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 United States Timeshare Sales Leap Nearly 25%;
Baby-Boomers Dominate Market
WASHINGTON, April 2, 1998 -  The American Resort Development Association today released a market analysis of the U.S. timeshare industry that finds a stunning 25 percent increase in sales last year, with purchases rising from $2.18 billion in 1996 to $2.72 billion in 1997. This surge comes on the heels of five straight years of growth for the timeshare, or vacation ownership, industry in which the annual increase has averaged nearly 14 percent -- a pace that has made it the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry.

The United States continues to be the world leader in vacation ownership with approximately 2 million owners.
Timeshare, or vacation ownership, has sparked a revolution in consumer travel. With close to 5,000 resorts
worldwide and global sales estimated at nearly $6 billion, vacation ownership is now the fastest growing segment
of the tourism industry.

"The average age of today's timeshare buyers is 48 years old," noted ARDA Chairman Edwin H. McMullen, Sr.
"Research shows us that 75 million Americans will turn 50 in the next 18 years. We believe this bodes well for the
timeshare industry as Baby-Boomers continue to choose timeshare as the most affordable and enjoyable way to

In addition, ARDA reports a separate survey reveals the vacation ownership industry is enjoying high approval
ratings from its owners and achieving levels of satisfaction unequaled in the hospitality industry. More than 85
percent of timeshare owners report being satisfied or very satisfied with their vacation purchases, according to a
survey of 2,653 U.S. owners.

ARDA President Cynthia Huheey attributes the sustained and strong rise in timeshare popularity to several
factors. "The continued sophistication and attractiveness of purpose-built timeshare units, increased flexibility
provided through exchange companies, participation of revered hospitality firms, and the influx of public
company capital have all contributed to consumer support for the timeshare experience that has fueled these
strong growth figures," says Huheey.

The 1997 U.S. sales figures were calculated by American Economics Group, Inc., a Washington-based
independent research firm retained by ARDA for this project. As the professional association of the recreational
real estate, resort and vacation ownership industry, ARDA represents over 1,000 companies and 4,000 resorts
worldwide, including second-home resorts, community development properties, vacation timeshare resorts and
fractional interests.

 Chris Larson, 202-371-6700
Ed Gillespie, 202-467-5885

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