survey in partnership with Kantar-IMRB to get some insights into this space. We interviewed 2008 individuals across Mumbai, Delhi, Ludhiana, Bangalore to see how well is timeshare doing in India. Some of the key findings are that 7 out of 10 people find the timeshare ownership concept appealing. In absolute terms, timeshare owners also reported a staggering more level of satisfaction- 55 per cent as compared to 37 per cent- non timeshare owners.
Is the concept of Timeshare in India different from the west? Is it more customised to cater to the domestic audience?
In India, Timeshare is becoming quite popular and growing since the last few years. The Timeshare resort base has grown by over 50 per cent over the last six years. So, there is a lot of scope and potential in India.
Which are the most popular destinations for Indian travellers domestically and international? Have you seen trend or demand for any new destination?
This year we saw a huge demand for destinations like Goa, Delhi and Kerala domestically, whereas Indians prefer Dubai, Thailand and Singapore for their international vacations. Another trend we have observed is that, when it comes to long-haul travel, Indians prefer newer destinations like Latvia, Bahmas, Romania, Brazil, Panama and Cyprus over London, Paris and New York. A lot more tourists have started looking up destinations that offer cruise tourism like Greece, Turkey, and Norway. Other destinations with popular theme parks like Singapore, Australia, and California are also quite trending in travellers bucket list.
How has the growth been in terms of membership and revenue from Jan-June, 2017?
We are committed to growth in terms of increasing market share and adding more members across target segments. We have a twofold strategy. First is member growth and satisfaction thereby providing solutions to members which make their travel and experience with RCI world class. Second is affiliate growth by engaging with affiliates to drive the growth in timeshare market and support their business.
Over the last year timeshare has grown up to 50 per cent showing great potential and promise. Our efforts are to add destinations that are in demand and give new vacation experiences to our members. Given this, some of the properties we have added this year are Hill Stream Resort in Dehradun, The Global Family Home, Leh, Ananta Spa and Resorts in Udaipur as well as ‘Nest n Mist’ resort in Waynad, JC Residency Resorts in Kodaikanal and Madurai, Sterling La Vida Varca, Goa and Arie Lagoon in Sri Lanka.