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StarBulletin.com

Timeshare occupancy is moving on up


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POSTED: Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Timeshare occupancy in Hawaii grew during the first six months of the year even as overall visitors to the state declined.

The number of visitors who stayed in a timeshare for part of their Hawaii vacation rose by 4.6 percent during the first six months of this year, with the number of visitors who spent their entire vacation in a timeshare up by 5.8 percent, according to data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

“;The data prove that even in difficult times, timeshare owners and guests are committed to Hawaii and will come year in and year out,”; said Daniel Dinell, vice president of Hilton Grand Vacation Club and chair of the ARDA-Hawaii Committee of American Resort Development Association.

That sentiment was especially true last month as 67,719 visitors, a 5.1 percent gain over the previous year, indicated that they planned to spend part of their vacation in a timeshare.

The Japanese led the crop of timeshare-staying visitors last month. Japanese visitors who planned to spend part of their vacation in a timeshare increased by 56.8 percent over August 2008. The year-to-date numbers of Japanese visitors arriving by air who said they planned to spend part of their time at a timeshare property rose 78 percent, the most dramatic increase of any market.

“;Timeshares create that all important steady layer of business,”; said state Tourism Liaison Marsha Wienert. “;They were the only segment of the Japanese visitor market that rose last month.”;

Cruise market aside, the timeshare category increased for all other markets during the first six months of 2009.

Hawaii's timeshare industry, which accounts for 10 percent of the state's lodging inventory, is responsible for $4.5 million in spending, and the creation of 34,420 jobs and $511 million in tax revenue, according to the most recent economic impact report for Hawaii's timeshare industry.