Skift Take

Hilton Grand Vacations is also eyeing a sales boost by inheriting Bluegreen's marketing deal with Bass Pro's 200 stores after the timeshare giant fully digests its latest acquisition.

Many Japanese have liked to buy timeshares in the U.S. — especially in Hawaii — as an alternative to investing in a Japanese stock market that has produced poor returns for decades. But with the Japanese yen at a 36-year low against the dollar, that trend has reversed.

Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV), the giant timeshare company with soon-to-be 13 properties in Hawaii, said it had seen Japanese buyers be slow to return to the market.

“Japanese new buyer arrivals are down 53% below 2019 levels,” said Mark Wang, president and CEO during an earnings call Thursday. “We’re still waiting for those new buyers to come back to Hawaii. The general expectation is that it’s going to take a number of years for that to come back.”

HGV has 13 sales offices in Japan, underscoring the size of the market. Its tours for new buyers for properties within Japan are almost back to 2019 levels, the CEO said.

Japanese who have owned HGV properties since before the pandemic have been returning to use of their properties and club membership.

Existing Japanese owners are traveling to HGV properties at close to 2019 levels of engagement.

On the reverse side, American interest in visiting Japan is booming, and the company’s newest timeshare property in Japan, Okinawa’s Sesoko, is popular, Wang said.

HGV to Fully Onboard Bluegreen by Year-End

HGV completed its $1.5 billion buyout of Bluegreen Vacations in January, and the timeshare giant said Thursday that it would bring Bluegreen into its loyalty program and sales platform by approximately year-end.

“We’re working hard on designing the program and getting it ready for launch, but it will take some time before we can offer it to the Bluegreen owner base,” Wang said.

“Our expectations right now is there will be a rollout at the beginning of the fourth quarter, though it may come a little earlier and may come a little later,” Wang said.

The company plans to make Bluegreen members part of HGV Max, a club membership that It allows customers who purchase a vacation ownership interest to use points across all properties in HGV’s network. For example, Bluegreen’s network doesn’t include properties in Hawaii, but HGV’s does, and those would become available to today’s Bluegreen members.

“Historically, Bluegreen has not upgraded their members to the same degree as HGV or the industry more broadly,” said Wang. Wang added that the unified program would “resonate really well with Bluegreen members.”

Bass Pro Shops deal

Executives at Hilton Grand Vacations are excited about the potential for their company to take advantage of Bluegreen’s longstanding marketing deal through Bass Pro Shops to market timeshares via its retail stores.

HGV will inherit a decade-long extension of an exclusive marketing agreement with Bass Pro Shops, a sporting goods retailer with 200 stores. The deal grants HGV the right to market and sell vacation packages at kiosks in each of Bass Pro’s 200 shops.

Sales prospects and leads generated through this marketing arrangement with Bass Pro have accounted for a significant portion of Bluegreen’s timeshare sales volume, representing 16% of it last year.

The Bluegreen deal adds 200,000 members to HGV’s program, bringing the membership to over 700,000. It also expands HGV’s resort portfolio to nearly 200 properties in eight new U.S. states.

HGV’s first quarter

Revenue rose 23% to $1.156 billion. Adjusted EBITDA rose 25% year-over-year to $273 million.

Accommodations Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of hotels and short-term rental sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets, including international and regional hotel brands, hotel REITs, hotel management companies, alternative accommodations, and timeshares.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more hotels and short-term rental financial sector performance.

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.


Daily Lodging Report

Essential industry news for hospitality and lodging executives in North America and Asia-Pacific. Delivered daily to your inbox.

Show Me More

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: hilton grand vacations, mergers and acquisitions, timeshare, timeshares, vacation ownership

Photo credit: Hilton Grand Vacations at The Crane in Barbados. Source: Hilton Grand Vacations.

Up Next

Loading next stories