The timeshare industry is big business and it is constantly changing. More resorts, more rules, more systems, etc. It is very difficult to keep up with as the systems and rules keep changing and becoming more and more complex.
While they attempt to make the systems easy to understand, the actual use of the systems are complicated and there are many tricks and tips to really maximize ownership.
Interestingly, Interval International, which is one of the largest exchange companies, is actually the owner of many of the timeshare systems. Interval International is a public company (ILG) with a market capitalization of $3.6 Billion. Even with there awful reputations, timeshares are big business.
Interval International has done some strategic acquisitions in the not so distant future and actually owns and manages the Hyatt Residence Club properties and the Vistana Signature Experiences (Starwood's timeshare properties).
The acquisition of both of these major timeshare companies did not produce much change from the consumer standpoint as these programs still operate completely independently of one another. Most owners did not see any difference in these systems or their ownership.
As with all public companies, there is always the pressure to continue to grow their business. Growing businesses take time but a quick way to show immediate growth is through acquisitions. There has been some rumbling of news from Interval International whose activist stockholder has urged the Interval International seek a merger with the Marriott Vacation Club.
Marriott Vacation Club is one of the largest timeshare companies and operates over 50 properties.
If Interval International actually purchased Marriott, this would be a very interesting development. Interval International would then own three of the major timeshare brands leaving Wyndham and Hilton as the other two major timeshare brands associated with hotel brands.
In my opinion, a merger with the Marriott Vacation Club would likely be a non-event to the end consumers. I highly doubt that Interval International would try to re-brand any Marriott properties and would likely leave it to operate as is as it has done with Hyatt and Starwood / Vistana.
However, Interval International would then be the major player in the timeshare game. As a consumer, I would love to see additional benefits for Hyatt, Vistana and Marriott owners. Interval Internationally would arguably be in a better position to offer some unique perks that the other timeshare companies simply could not offer.
Time will tell on whether anything will occur and if it does, what it will mean to the timeshare market and the end consumers.
If the merger happens, what would existing owners like to see? Leave your comments below!