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Holiday Inn Club Vacations: a new player in the European Tourist residence market in the years to come?

IHG and Orange Lake Resorts have renewed their strategic partnership concerning the Holiday Inn Club Vacations brand. Orange Lake resorts has the exclusive global rights to manage the resorts under the brand until 2119. It will give new opportunities outside the US market where all resorts are currently located.

IHG and Orange Lake resorts share parts of the same history as they were both inspired by Kemmons Wilson. He invented Holiday Inn brand and launched his first hotel in 1952 in Memphis, Tenessee after having been very disappointed by the quality of hotels during a family roadtrip in the United States. The core idea was to provide guests with a hotel with strong quality requirements for a budget price. After selling the brand in 1979 and being supposedly retired, he got interested by the idea of vacation ownership and finally founded in 1982 Orange Lake Resort. It aims at changing the vacation ownership market with timeshare ownership that would give access to resort vacationing for the American middle-class. In 1982, the first Orange Lake Resort opened few kilometers far from Walt Disney World®. It provided guest with a resort offering food amenities and a swimming-pool surrounded by a golf course.

River Village at Orange Lake Resort, Florida
The first estate of the firm at Orange Lake Resort, Florida is now integrated in a vast property including 4 different villages.

Thirty years after, in 2008, the 2 companies have decided to join together. A successful alliance for Orange Lake Resorts which has grown from 4 to 27 estates and has tripled its number of owners since this date. The operation has also benefited to IHG which has been able to recruit the Orange Lake Resorts Club members - 350 000 members in 2018 - that can now exchange their loyalty points into the IHG Rewards Club. By this new agreement released in early April 2019, Orange Lake Resort gets new long-term opportunity to develop outside of its original market.

Extending our partnership with IHG will enable our company to plan further into the future, make bolder moves and explore destinations we might never have imagined. This paves the way for us to provide even more exciting and memorable vacations, as well as the opportunity to collaborate more closely with IHG as we both look to grow and enhance our customers’ experiences.

Tom Nelson, President and CEO, Orange Lake Resorts

In Europe, the tourist residences have grown for three decades, especially in France too, since the new tourist residences regulation in 1983 (the regulation created various tax incentives to encourage the development of these accommodation products in order to compensate lack of accommodations in some destinations). Though the market is now mature, it has continued to grow at a slow pace (nearly 1 % each year since 2012 in France for example). Moreover, the Holiday Inn brand is well known in Europe as it ranks 4th in the new 2019 ranking of hotel chains in Europe. A necessary springboard to compete with the leader, Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs group and its 6 brands (Pierre & Vacances, Center Parcs, Maeva, Sunparks, Villages Nature Paris as a joint-venture with EuroDisney and Adagio as a joint-venture with Accor). Center Parcs' business model is quite similar as the parks are partly financed by selling accomodations units. An other competitor is Odalys Group through its 400 tourist residences Odalys Vacances. Outside Europe, China looks like the place to be despite the market boundaries.

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