SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2021
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the transition period from to
Commission File No. 001-35219
Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or other jurisdiction of|
incorporation or organization)
|9002 San Marco Court||Orlando||FL||32819|
|(Address of principal executive offices)||(Zip Code)|
Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code (407) 206-6000
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of Each Class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered|
|Common Stock, $0.01 Par Value||VAC||New York Stock Exchange|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: NONE
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer|
|Smaller reporting company|
|Emerging growth company|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
The aggregate market value of shares of common stock held by non-affiliates at June 30, 2021, was $6,667,644,233. There were 42,104,128 shares of common stock outstanding as of February 22, 2022.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Proxy Statement prepared for the 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “Annual Report”), we refer to Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation, together with its consolidated subsidiaries, as “Marriott Vacations Worldwide,” “MVW,” “we,” “us,” or “the Company.”
In order to make this Annual Report easier to read, we refer throughout to (i) our Consolidated Financial Statements as our “Financial Statements,” (ii) our Consolidated Statements of Income as our “Income Statements,” (iii) our Consolidated Balance Sheets as our “Balance Sheets” and (iv) our Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows as our “Cash Flows.” References throughout to numbered “Footnotes” refer to the numbered Notes to our Financial Statements that we include in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report. When discussing our properties or markets, we refer to the United States, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean as “North America.”
Additionally, throughout this Annual Report, we refer to brands that we own, as well as those brands that we license, as our brands. All brand names, trademarks, service marks and trade names cited in this report are the property of their respective owners, including those of other companies and organizations. Solely for convenience, trademarks, trade names and service marks referred to in this Annual Report may appear without the ® or TM symbols, however such references are not intended to indicate in any way that MVW or the owner, as applicable, will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, all rights to such trademarks, trade names and service marks.
Brand names, trademarks, service marks and trade names that we own or license from Marriott International, Inc. or its affiliates (“Marriott International”) include Marriott Vacation Club®, Marriott Vacation Club DestinationsTM, Marriott Vacation Club PulseSM, Marriott Grand Residence Club®, Grand Residences by Marriott®, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club®, Westin®, Sheraton®, and (to a limited extent) St. Regis® and The Luxury Collection®. Marriott International’s affiliates include Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (“Starwood”) and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. (“The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company”). We also refer to Marriott International’s Marriott Bonvoy® customer loyalty program as “Marriott Bonvoy.” “Hyatt Vacation Ownership” business refers to our group of businesses using the Hyatt® brand in the vacation ownership business pursuant to an exclusive, global master license agreement with a subsidiary of Hyatt Hotels Corporation (“Hyatt”). We also refer to Hyatt’s World of Hyatt® customer loyalty program as “World of Hyatt.”
In early 2020, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic (“COVID-19,” “the COVID-19 pandemic,” “the pandemic,” or “the virus”). The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions in international and U.S. economies and markets, and has also had an unprecedented impact on the travel and hospitality industries, as well as the Company. We discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential future implications throughout this report; however, the COVID-19 pandemic, and any recovery therefrom, continues to evolve and further potential impacts on our business in the future remain uncertain.
On April 1, 2021, we completed the acquisition of Welk Hospitality Group, Inc. (“Welk”) through a series of transactions (the “Welk Acquisition”), after which Welk became our indirect wholly-owned subsidiary. The Financial Statements in this report for fiscal year 2021 include Welk’s results of operations for the last three quarters of 2021, and reflect the financial position of our combined company at December 31, 2021. We refer to the business and brands that we acquired from Welk as “Legacy-Welk.” In addition, as part of the Welk Acquisition, we acquired a short-term license to use the Welk brand in connection with the continued operations of the Welk business. We intend to rebrand all Welk resorts as Hyatt-branded resorts once all necessary approvals are obtained.
In 2018, we completed the acquisition of ILG, LLC, formerly known as ILG, Inc. (“ILG”), through a series of transactions (the “ILG Acquisition”), after which ILG became our indirect wholly-owned subsidiary. We refer to our business associated with brands that existed prior to the ILG Acquisition as “Legacy-MVW” and to ILG’s business and brands that we acquired as “Legacy-ILG.” The businesses acquired from ILG that we currently operate as part of our Vacation Ownership business include Vistana Signature Experiences (“Vistana”), which includes vacation ownership products branded as Sheraton or Westin, and Hyatt Vacation Ownership. The businesses acquired from ILG that we currently operate as part of our Exchange & Third-Party Management business include Aqua-Aston Hospitality (“Aqua-Aston”), Interval International, Trading Places International (“TPI”), and Vacation Resorts International (“VRI”).
By referring to our corporate website, www.marriottvacationsworldwide.com, or any other website, we do not incorporate any such website or its contents in this Annual Report.
SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
We make forward-looking statements throughout this Annual Report, including in, among others, the sections entitled “Business,” “Risk Factors,” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” based on our management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, the information concerning our: possible or assumed future results of operations; business strategies, such as our plans to continue to increase our focus on sales of vacation ownership products to first-time buyers; financing plans; competitive position; potential growth opportunities; potential operating performance improvements, including the expectations that contract sales and rental occupancies will continue to improve in 2022 and that interest income will begin to increase in 2022; the effects of competition; and the ongoing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and actions we or others may take in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as the words “believe,” “expect,” “plan,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue,” “may,” “might,” “should,” “could” or the negative of these terms or similar expressions.
Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. We caution you that these statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous and evolving risks and uncertainties that we may not be able to predict or assess, such as: the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including variations in demand for vacation ownership and exchange products and services, volatility in the international and national economy and credit markets, worker absenteeism, quarantines or other government-imposed travel or health-related restrictions; the length and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its short and longer-term impact on the demand for travel and on consumer confidence; the impact of the availability and distribution of effective vaccines on the demand for travel and consumer confidence; the effectiveness of available vaccines against variants of the virus, including the Delta and Omicron variants; the pace of recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic or as effective treatments or vaccines become widely available; the availability of capital to finance growth; the effects of steps we have taken and may continue to take to reduce operating costs and/or enhance health and cleanliness protocols at our resorts due to the COVID-19 pandemic; political or social strife, and other matters referred to under the heading “Risk Factors” contained herein. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. You should not put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements in this Annual Report. We do not have any intention or obligation to update forward-looking statements after the date of this Annual Report, except as required by law.
The risk factors discussed in “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in forward-looking statements in this Annual Report. There may be other risks and uncertainties that we cannot predict at this time or that we currently do not expect will have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows. Any such risks could cause our results to differ materially from those we express in forward-looking statements.
Item 1. Business
We are a leading global vacation company that offers vacation ownership, exchange, rental and resort and property management, along with related businesses, products and services. As the first hospitality-branded vacation ownership company, Marriott Vacations Worldwide helped establish the industry and was the first major pure-play independent, public company in the field. Today we are more than a vacation ownership company; we are about vacation experiences. We are a global leader in vacation ownership with some of the most iconic brands in the industry. We are the exclusive worldwide developer, marketer, seller and manager of vacation ownership and related products under the Marriott Vacation Club, Grand Residences by Marriott, Sheraton Vacation Club, Westin Vacation Club, and Hyatt Residence Club brands, as well as under Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, an extension of the Marriott Vacation Club brand. We are also the exclusive worldwide developer, marketer and seller of vacation ownership and related products under The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club brand, and have the non-exclusive right to develop, market and sell whole ownership residential products under The Ritz-Carlton Residences brand. We have a license to use the St. Regis brand for specified fractional ownership products. In addition, as part of our acquisition of Welk Resorts, we intend to rebrand all Welk resorts as Hyatt-branded resorts once all necessary approvals are obtained. In the exchange arena, Interval International is our high-quality membership brand that serves as the gateway to unparalleled vacation experiences around the world, including access to its affiliated resorts.
Our business operates in two reportable segments: Vacation Ownership and Exchange & Third-Party Management. We have been an independent public company since our November 2011 spin-off from Marriott International (the “Marriott Spin-Off”).
|($ in millions)||Segment Revenue||% of Segment Revenue|
|Vacation Ownership||$||3,539 ||92%|
|Exchange & Third-Party Management||320 ||8%|
|Total Segment Revenue||$||3,859 ||100%|
COVID-19 Pandemic Update
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions in international and U.S. economies and markets. Our results of operations from 2021 and 2020 reflect significantly adverse impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, our businesses continue to recover, and nearly all of our sales centers, resorts, and other properties have reopened. While financial results for certain areas of our business remain below pre-pandemic levels, we continued to experience significant sequential improvement during each quarter of 2021, with certain fourth quarter 2021 results exceeding pre-pandemic levels. We expect improvement to continue across our businesses during 2022 as urban markets continue to recover, international travel restrictions subside, and we continue to strengthen our digital infrastructure, grow online tour packages, and enhance customer experiences. Because demand for our products and services has increased and we expect it to continue to increase, in mid-year 2021, we ceased our workforce reduction plans and instead implemented workforce recalls, attraction and retention plans. We discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and its current and potential future implications in this report; however, the COVID-19 pandemic, and any recovery therefrom, continues to evolve and its further potential impacts on our business in the future remain uncertain. We continue to closely monitor and seek to manage the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and operations, and to adapt our operations.
The Vacation Ownership Industry
The vacation ownership industry (also known as the timeshare industry) enables customers to share ownership and use of fully-furnished vacation accommodations. Typically, a purchaser acquires an interest (known as a “vacation ownership interest” or a “VOI”) that is either a real estate ownership interest (known as a “timeshare estate”) or a contractual right-to-use interest (known as a “timeshare license”) in a single resort or a collection of resort properties. In the United States, most vacation ownership products are sold as timeshare estates, which can be structured in a variety of ways, including a deeded real estate interest in a specified accommodation unit, an undivided interest in a building or an entire resort, or a beneficial interest in a trust that owns one or more resort properties. By purchasing a vacation ownership interest, owners make a commitment to vacation. For many purchasers, vacation ownership provides an attractive alternative to traditional lodging accommodations (such as hotels, resorts and condominium rentals). In addition to avoiding the volatility in room rates to which traditional lodging customers are subject, vacation ownership purchasers enjoy accommodations that are, on average, more than twice the size of traditional hotel rooms and typically have more features, such as kitchens and separate living areas. Purchasers who might otherwise buy a second home find vacation ownership a preferable alternative because it is more affordable and reduces maintenance and upkeep concerns, and because they are interested in buying a lifetime of vacations.
Typically, developers sell vacation ownership interests for a fixed purchase price that is paid in full at closing or financed with a loan. Many vacation ownership companies provide financing or facilitate access to third-party bank financing for customers. Vacation ownership resorts are often operated by a nonprofit owners’ association of which owners of vacation ownership interests are members. Most owners’ associations are governed by a board of directors that includes owners and which may include representatives of the developer. Some vacation ownership resorts are held through a trust structure in which a trustee holds title and manages the property. The board of the owners’ association, or trustee, as applicable, typically delegates much of the responsibility for managing the resort to a management company, which is often affiliated with the developer.
After the initial purchase, most vacation ownership programs require the owner of the vacation ownership interest to pay an annual maintenance fee. This fee represents the owner’s allocable share of the costs and expenses of operating and maintaining the vacation ownership property and providing program services. This fee typically covers expenses such as housekeeping, landscaping, taxes, insurance, and resort labor, a property management fee payable to the management company for providing management services, and an assessment to fund a capital asset reserve account used to renovate, refurbish and replace furnishings, common areas and other assets (such as parking lots or roofs) as needed over time. Owners typically reserve their usage of vacation accommodations in advance through a reservation system (often provided by the management company or an affiliated entity), unless a vacation ownership interest specifies fixed usage dates and a particular unit every year.
The vacation ownership industry has grown through expansion of established vacation ownership developers as well as entrance into the market of well-known lodging and entertainment brands, including Marriott, Sheraton, Hilton, Hyatt, Westin and Disney. The industry’s growth can also be attributed to increased market acceptance of vacation ownership products, stronger consumer protection laws and the evolution of vacation ownership interests from a fixed- or floating-week product, which provides the right to use the same property every year, to membership in multi-resort vacation networks, which offer a more flexible vacation experience. These vacation networks often issue their members an annual allotment of points that can be redeemed for stays at affiliated vacation ownership resorts or for alternative vacation experiences available through the program.
To enhance the flexibility and appeal of their products, many vacation ownership developers affiliate their projects with vacation ownership exchange service providers so that owners may exchange their rights to use the developer’s resorts in which they have purchased an interest for accommodation at other resorts in the exchange service provider’s broader network of properties. The two leading exchange service providers are our subsidiary Interval International, and RCI, LLC, a subsidiary of Travel + Leisure Co. (“RCI”). Interval International’s network includes nearly 3,200 affiliated resorts, and RCI’s network includes over 7,000 affiliated resorts, as identified on RCI’s website.
According to the American Resort Development Association (“ARDA”), a trade association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries, as of December 31, 2020, the U.S. vacation ownership community was comprised of over 1,500 resorts, representing more than 200,000 units. According to ARDA, sales in the U.S. market were approximately $4.9 billion in 2020. We believe there is considerable potential for further growth in the industry both in the U.S. and globally.
License Agreements and Intellectual Property
Our long-term license agreements include a License, Services, and Development Agreement (the “Marriott License Agreement”) with Marriott International and a License, Services, and Development Agreement (the “Ritz-Carlton License Agreement”) with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, a subsidiary of Marriott International. Under these long-term license agreements, we are granted the exclusive right, for the terms of the license agreements, to use certain Marriott and Ritz-Carlton marks and intellectual property in our vacation ownership business, the exclusive right to use the Grand Residences by Marriott marks and intellectual property in our residential real estate business, and the non-exclusive right to use certain Ritz-Carlton marks and intellectual property in our residential real estate business.
We are also the exclusive licensee for the Sheraton and Westin brands in vacation ownership. Our license agreements for these brands grant us the exclusive right, for the terms of the license agreements, to use certain Sheraton and Westin marks and intellectual property in our vacation ownership business, and the right to use the St. Regis brand for specified fractional ownership products. In addition, we assumed a license agreement with Hyatt that grants us the exclusive global use of the Hyatt brand in connection with the Hyatt Vacation Ownership business.
As part of the Welk Acquisition, we acquired a short-term license to use the Welk brand in connection with the continued operations of the Welk business. We intend to rebrand all Welk resorts as Hyatt-branded resorts once all necessary approvals are obtained.
We operate in a highly competitive industry and our brand names, trademarks, service marks, trade names and logos are very important to the marketing and sales of our products and services. We believe that our licensed brand names and other intellectual property represent high standards of quality, caring, service and value to our customers and the traveling public. We register and protect our intellectual property where we deem appropriate and otherwise seek to protect against its unauthorized use.
Licensor Customer Loyalty Programs
Under our affiliation agreements with Marriott International and its affiliates, our owners who are Marriott Bonvoy members generally have the ability to redeem their vacation ownership usage rights to access participating Marriott-, Sheraton-, and Westin-branded properties or other products and services offered through the program.
Through our relationship with Hyatt, our owners who are members of the World of Hyatt customer loyalty program generally have the ability to redeem their vacation ownership usage rights to access participating Hyatt-branded properties or other products and services offered through the program.
Our strategic goal is to further strengthen our leadership position in the vacation ownership industry. To achieve this goal, we are pursuing the following initiatives, as we continue to focus in the years ahead on further enhancing the vacation experience to help our members and owners live their lives to the fullest:
Drive profitable revenue growth
We intend to continue to generate growth in vacation ownership sales by leveraging our powerful mix of trusted hospitality brands and membership programs and targeting high-quality inventory that allows us to add desirable new destinations to our systems with new on-site sales locations. We expect to continue to generate growth through our integrated platform that provides exclusive access to the world-class loyalty programs of Marriott International and Hyatt. We will also continue to focus on our approximately 700,000 owner families around the world. We are concentrating on growing our tour flow cost effectively as we seek to grow first-time buyer tours through our strategy that emphasizes new sales locations and new marketing channels, including digital and social media marketing. As the vacation ownership business continues to grow sales and we add new resorts, our vacation ownership revenue streams from consumer financing, management fees, rentals and ancillary services are expected to grow.
We also plan to grow our recurring revenues which tend to be less capital intensive than sales of vacation ownership. Our recurring revenues include management of resorts and owners’ associations, financing revenues, and membership, club and other revenues in both our Vacation Ownership and Exchange & Third-Party Management segments. These revenues generally are more predictable due to the relatively fixed nature of resort operating expenses and, in the case of management and exchange revenues, contractual agreements that typically span many years and are often automatically renewable. Financing revenues are relatively stable as the majority of these revenues generated in any given year come from prior year note originations.
Additionally, we plan to drive revenue growth by focusing on younger customers and by accessing a wider array of vacationers through new membership programs in our exchange businesses.
Maximize cash flow and optimize our capital structure, including by selectively pursuing capital efficient vacation ownership deal structures
Through the use of our points-based products, we are able to more closely match inventory investment with sales pace, thereby generating strong cash flows over time. Limiting the amount of completed inventory on hand and pursuing capital efficient vacation ownership inventory arrangements enable us to reduce the maintenance fees that we pay on unsold inventory and improve returns on invested capital and liquidity. In addition, we reacquire previously sold vacation ownership interests at lower costs than would be required to develop new inventory which increases margins on our sales of vacation ownership interests.
Our business model is characterized by steady, consistent cash flow, which is driven in part by our “asset-light” capital efficient framework. We expect to maintain an attractive leverage profile. We intend to meet our ongoing liquidity needs through cash on hand, operating cash flow, our $600 million revolving credit facility (the “Revolving Corporate Credit Facility”), our $350 million non-recourse warehouse credit facility (the “Warehouse Credit Facility”), and continued access to the asset-backed securities (“ABS”) term financing market. We believe this will enable us to maintain a level of liquidity that provides financial flexibility, giving us the ability to pursue strategic growth opportunities, withstand potential future economic downturns, optimize our cost of capital, and pursue strategies for returning excess capital to shareholders.
Enhance digital capabilities
A key area of focus for us is the expansion of digital tools to drive more efficient digital marketing and enhance user experience for our owners and members of our exchange and other membership programs. We believe there is much more innovation and growth to come, and we intend to build efficiencies in our cost of delivery of marketing and to facilitate access to our portfolio of brands with new digital tools.
Focus on the satisfaction of our owners, members, and guests as well as the engagement of our associates
We provide high-quality vacation experiences to our owners, members, and guests around the world and we believe that maintaining a high level of engagement across all of our customer groups is key to our success. We intend to maintain and improve their satisfaction with our products and services, which drives incremental sales as customers choose to spend more time at our resorts. Because our owners, members, and guests are our most cost-effective vacation ownership sales channels, we intend to continue to leverage our strong customer satisfaction to drive higher margin sales volumes.
From our earliest days, we have sought to create a culture that emphasizes warm and welcoming customer service and authentic care for our associates. At Marriott Vacations Worldwide, these characteristics are two sides of the same coin. They give meaning to our vision of helping our customers and associates live their lives to the fullest. Our caring culture unites our associates across a wide range of backgrounds, geographies and experiences. It is this very diversity that make us “Better Together” and that has allowed us to grow and prosper over the years.
Transform our business in connection with the integration of the ILG and Welk Acquisitions
Perhaps no aspect of our business has changed more over the years than the range of diverse vacation experiences we provide. The dramatic shift was made possible by the ILG Acquisition in 2018 and enhanced by the Welk Acquisition in 2021. Interval International has been our valued exchange partner since 1988 and became part of the Marriott Vacations Worldwide family as a result of the ILG Acquisition. As we continue to further integrate the ILG and Welk businesses, we are simultaneously working to develop new growth channels and streamline our business processes through technology. We are focused on integrating functions, leveraging strengths across our businesses, and pursuing transformational opportunities that can further differentiate us from our competitors. We intend to continue advancing our company analytics to encourage greater points utilization and usage of our exchange and travel products, provide enhanced resort experiences, and create more relevant and high value targeted leads for tour offers and vacation options. This is a multi-year process that is designed to achieve cost savings and increase revenue opportunities that we expect will continue into 2022.
Selectively pursue compelling new business opportunities
We are positioned to explore new business opportunities, such as the continued enhancement of our exchange programs, new management affiliations, acquisitions of existing vacation ownership and related businesses, and the creation of new innovative travel-related products that are outside of our core vacation ownership and exchange company offerings. We intend to selectively pursue these types of opportunities, focusing on those opportunities that drive recurring revenue and profit streams. Prior to entering into any new business opportunity, we will evaluate its strategic fit and assess whether it is complementary to our current business, has strong expected financial returns and complements our existing culture and competencies.
A leading global vacation ownership and exchange company
We are one of the world’s largest vacation ownership companies, based on number of owners, members, number of resorts and revenues. Since becoming a standalone public company 10 years ago, our vacation ownership business has nearly doubled in size, from 64 vacation ownership resorts and approximately 420,000 owners to over 120 vacation ownership resorts and approximately 700,000 owner families as of the end of 2021. Our exchange networks and membership programs are comprised of nearly 3,200 affiliated resorts and almost 1.4 million members, and we also provide management services to over 150 other resorts and lodging properties, as of the end of 2021. We believe our scale and global reach, coupled with our renowned brands and development, marketing, sales, exchange and management expertise, help us achieve operational efficiencies and support future growth opportunities. Our size allows us to provide owners, members, and guests with the flexibility of a wide variety of experiences within our high-quality resort portfolio, coupled with the ease and certainty of working with a single trusted provider. We also believe our size helps us obtain better financing terms from lenders, achieve operational cost savings from our increased scale, and attract talented management and associates. In the exchange arena, Interval International is the high-quality membership brand that serves as the gateway to unparalleled vacation experiences. Our Interval International network includes members and resorts from our Marriott, Westin, Sheraton and Hyatt clubs, as well as other high quality branded and independent resorts, that can attract developers and owners’ associations to affiliate with the network and provide exchange opportunities for their owners.
The breadth and depth of our operations enables us to offer a variety of products and to continue to adapt those products to the ever changing needs and preferences of our existing and future customers. For example, the tapestry of vacation experiences we offer includes not only traditional resort experiences but also urban experiences at our Marriott Vacation Club Pulse locations, which are unique properties that embrace the spirit and culture of their urban locations.
Premier global brands with access to expansive customer bases
Each of our owned or licensed brands - from Marriott Vacation Club to Hyatt Residence Club, from Interval International to Aqua-Aston, from Sheraton Vacation Club to Westin Vacation Club - is a highly respected and widely trusted leader in the travel and hospitality industry. We are creating distinct lanes for our brands to grow within. This careful segmentation is designed to allow each of our brands to reach its full potential, while also giving us diverse paths to growth. Each brand has a unique history and heritage that has enriched our company immeasurably and that we are building upon to better serve our owners, members, guests, and associates. Through the brands we license from Marriott International for use in vacation ownership, we benefit from exclusive long-term access to members in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, which includes over 160 million members as of December 31, 2021. Similarly, through our relationship with Hyatt Corporation, we benefit from access to members of Hyatt’s award-winning guest loyalty program, the World of Hyatt, which includes approximately 30 million members as of December 31, 2021. We believe our access to guests with an affinity for our brands aids our marketing efforts and significantly enhances our ability to drive future sales, as we predominantly generate vacation ownership interest sales through brand loyalty-affiliated sales channels. We expect to continue to leverage our exclusive call transfer arrangements, on-site marketing at Marriott and Hyatt branded hotels, and use of certain exclusive marketing rights to increase sales across all of our Marriott-affiliated and Hyatt-affiliated vacation ownership properties, respectively.
Loyal, highly satisfied customers
We have a large, highly satisfied customer base. Owner and member satisfaction is evidenced both by positive historical survey responses, high levels of engagement that we see in the many customer and associate care stories shared on social media sites, and higher than industry average historical resort occupancy for our Vacation Ownership segment. We believe that strong customer satisfaction and brand loyalty result in more frequent use of our products, increase in member retention, and encourage owners to purchase additional products and to recommend our products to friends and family, which in turn generates higher revenues.
Capital efficient business model providing strong free cash flow and financial flexibility
We believe that our scale, recurring revenue fee streams and enhanced margin profile will enable us to maintain flexibility for continued organic growth, strategic acquisitions, debt repayment, and return of capital to shareholders. Our total revenue excluding cost reimbursements derived from sources other than the sale of vacation ownership interests has increased and continues to increase. Our Exchange & Third-Party Management businesses also create ample opportunities to realize recurring higher-margin, fee-based revenue streams with modest required capital expenditures, enhancing our margins and free cash flow generation over time.
We were also among the first of the major hospitality brands to move from a fixed-week, fixed-unit operating model to a points-based system. This critical transition responded directly to consumer demand for greater flexibility and allowed us to tap into the broader membership opportunity afforded by the industry’s exchange businesses. Our points-based vacation ownership products allow us to utilize capital efficient structures and maintain long-term sales locations without the need to construct additional units at each location. We are able to better manage our inventory needs, while achieving top line growth without a need to significantly increase inventory investments. Our disciplined inventory approach and use of capital efficient vacation ownership deal structures, including working with third parties that develop new inventory or convert previously built units that are sold to us close to when such inventory is needed to support sales, is expected to support strong free cash flow generation.
Long-standing track record, experienced management and engaged associates
We have been a pioneer in the vacation ownership industry since 1984, when Marriott International became the first company to introduce a lodging-branded vacation ownership product. The story of Marriott Vacations Worldwide is one of growth driven by innovation and exceptional vitality. Since our early days, we have sought to create a culture that emphasizes authentic care for associates. Our seasoned management team is led by Stephen P. Weisz, our Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Weisz has served as our Chief Executive Officer since 2011, and as our President from 1996 through December 2020. Mr. Weisz has almost 50 years of combined experience at Marriott International and Marriott Vacations Worldwide. William J. Shaw, the Chairman of our Board of Directors, is the former Vice Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer of Marriott International and spent nearly 37 years with Marriott International. Our eleven executive officers have an average of nearly 29 years of total combined experience at Marriott Vacations Worldwide, our subsidiary companies, and Marriott International. We believe our management team’s extensive public company and vacation ownership industry experience has enabled us to achieve solid operating results and will enable us to continue to respond quickly and effectively to changing market conditions and consumer trends. Our management’s experience in the highly regulated vacation ownership industry also provides us with a competitive advantage in expanding existing product forms and developing new ones that include more non-perpetual products.
Engaged associates delivering high levels of customer service driving repeat customers
We believe that our associates provide superior customer service and this dedication to serving the customer enhances our competitive position. A significant portion of our vacation ownership contract sales are historically to existing owners, which enables them to enjoy longer stays and have greater flexibility in their vacation choices. Sales to existing owners typically have significantly lower sales and marketing costs than sales to new owners. We leverage outstanding associate engagement and strong corporate culture to deliver positive customer experiences in sales, marketing, exchange, management and resort operations.
We survey our associates regularly through an external survey provider to understand their satisfaction and engagement, defined as how passionate employees are about the company’s mission and their willingness to “go the extra mile” to see it succeed. We have historically ranked highly compared to other companies participating in such surveys. Our caring culture contributes to the long tenure of associates at both leadership and operational levels. We use the results of our annual engagement surveys to improve the experience of our associates and to help chart their career progression. To this end, we provide a learning-rich environment with many training and career advancement opportunities.
VACATION OWNERSHIP SEGMENT
Our Vacation Ownership segment develops, markets, sells, finances, rents, and manages vacation ownership and related products under our licensed brands. Our vacation ownership resorts typically combine many of the comforts of home, such as spacious accommodations with one, two and three bedroom options, living and dining areas, in-unit kitchens and laundry facilities, with resort amenities such as large feature swimming pools, restaurants and bars, convenience stores, fitness facilities and spas, as well as sports and recreation facilities appropriate for each resort’s unique location.
As of December 31, 2021, our Vacation Ownership segment had over 120 resorts and approximately 700,000 owner families. The Vacation Ownership segment represented 91% of our consolidated revenue for 2021.
|($ in millions)||2021|
|Sale of vacation ownership products||$||1,153 |
|Resort management and other services||470 |
|Cost reimbursements||1,202 |
|TOTAL REVENUES||$||3,539 |
Built upon a single hospitality brand at the time of our founding, Marriott Vacations Worldwide has grown into a multi-branded organization with a broad, diverse portfolio of immersive vacation and leisure destinations. Our portfolio includes a rich tapestry of some of the world’s most iconic, widely recognized and respected hospitality and travel brands. We design, build, manage and maintain properties at upper upscale and luxury levels primarily under the following brands:
Marriott Vacation Club is a collection of upper upscale vacation ownership resorts featuring timeshare villas and other accommodations throughout the U.S., Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Australia. It’s about vacations with a sense of place and belonging, providing owners and their families with the flexibility to enjoy a wide variety of vacation experiences that are characterized by the consistent high quality and warm hospitality for which the Marriott name is known. Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, a brand extension of Marriott Vacation Club, offers properties in the heart of vibrant cities, including San Francisco and New York City, among others. Because of their urban locations, Marriott Vacation Club Pulse properties typically offer limited on-site amenities and may include smaller guest rooms without separate living areas and kitchens.
Sheraton Vacation Club provides enriching and unexpected vacation experiences in fun family destinations like Florida, South Carolina and Colorado, with activities that emphasize building and strengthening relationships. This collection of vacation ownership resorts builds on an iconic legacy of trusted hospitality, and brings to life a warm, energetic haven for families to gather and nurture their most precious relationships by allowing owners and guests to relax, play and experience what the world has to offer. Sheraton Vacation Club upper upscale vacation ownership resorts are part of the Vistana Signature Network.
Westin Vacation Club is a collection of vacation ownership resorts located in some of the most sought-after destinations and designed with living well in mind. From the world-renowned Heavenly Bed to an energizing WestinWORKOUT and revitalizing experiences, every element of a vacation stay is created to leave owners and guests feeling better than when they arrived. Westin Vacation Club upper upscale vacation ownership resorts are part of the Vistana Signature Network.
Grand Residences by Marriott provides vacation ownership through fractional real estate and whole ownership offerings. Grand Residences by Marriott is dedicated to providing carefree property ownership. The accommodations for this brand are similar to those we offer under the Marriott Vacation Club brand, but the duration of the vacation ownership interest is longer, ranging between three and thirteen weeks.
The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club is a collection of vacation ownership resorts that provide luxurious vacation experiences for members and their families commensurate with the legacy of The Ritz-Carlton brand. The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club resorts include luxury villas and resort amenities that offer inspirational vacation lifestyles tailored to every member’s needs and expectations. The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club resorts typically feature two, three and four bedroom units that usually include marble foyers, walk-in closets, custom kitchen cabinetry and luxury resort amenities such as large feature swimming pools and access to full service restaurants and bars. On-site management and services, which usually include daily housekeeping service, valet, in-residence dining, and access to fitness facilities as well as spa and sports facilities as appropriate for each destination, are provided by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences is a luxury tier whole ownership residence brand. The Ritz-Carlton Residences includes whole ownership luxury residential condominiums co-located with The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club resorts. Owners can typically purchase condominiums that vary in size from one bedroom apartments to spacious penthouses. Owners of The Ritz-Carlton Residences can avail themselves of the services and facilities that are associated with the co-located The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club resort on an a la carte basis. On-site management and services are provided by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
St. Regis Residence Club and The Luxury Collection offer fractional interests in luxury real estate and distinctive privileges to members who embrace the art of living in unforgettable destinations. For connoisseurs who desire the finest in luxury living, magnificent residences exude the timeless grandeur and glamour synonymous with the illustrious past of the St. Regis brand.
Hyatt Residence Club is a collection of vacation ownership resorts with a diverse portfolio of boutique upper upscale residential-style retreats. Set in unique destinations from Maui, Carmel and Aspen to Sedona, San Antonio and Key West, Hyatt Residence Club resorts deliver genuine Hyatt care. In addition, as part of the Welk Acquisition, we intend to rebrand all Welk resorts as Hyatt-branded resorts once all necessary approvals have been obtained.
Points-Based Vacation Ownership Products
We sell the majority of our products through points-based ownership programs, including Marriott Vacation Club Destinations, Sheraton Flex, Westin Flex, Westin Aventuras, and the Hyatt Residence Club Portfolio Program. Our points-based systems and exchange networks enable owners and members to access virtually any kind of vacation experience they want. While the structural characteristics of each of our points-based programs differ, in each program, owners receive an annual allotment of points representing owners’ usage rights, and owners can use these points to access vacation ownership units across multiple destinations within their program’s portfolio of resort locations. Each program permits shorter or longer stays than a traditional weeks-based vacation ownership product and provides for flexibility with respect to check-in days and size of accommodations. In addition to traditional resort stays, the programs enable our owners to exchange their points for a wide variety of innovative vacation experiences, which may include cruises, airline travel, guided tours, safaris and other unique vacation alternatives. Owners who are members of our points-based programs typically pay annual fees in exchange for the ability to participate in the program. In addition to points-based ownership programs that allow owners to access multiple destinations within a single program, we offer points programs at certain resorts, such as in St. John and Hawaii, that allow owners to access that particular single site using points in a similar use fashion to the other points-based products.
Our points programs allow owners to bank and borrow their annual point allotments, access other locations through the applicable internal exchange programs that we operate, and access Interval International’s network of nearly 3,200 affiliated resorts. Owners can trade their vacation ownership usage rights for Marriott Bonvoy points or World of Hyatt points, as applicable, which can be used to access participating hotels or redeemed for airline miles or other merchandise offered through such customer loyalty program. Through our points systems and exchange networks, owners can also use points toward vacation experiences such as a bicycle tour, a culinary journey, an adventure cruise or a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a major sporting event. Our points-based products offer usage in perpetuity or for a term of years and may consist of real estate interests or a contractual right-to-use.
Weeks-Based Vacation Ownership Products
We continue to sell Marriott Vacation Club, Westin, Sheraton and Hyatt branded weeks-based vacation ownership products in select markets, including in countries where legal and tax constraints currently limit our ability to include those locations in one of our existing points-based programs. Our products include multi-week vacation ownership interests in specific Grand Residences by Marriott, St. Regis Residence Club, The Luxury Collection Residence Club, and The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club resorts. Our weeks-based vacation ownership products in the United States and select Caribbean locations are typically sold as fee simple deeded real estate interests at a specific resort representing an ownership interest in perpetuity, except where restricted by leasehold or other structural limitations. We sell vacation ownership interests as a contractual right-to-use product subject to a finite term in Asia Pacific and Europe.
Global Exchange Opportunities
Most of our vacation ownership products, including our Marriott-, Sheraton-, Westin-, and Hyatt-branded products, are affiliated with the Interval International network, the high-quality membership brand that serves as the gateway to unparalleled vacation experiences.
We offer our existing Marriott Vacation Club owners who hold weeks-based products the opportunity to participate, on a voluntary basis, in Marriott Vacation Club Destinations (“MVCD”), an exchange program through which many of MVCD’s vacation experiences are offered. All existing owners, whether or not they elect to participate in the MVCD exchange program, retain their existing rights and privileges of vacation ownership. Owners who elect to participate in the exchange program receive the ability to trade their weeks-based interval usage for vacation club points usage each year, typically subject to payment of an initial enrollment fee and annual club dues. As of the end of 2021, approximately 177,000 weeks-based owners have enrolled approximately 279,000 weeks in MVCD’s exchange program, with more than 239,000 total owners able to use points.
The Vistana Signature Network (“VSN”) provides Westin Vacation Club and Sheraton Vacation Club owners access to its affiliated resorts as well as the opportunity to exchange their points through the Marriott Bonvoy program to Marriott resorts, through the Interval International network, or for a cruise. Based on the point value of the home resort interest owned, customers can choose other VSN affiliated resorts, the type of villa, the date of travel and the length of stay. VSN members have a priority period in which they have exclusive reservation rights for the related resort or points program without competition from other network members. During this home resort period, they can reserve occupancy based on the season and unit type purchased. As of December 31, 2021, VSN included more than 182,000 members.
Hyatt Residence Club provides its owners internal exchange rights among Hyatt Residence Club resorts as well as the opportunity to trade their club points for World of Hyatt points which may be redeemed at participating Hyatt branded properties and exchanged through the Interval International network. Owners will receive Hyatt Residence Club points if they have not reserved at their home resort or through its points program during their allotted preference period or if they elect to convert to points earlier. As of December 31, 2021, this points-based membership exchange system served more than 30,000 owners.
Sources of Revenue
We generate most of our revenues from four primary sources: selling vacation ownership products; managing vacation ownership resorts, clubs, and owners’ associations; financing consumer purchases of vacation ownership products; and renting vacation ownership inventory.
Sale of Vacation Ownership Products
Our principal source of revenue is the sale of vacation ownership interests.
Resort Management and Other Services
We generate revenue from fees we earn for managing each of our resorts. In addition, we earn revenue for providing ancillary offerings, including food and beverage, retail, and golf and spa offerings at our resorts. We also receive annual fees, club dues, and certain transaction-based fees from owners and other third parties, including external exchange service providers with which we are associated.
We earn interest income on loans that we provide to purchasers of our vacation ownership interests, as well as loan servicing and other fees.
We generate revenue from rentals of inventory that we hold for sale as interests in our vacation ownership programs or as residences, or inventory that we control because our owners have elected alternative usage options permitted under our vacation ownership programs. By using Marriott.com and other direct booking channels to rent available inventory, we are able to reach potential new members who may already have an affinity for and loyalty to the Marriott, Sheraton, Westin and Ritz-Carlton brands and introduce them to our products. Similarly, by using Hyatt.com and other direct booking channels to rent available inventory, we are able to reach potential new members who may already have an affinity for and loyalty to the Hyatt brand and introduce them to our products.
Marketing and Sales Activities
We sell our upper upscale tier vacation ownership products under our brands primarily through our worldwide network of resort-based sales centers and certain off-site sales locations. Our vacation ownership interests are currently marketed for sale throughout the United States and in over 30 countries around the world, targeting customers who vacation regularly with a focus on family, relaxation and recreational activities. In 2021, over 90% of our vacation ownership contract sales originated at sales centers that are co-located with one of our resorts. We maintain a range of different off-site sales centers, including our central telesales organization based in Orlando and our network of third-party brokers in Latin America and Europe. We have more than 90 global sales locations focused on the sale of vacation ownership interests. We utilize a number of marketing channels to attract qualified customers to our sales locations, including digital and social media marketing.
We solicit our existing owners primarily while they are staying in our resorts, but also offer our owners the opportunity to make additional purchases through direct phone sales, owner events and inquiries from our central customer service centers located in Salt Lake City, Utah, Orlando, Florida, and Palm Springs, California. In 2021, approximately 70% of our vacation ownership contract sales were to our existing owners. In addition, we are concentrating on growing our tour flow cost effectively as we seek to generate more first-time buyer tours through our strategy that emphasizes adding new sales locations and new marketing channels.
We also market to existing Marriott and Hyatt customer loyalty program members and travelers who are staying in locations where we have like-branded resorts. We market extensively to guests in Marriott International or Hyatt hotels that are located near one of our sales locations. We also market through call transfer arrangements with Marriott International pursuant to which callers to certain of its reservation centers are asked if they would like to be transferred to one of our representatives who can tell them about our products. In addition, we operate other local marketing venues in various high-traffic areas. A significant part of our direct marketing activities is focused on prospects in the Marriott and Hyatt customer loyalty program databases and our in-house databases of qualified prospects. We offer guests who do not buy a vacation ownership interest during their initial tour the opportunity to purchase a return package for a future stay at our resorts. These return guests are nearly twice as likely to purchase as a first-time visitor.
One of our key areas of focus is expanding our use of social media and digital marketing channels. We are focused on building stronger brand reputation associations via social media audience growth and data driven content marketing.
Our sales tours are designed to provide our guests with an overview of our company and our products, as well as a customized presentation to explain how our products and services can meet their vacationing needs. From a single week at a fixed location to today’s abundance of getaway options, our vacation experience has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis. The vacation experience we provide today isn’t just about a visit to a resort. It can be a bicycle tour, a culinary journey, an adventure cruise, or a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a major sporting event. That’s why our sales force is highly trained in a consultative sales approach designed to ensure that we meet customers’ needs on an individual basis. We hire our sales executives based on stringent selection criteria. After they are hired, they spend a minimum of four weeks in product and sales training before interacting with any customers. We manage our sales executives’ consistency of presentation and professionalism using a variety of sales tools and technology and through a post-presentation survey of our guests that measures many aspects of each guest’s interaction with us.
We believe consumers place a great deal of trust in the Marriott, Westin, Sheraton, Ritz-Carlton and Hyatt brands and the strength of these brands is important to our ability to attract qualified prospects in the marketplace. We maintain a prominent presence on the www.marriott.com, www.ritzcarlton.com and www.hyatt.com websites. Our proprietary sites include www.marriottvacationsworldwide.com, www.marriottvacationclub.com, www.ritzcarltonclub.com, www.vistana.com, www.theresidenceclub.com, and www.hyattresidenceclub.com.
Inventory and Development Activities
We secure inventory by building additional phases at our existing resorts, reacquiring previously sold inventory in the secondary market, reacquiring inventory as a result of owner loan or maintenance fee defaults, or developing or acquiring inventory at resorts in strategic markets. We proactively buy back previously sold vacation ownership interests under our repurchase programs at lower costs than would be required to develop new inventory. Efficient use of our capital is also achieved through our points-based business model, which allows us to supply many sales locations with new inventory sourced from a small number of resort locations.
We intend to continue to selectively pursue growth opportunities primarily in North America by targeting high-quality inventory that allows us to add desirable new destinations to our system with new on-site sales locations in ways that optimize the timing of our capital investments. These capital efficient vacation ownership deal structures may include working with third parties to develop new inventory or to convert previously built units to be sold to us close to when we need such inventory.
Approximately 20% of our Vacation Ownership segment resorts are co-located with same-branded hotel properties. Co-location of our resorts with same-branded hotels can provide several advantages from development, operations, customer experience and marketing perspectives, including sharing amenities, infrastructure and staff, integration of services, and other cost efficiencies. The larger campus of an integrated vacation ownership and hotel resort often can afford our owners more varied and elaborate amenities than those that would generally be available at a stand-alone resort. Shared infrastructure can also reduce our overall development costs for our resorts on a per unit basis. Integration of services and sharing staff and other expenses can lower overhead and operating costs for our resorts. Our on-site access to hotel customers, including customer loyalty program members, who are visiting co-located hotels also provides us with a cost-effective marketing channel for our vacation ownership products.
Co-located resorts require cooperation and coordination among all parties and are subject to cost sharing and integration agreements among us, the applicable owners’ association and managers and owners of the co-located hotel. Our license agreements with Marriott International and Hyatt allow for the development of co-located properties in the future, and we intend to opportunistically pursue co-located projects with them.
Owners generally can offer their vacation ownership interests for resale on the secondary market, which can create pricing pressure on the sale of developer inventory. However, owners who purchase vacation ownership interests on the secondary market typically do not receive all of the benefits that owners who purchase products directly from us receive. When an owner purchases a vacation ownership interest directly from us or a resale on the secondary market, the owner receives certain entitlements that are tied to the underlying vacation ownership interest, such as the right to reserve a resort unit that underlies their vacation ownership interest in order to occupy that unit or exchange its use for use of a unit at another resort through an external exchange service provider, as well as benefits that are incidental to the purchase of the vacation ownership interest. However, the purchaser on the secondary market may not be entitled to receive certain incidental benefits such as full access to our internal exchange programs or the right to trade their usage rights for customer loyalty program points. Additionally, many of our vacation ownership interests provide us with a right of first refusal on secondary market sales. We monitor sales that occur in the secondary market and exercise our right of first refusal when it is advantageous for us to do so, whether due to pricing, desire for the particular inventory, or other factors. All owners, whether they purchase directly from us or on the secondary market, are responsible for the annual maintenance fees, property taxes and any assessments that are levied by the relevant owners’ association, as well as any exchange service membership dues or service fees.
We enter into a management agreement with the owners’ association or other governing body at our resorts and, when a trust holds interests in resorts, with the trust’s governing body. In exchange for a management fee, we typically provide owner account management (reservations and usage selection), housekeeping, check-in, maintenance and billing and collections services. The management fee is typically based on either a percentage of the budgeted costs to operate such resorts or a fixed fee arrangement. We earn these fees regardless of usage or occupancy. We also receive revenues that represent reimbursement for certain costs we incur under our management agreements, which are principally payroll-related costs at the locations where we employ the associates providing on-site services.
The terms of our management agreements generally range from three to ten years and are generally subject to periodic renewal for one to five year terms. Many of these agreements renew automatically unless either party provides advance notice of termination before the expiration of the term. When our management agreement for a branded resort is not renewed or is terminated, the resort loses the ability to use the brand and trademarks. The owners at such resorts also lose their ability to trade their vacation ownership usage rights for customer loyalty points and to access other resorts through one of our internal exchange systems.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company manages the on-site operations for The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club and The Ritz-Carlton Residences properties in our portfolio under separate management agreements with us. We provide owners’ association governance and vacation ownership program management services for The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club and co-located The Ritz-Carlton Residences properties, including preparing association budgets, facilitating association meetings, billing and collecting maintenance fees, and supporting reservations, vacation experience planning and other off-site member services. We and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company typically split the management fees equally for these resorts. If a management agreement for a resort expires or is terminated, the resort loses the ability to use the Ritz-Carlton brand and trademarks. The owners at such resorts also lose their ability to access other usage benefits, such as the ability to exchange occupancy for customer loyalty points, access to accommodations at other The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club resorts, preferential access to Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide and access to our internal exchange and vacation travel options.
Each management agreement requires the owners’ association, trust association or other governing body to provide sufficient funds to pay for the vacation ownership program and operating costs. To satisfy this requirement, owners of vacation ownership interests pay an annual maintenance fee. This fee represents the owner’s allocable share of the costs of operating and maintaining the resorts or interests in the timeshare plan in which they hold a vacation ownership interest, including management fees and expenses, taxes (in some locations), insurance, and other related costs, and the costs of providing program services (such as reservation services). This fee includes a management fee payable to us for providing management services as well as an assessment for funds to be deposited into a capital asset reserve fund and used to renovate, refurbish and replace furnishings, common areas and other resort assets (such as parking lots or roofs) as needed over time. As the owner of completed but unsold vacation ownership inventory, we also pay maintenance fees in accordance with the legal requirements of the jurisdictions applicable to such resorts and programs. In addition, in early phases of development of a resort, we sometimes enter into subsidy agreements with the owners’ associations under which we agree to pay costs that otherwise would be covered by annual maintenance fees associated with vacation ownership interests or units that have not yet been built or committed to a timeshare plan. These subsidy arrangements help keep maintenance fees at a reasonable level for owners who purchase, especially in the early stages of development.
If an owner defaults in payment of maintenance fees or other assessments, the owners’ association typically has the right to foreclose on or revoke the defaulting owner’s vacation ownership interest. We have arrangements with several owners’ associations to assist in reselling foreclosed or revoked vacation ownership interests in exchange for a fee, or to reacquire such foreclosed or revoked vacation ownership interests from the owners’ associations.
We offer purchase money financing for purchasers of our vacation ownership products who meet our underwriting guidelines. By offering or eliminating financing incentives and modifying underwriting standards, we have been able to increase or decrease the volume of our financing activities depending on market conditions. We are not providing financing to buyers of our residential products. We generally do not face competition in our consumer financing business to finance sales of vacation ownership products.
In 2021, our financing propensity was 53% and the average loan originated by us for vacation ownership products totaled approximately $27,800, which represented 71% of the average purchase price. For financing on the majority of our brands, we require a minimum down payment of 10% of the purchase price, although down payments and interest rates are typically higher for applicants with credit scores below certain levels and for purchasers who do not have credit scores, such as non-U.S. purchasers. The average interest rate for originated loans in 2021 was 12.9% and the average term was 12 years. Interest rates are fixed and a loan fully amortizes over the life of the loan. The average monthly mortgage payment for an owner who received a loan in 2021 was $408. We do not impose any prepayment penalties.
In our vacation ownership business, in many of our markets, we perform a credit investigation or other review or inquiry to determine the purchaser’s credit history before originating a loan. The interest rates on the loans we provide are based primarily upon the purchaser’s credit score, the size of the purchase, and the term of the loan. We base our financing terms largely on a purchaser’s FICO score, which is a branded version of a consumer credit score widely used in the United States by banks and lending institutions. FICO scores range from 300 to 850 and are calculated based on information obtained from one or more of the three major U.S. credit reporting agencies that compile and report on a consumer’s credit history. In 2021, the average FICO score of our customers who were U.S. citizens or residents who financed a vacation ownership purchase was 732; 69% had a credit score of over 700, 87% had a credit score of over 650 and 96% had a credit score of over 600.
We use other information to determine minimum down payments and interest rates applicable to loans made to purchasers who do not have a credit score or who do not reside within the United States, such as regional historical default rates and currency fluctuation risk.
In the event of a default, we generally have the right to foreclose on or revoke the defaulting owner’s vacation ownership interest. We typically resell interests that we reacquire through foreclosure or revocation or place such interests into one of our points-based programs.
We securitize the majority of the consumer loans we originate in support of our vacation ownership business. Historically, we have sold these loans to institutional investors in the ABS market on a non-recourse basis. These vacation ownership notes receivable securitizations provide funding for us at interest rates similar to those available to companies with investment grade credit ratings, and transfer the economic risks and substantially all the benefits of the consumer loans we originate to third parties. In a vacation ownership notes receivable securitization, various classes of debt securities issued by a special purpose entity are generally collateralized by a single tranche of transferred assets, which consist of vacation ownership notes receivable. During 2021, we completed two securitization transactions, which are discussed in detail in Footnote 15 “Securitized Debt” to our Financial Statements. On an ongoing basis, we have the ability to use our Warehouse Credit Facility to securitize eligible consumer loans derived from certain branded vacation ownership sales. Those loans may later be transferred to term securitization transactions in the ABS market, which we intend to continue to complete at least once per year. Since 2000, we have issued almost $7.5 billion of debt securities in securitization transactions in the ABS market, excluding amounts securitized through warehouse credit facilities or private bank transactions. We retain the servicing and collection responsibilities for the loans we securitize, for which we receive a servicing fee.
As of December 31, 2021, our vacation ownership portfolio consisted of over 120 properties with over 22,000 vacation ownership villas, also referred to as units, and over 31,000 keys in the following locations. A “key” is the lowest increment for reporting occupancy statistics based upon the mix of non-lock-off and lock-off villas. Lock-off villas represent two keys and non-lock-off villas represent one key.
Mainland U.S. and Hawaii
|# of Resorts||# of Keys||# of Resorts||# of Keys||# of Resorts||# of Keys|
|Florida||23||7,989||New Mexico||1||16||Washington, D.C.||1||71|
Caribbean and Mexico
|# of Resorts||# of Keys||# of Resorts||# of Keys||# of Resorts||# of Keys|
|Bahamas||1||392||U.S. Virgin Islands||3||512|
|Costa Rica||1||48||West Indies||1||88|
Europe and Asia Pacific
|# of Resorts||# of Keys||# of Resorts||# of Keys|
|# of Resorts||# of Keys|
|Marriott Vacation Club||62||18,825|
|Sheraton Vacation Club||9||4,375|
|Westin Vacation Club||12||4,584|
|Grand Residences by Marriott||2||381|
|The Ritz-Carlton Club||5||259|
|St. Regis Residence Club and The Luxury Collection||3||82|
|Hyatt Residence Club||15||1,399|
|Other, including Welk||13||1,975|
|Sheraton Kauai Resort||Kauai, HI|
|The Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun||Cancun, Mexico|
|The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta||Puerto Vallarta, Mexico|
|Hyatt Highlands Inn||Carmel, CA|
|Welk Resorts Branson Hotel||Branson, MO|
EXCHANGE & THIRD-PARTY MANAGEMENT SEGMENT
Our Exchange & Third-Party Management segment includes exchange networks and membership programs comprised of nearly 3,200 affiliated resorts in over 90 nations and nearly 1.4 million members, as well as provision of management services to over 150 other resorts and lodging properties. We provide these services through a variety of brands including Interval International, Trading Places International, Vacation Resorts International and Aqua-Aston. The segment revenue generally is fee-based and derived from membership, exchange and rental transactions, owners’ association management, and other related products and services. The Exchange & Third-Party Management segment represented 8% of our consolidated revenue for 2021.
|($ in millions)||2021|
Exchange & Third-Party Management
|Management and exchange||$||233 |
|Cost reimbursements||47 |
|TOTAL REVENUES||$||320 |
Exchange Networks and Membership Programs
Our primary exchange offering is Interval International’s network, a membership-based exchange program which also provides a comprehensive package of value-added products and services to members and developers. Generally, individuals are enrolled by resort developers in connection with their purchase of vacation ownership interests from such resort developers, with initial membership fees being paid on behalf of members by the resort developers. Members may also enroll directly, for instance, when they purchase a vacation ownership interest through resale or an owners’ association at a resort that participates in the Interval International network. Interval International has established multi-year relationships with resort developers, including leading independent developers and our branded vacation ownership programs, under exclusive affiliation agreements, which typically provide for continued resort participation following the agreement’s term.
Our traditional Interval International network members have the option, after their initial membership period ends, to renew their memberships for terms ranging from one to five years and by paying membership fees directly to us. Alternatively, some resort developers incorporate the Interval International network membership fee into certain annual fees they charge to
owners of vacation ownership interests at their resorts or vacation ownership clubs. As a result, membership in the Interval International network and, where applicable, the Interval Gold, Club Interval, or Interval Platinum program (as described below), for these corporate members is automatically renewed through the period of their resort’s or club’s participation in the Interval International network. As of December 31, 2021, approximately 60% of total Interval International network members were traditional members and approximately 40% were corporate members.
Interval International recognizes certain of its eligible Interval International network resorts as either a “Select Resort,” a “Select Boutique Resort,” a “Premier Resort,” a “Premier Boutique Resort,” an “Elite Resort” or an “Elite Boutique Resort” based upon the satisfaction of qualifying criteria, inspection, member feedback, and other resort-specific factors. Over 40% of Interval International network resorts were recognized as a Select, Select Boutique, Premier, Premier Boutique, Elite or Elite Boutique Resort as of December 31, 2021.
Products and Services
Members are offered the ability to exchange usage rights in their vacation ownership interest for accommodations which are generally of comparable trading value to those relinquished, based on factors including location, quality, seasonality, unit attributes and time of relinquishment prior to occupancy.
We also offer additional vacation rental opportunities to members of the Interval International network and certain other membership or affinity programs at attractive rates through Getaways. Getaways allow members to rent resort accommodations for a fee, plus applicable taxes. Resort accommodations available as Getaways consist of seasonal oversupply of vacation ownership accommodations within the applicable exchange network, as well as resort accommodations we source specifically for use in Getaways.
Interval Gold and Interval Platinum
Interval International network members may take advantage of one of our two enhanced membership tiers, Interval Gold or Interval Platinum, each of which provides value-added benefits and services for an additional fee. These benefits and services vary by country of residence, but generally consist of discounts on Getaways, a concierge service, a hotel discount program and Interval Options, a service that allows members to relinquish annual occupancy rights in their vacation ownership interests towards the purchase of various travel products, including hotel, cruise, golf and spa vacations. Members are enrolled in these programs either by resort developers in connection with the initial purchase of their vacation ownership interests or by upgrading their membership directly.
This product gives owners of fixed or floating week vacation ownership interests the opportunity to use their resort week as points within the Interval International network. Club Interval members also receive all of the benefits of Interval Gold and can upgrade to Interval Platinum.
Interval International’s subsidiary, Worldwide Vacation & Travel, offers two programs, Leisure Time Passport and Dream Vacation Week. Leisure Time Passport is a travel membership program which provides members with a variety of travel and leisure benefits, including savings on resort accommodations, hotel stays, cruise vacations and more. The Leisure Time Passport membership program is used by resort developers as a trial membership program for potential purchasers of vacation ownership products as well as by non-developer clients, as an addition to their own product(s), which provides ongoing value and customer engagement. Dream Vacation Week is a certificate program which provides the recipient with access to book discounted resort accommodations and is used as a marketing premium, sales incentive, or enhancement to an existing program.
Sales and Marketing Support for Interval International network resorts
Resort developers promote membership in our exchange programs and related value-added services as an important benefit of owning a vacation ownership interest. We offer developers a selection of sales and marketing materials. These materials, many of which are available in multiple languages, include brochures, publications, sales-office displays, resort directories and Interval HD, an online video channel featuring resort and destination overviews.
Operational Support for Interval International network resorts
Interval International also makes available a comprehensive array of back-office servicing solutions to resort developers and resorts. For example, for an additional fee, we provide reservation services and billing and collection of maintenance fees and other amounts due to developers or owners’ associations. In addition, through consulting arrangements, we assist resort developers in the design of tailored vacation programs for owners of vacation ownership interests.
Trading Places International
Trading Places International provides exchange services to owners at certain of our managed timeshare properties as well as other direct-to-consumer exchanges that do not require a membership fee. For an annual fee, vacation interest owners may choose to join the upgraded Trading Places Prime program with additional benefits. Exchanges in these Trading Places programs are based on like value and upgrades are available upon payment of additional fees.
Our exchange businesses maintain corporate and consumer business development departments that are responsible for signing up new resorts, resort developers, and other businesses and implementing marketing strategies. We also develop materials to promote membership participation, exchange opportunities and other value-added services to existing members, as well as for the Interval International business to secure new relationships with resort developers, owners’ associations and resorts, to obtain and retain members, and with other affinity partners, to provide value added travel benefits to their customers.
Our consumer marketing efforts revolve around the deepening of new and existing customer relationships and increasing engagement and loyalty of members through a number of channels including digital distribution utilizing social media channels to inspire vacations, share stories and promote the vacation ownership lifestyle, as well as direct mail and telemarketing.
Interval International also markets products and services to resort developers and other parties in the vacation ownership industry through a series of business development initiatives. Our sales and services personnel proactively seek to establish strong relationships with developers and owners’ associations, providing input on consumer preferences and industry trends based upon years of experience. We believe that we have established a strong reputation within the vacation ownership industry as being highly responsive to the needs of resort developers, owners’ associations, management companies and owners of vacation ownership interests. In addition, we sponsor, participate in and attend numerous industry conferences around the world to provide potential and existing industry participants opportunities to network and learn more about vacation ownership.
We provide resort management services for vacation ownership resorts and other third-party vacation property owners through Vacation Resorts International, Trading Places International and Aqua-Aston. Our services may include day-to-day operations of the resorts, maintenance of the resorts, preparation of reports, budgets, owners’ association administration, quality assurance and employee training. As of December 31, 2021, we provided third-party management services to over 150 resorts and lodging properties.
Vacation Resorts International and Trading Places International provide management services to vacation ownership resorts pursuant to agreements with terms generally ranging from one to ten years, many of which are automatically renewable. Generally, our management fees are paid by the owners’ association and funded from the annual maintenance fees paid by the individual vacation ownership interest owners to the association. These maintenance fees represent each owner’s allocable share of the costs of operating and maintaining the resorts, which generally includes personnel, property taxes, insurance, a capital asset reserve to fund refurbishment and other related costs. The management fees we earn are highly predictable due to the relatively fixed nature of resort operating expenses. We are reimbursed for the costs incurred to perform our services, principally related to personnel providing on-site services. We also offer vacation rental services to these owners’ associations. These rentals are made online directly to consumers through our websites and through third-party online travel agencies, and through Interval International’s Getaways program.
Aqua-Aston provides management and rental services for condominium owners, hotel owners, and owners’ associations. The condominium rental properties are generally investment properties, and, to a lesser extent, second homes, owned by individuals who contract with Aqua‑Aston directly to manage, market and rent their properties, generally pursuant to short‑term agreements. We also offer such owners a comprehensive package of marketing, management and rental services designed to enhance rental income and profitability. Generally, owners’ association management services, including administrative, fiscal and quality assurance services, are provided pursuant to exclusive agreements with terms typically ranging from one to ten years or more, many of which are automatically renewable. Revenue is derived principally from fees for management of the hotel, condominium resort, or owners’ association as well as related rental services. Management fees consist of a base management fee and, in some instances for hotels or condominium resorts, an incentive management fee which is generally a percentage of operating profits or improvement in operating profits. Service fee revenue is based on the services provided internally or through third-party providers to owners including reservation services, sales and marketing, property accounting and information technology services.
The success and continued growth of the Aqua-Aston business, which is concentrated in Hawaii, depends largely on our ability to source vacationers interested in booking vacation properties made available through our rental services. Our in market sales and marketing team utilizes a variety of sales, marketing, revenue management and digital marketing initiatives to attract consumers and additional properties to Aqua‑Aston. We utilize many channels of distribution including traditional
wholesale through tour operators and travel partners, online travel agencies and global distribution systems. In addition, Aqua‑Aston focuses on driving direct business through brand websites and our central reservations office. The sales team covers several market segments from corporate and government/military to travel agents and groups. We offer a variety of leisure accommodations to visitors from around the world through various consumer websites including, www.aquaaston.com, www.aquaresorts.com, www.mauicondo.com, and others.
CORPORATE AND OTHER
Corporate and Other consists of results that are not allocable to our segments, including company-wide general and administrative costs, corporate interest expense, transaction and integration costs, and (provision for) benefit from income taxes. In addition, Corporate and Other includes the revenues and expenses relating to owners’ associations consolidated under the relevant accounting guidance (“Consolidated Property Owners’ Associations”), which are not included in operating segment resource allocation decision-making.
Our revenue is influenced by the seasonal nature of travel. Within our Vacation Ownership segment, our sale of vacation ownership business experiences a modest impact from seasonality, with higher sales volumes during the traditional vacation periods. COVID-19 has impacted, and may continue to impact, our typical seasonal patterns. In addition, business at properties in some locations may experience a greater impact from seasonality than those in other locations.
Within our Exchange & Third-Party Management segment, we recognize exchange and Getaways revenue based on confirmation of the vacation; revenue is generally higher in the first quarter and lower in the fourth quarter. Remaining rental revenue is recognized based on occupancy.
Competition in the vacation ownership industry is driven primarily by the quality, number and location of vacation ownership resorts, the quality and capability of the related property management program, trust in the brand, pricing of product offerings, cost of ownership (i.e., ongoing maintenance and other fees) and the availability of program benefits, such as exchange programs and access to affiliated hotel networks. We believe that our focus on offering distinctive vacation experiences, combined with our financial strength, well-established and diverse market presence, strong brands, expertise and well-managed and maintained properties, will enable us to remain competitive. Vacation ownership is a vacation option that is positioned and sold as an attractive alternative to vacation rentals (such as hotels, resorts and condominium rentals) and second home ownership. The various segments within the vacation ownership industry can be differentiated by the quality level of the accommodations, range of services and ancillary offerings, and price. Our brands operate in the upper upscale and luxury tiers of the vacation ownership segment of the industry and the upper upscale and luxury tiers of the whole ownership segment (also referred to as the residential segment) of the industry.
Our competitors in the vacation ownership industry range from small vacation ownership companies to large branded hospitality companies that operate or license vacation ownership businesses. In North America, we typically compete with companies that sell upper upscale tier vacation ownership products under a lodging or entertainment brand umbrella, such as Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Disney Vacation Club, as well as numerous regional vacation ownership operators. Our luxury vacation ownership products compete with vacation ownership products offered by Four Seasons, Exclusive Resorts, Timbers Resorts and several other smaller independent companies. In addition, the vacation ownership industry competes generally with other vacation rental options (such as hotels, resorts and condominium rentals) offered by the lodging industry as well as alternative lodging marketplaces such as Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway, which offer rentals of homes and condominiums. Innovations that impact the industry may also lead to new products and services that could disrupt our business model and create new and stronger competitors.
Outside North America, we operate vacation ownership resorts in two primary regions, Asia Pacific and Europe. In both regions, we are one of the largest lodging-branded vacation ownership companies operating in the upper upscale tier, with regional operators dominating the competitive landscape. Where possible, our vacation ownership properties in these regions are co-located with Marriott International branded hotels. In Asia Pacific, our owner base is derived primarily from the Asia Pacific region and secondarily from the Europe and North America regions. In Europe, our owner base is derived primarily from the North America, Europe and Middle East regions.
Recent and potential future consolidation in the highly fragmented vacation ownership industry may increase competition. Consolidation may create competitors that enjoy significant advantages resulting from, among other things, a lower cost of, and greater access to, capital and enhanced operating efficiencies.
Our Interval International exchange business principally competes for developer and consumer market share with Travel + Leisure Co.’s subsidiary, RCI. Our subsidiary, Trading Places International, and several third parties operate in this industry with a significantly more limited scope of available accommodations. This business also faces increasing competition from points‑based vacation clubs and large resort developers, which operate their own internal exchange systems to facilitate exchanges for owners of vacation ownership interests at their resorts as they increase in size and scope. Increased consolidation in the industry enhances this competition. In addition, vacation clubs and resort developers may have direct exchange relationships with other developers.
We believe that developers and owners’ associations generally choose to affiliate with an exchange network based on the quality of resorts participating in the network; the level of service provided to members; the range and level of support services; the flexibility of the exchange program; the demographics of the membership base; the costs for annual membership and exchanges; and the continuity of management and its strategic relationships within the industry.
Our business is heavily regulated and compliance with regulations has a significant impact on our results of operations. We are subject to a wide variety of complex international, national, federal, state and local laws, regulations and policies in jurisdictions around the world. We have proactively worked with ARDA to encourage the enactment of responsible consumer-protection legislation and state regulation that enhances the reputation and respectability of the overall vacation ownership industry. We believe that, over time, our vacation ownership products and services helped improve the public perception of the vacation ownership industry.
Some laws, regulations and policies may impact multiple areas of our business, such as securities, anti-discrimination, anti-fraud, data protection and security and anti-corruption and bribery laws and regulations or government economic sanctions, including applicable regulations of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”), the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA”). The FCPA and similar anti-corruption and bribery laws in other jurisdictions generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to government officials for the purpose of obtaining or generating business. The collection, use and protection of personal data of our customers, as well as the sharing of our customer data with affiliates and third parties, are governed by privacy laws and regulations enacted in the United States and other jurisdictions around the world. Other laws, regulations and policies primarily affect one of four areas of our business: real estate development activities; marketing and sales activities; lending activities; resort management activities, and exchange and travel activities.
Real Estate Development Regulation
Our real estate development activities are regulated under a number of different timeshare, condominium and land sales disclosure statutes in many jurisdictions. We are generally subject to laws and regulations typically applicable to real estate development, subdivision, and construction activities, such as laws relating to zoning, land use restrictions, environmental regulation, accessibility, title transfers, title insurance, and taxation. In the United States, these include, with respect to some of our products, the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition, we are subject to laws in some jurisdictions that impose liability on property developers for construction defects discovered or repairs made by future owners of property developed by the developer.
Marketing and Sales Regulation
Our marketing and sales activities are closely regulated pursuant to laws and regulations enacted specifically for the vacation ownership and land sales industries, as well as a wide variety of laws and regulations that govern our marketing and sales activities in the jurisdictions in which we carry out such activities. These laws and regulations include the USA PATRIOT Act, Foreign Investment In Real Property Tax Act, the Federal Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act and fair housing statutes, U.S. Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) and state “Little FTC Acts” and other laws and regulations governing unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices including unfair or deceptive trade practices and unfair competition, state attorney general regulations, anti-fraud laws, prize, gift and sweepstakes laws, real estate, title agency or insurance, travel insurance and other licensing or registration laws and regulations, anti-money laundering, consumer information privacy and security, breach notification, information sharing and telemarketing laws, home solicitation sales laws, tour operator laws, lodging certificate and seller of travel laws, securities laws, and other consumer protection laws.
Many jurisdictions, including many jurisdictions in the United States, Asia Pacific and Europe, require that we file detailed registration or offering statements with regulatory authorities disclosing certain information regarding the vacation ownership interests and other real estate interests we market and sell, such as information concerning the interests being offered, any projects, resorts or programs to which the interests relate, applicable condominium or vacation ownership plans, evidence of title, details regarding our business, the purchaser’s rights and obligations with respect to such interests, and a description of the manner in which we intend to offer and advertise such interests. Regulation outside the United States includes jurisdictions in which our clubs and resorts operate, such as the European Union, Singapore and Mexico, among others. Among other things, the European and Singaporean regulations: (1) require delivery of specified disclosure (some of which must be provided in a specific format or language) to purchasers; (2) require a specified “cooling off” rescission period after a purchase contract is signed; and (3) prohibit any advance payments during the “cooling off” rescission period.
We must obtain the approval of numerous governmental authorities for our marketing and sales activities. Changes in circumstances or applicable law may necessitate the application for or modification of existing approvals. Currently, we are permitted to market and sell vacation ownership products in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the United States and numerous countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Our Marriott Vacation Club Destinations, Australia points-based program is subject to regulation as a “managed investment scheme” by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. In some countries our vacation ownership products are marketed by third-party brokers.
Laws in many jurisdictions in which we sell vacation ownership interests grant the purchaser of a vacation ownership interest the right to cancel a purchase contract during a specified rescission period following the later of the date the contract was signed or the date the purchaser received the last of the documents required to be provided by us.
Regulators in many jurisdictions have increased regulations and enforcement actions related to telemarketing operations, including requiring adherence to the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the “TCPA”) and similar “do not call” legislation. These measures have significantly increased the costs and reduced the efficiencies associated with telemarketing. While we continue to be subject to telemarketing risks and potential liability, we believe that our exposure to adverse effects from telemarketing legislation and enforcement is mitigated in some instances by the use of permission-based marketing, under which we obtain the permission of prospective purchasers to contact them in the future. We participate in various programs and follow certain procedures that we believe help reduce the possibility that we contact individuals who have requested to be placed on federal or state “do not call” lists, including subscribing to the federal and certain state “do not call” lists, and maintaining an internal “do not call” list.
Our lending activities are subject to a number of laws and regulations including those of applicable supervisory, regulatory and enforcement agencies such as, in the United States, the CFPB, the FTC, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. These laws and regulations, some of which contain exceptions applicable to the timeshare industry or may not apply to some of our products, may include, among others, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Regulation X, the Truth In Lending Act and Regulation Z, the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Housing Act and implementing regulations, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E, unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices regulations and the Consumer Protection Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, the Right to Financial Privacy Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and the Bank Secrecy Act. Our lending activities are also subject to the laws and regulations of other jurisdictions, including, among others, laws and regulations related to consumer loans, retail installment contracts, mortgage lending, usury, fair debt collection practices, consumer debt collection practices, mortgage disclosure, lender or mortgage loan originator licensing and registration and anti-money laundering.
Resort Management Regulation
Our resort management activities are subject to laws and regulations regarding community association management, public lodging, food and beverage services, labor, employment, health care, health and safety, accessibility, discrimination, immigration, gaming, and the environment (including climate change). In addition, many jurisdictions in which we manage our resorts have statutory provisions that limit the duration of the initial and renewal terms of our management agreements for owners’ associations and/or permit the owners’ association for a resort to terminate our management agreement under certain circumstances (for example, upon a super-majority vote of the owners), even if we are not in default under the agreement.
Exchange and Travel Regulations
Many jurisdictions regulate businesses engaged in timeshare exchange activity, typically requiring annual filing of prescribed disclosures with regulatory agencies. Such disclosure must be provided to persons enrolling in a timeshare exchange program prior to completion of enrollment. The disclosure generally provides information on the terms and conditions of membership as well as audited key operating statistics of the exchange program.
In connection with our exchange businesses, we also offer other travel-related products and services that are subject to regulation in certain jurisdictions, including requirements that we register as a “seller of travel” and comply with applicable bonding and disclosure requirements. Additionally, operation of our travel membership programs can trigger requirements that we register as a discount buying organization. Other products and services we offer (e.g., travel insurance) are subject to regulations imposed on our suppliers, and as a result we are subject to travel reseller requirements and licensing in certain jurisdictions.
Environmental Compliance and Awareness
The properties we manage or develop are subject to national, state and local laws and regulations that govern the discharge of materials into the environment or otherwise relate to protecting the environment. These laws and regulations include requirements that address health and safety; the use, management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes; and emission or discharge of wastes or other materials. We believe that our management and development of properties comply, in all material respects, with environmental laws and regulations. Our compliance with such provisions also has not had a material impact on our capital expenditures, earnings or competitive position, nor do we anticipate that such compliance will have a material impact in the future.
We take our commitment to protecting the environment seriously. We have collaborated with Audubon International to further the “greening” of our Marriott Vacation Club resorts in the U.S. through the Audubon Green Leaf Eco-Rating Program for Hotels. The Audubon partnership is just one of several programs incorporated into our green initiatives. We have more than 20 years of energy conservation experience that we have put to use in implementing our environmental strategy across each of our segments. This strategy includes further reducing energy and water consumption, expanding our portfolio of green resorts, including LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification, educating and inspiring associates and guests to support the environment, and embracing innovation.
We recognize that our industry leadership depends in critical part on our continued ability to recruit, motivate, and retain the talented associates that make up our global workforce. We maintain a set of programs and initiatives, rooted in our Core Values (Caring Culture, Integrity First, Excellence Always, Customer Obsessed, and Better Together), designed to attract, develop, retain and engage our associates that is focused on:
•competitive, fair, and transparent compensation and benefits offerings;
•supporting the overall well-being of our associates from a physical, mental, and social perspective;
•creating opportunities for associate growth, development, recognition, training, and education; and
•promoting an inclusive and diverse workplace, where all individuals are respected regardless of their age, race, notional origin, gender, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.
As of December 31, 2021, we had a global workforce consisting of approximately 20,300 associates, of which approximately 16,800 were based in the United States and approximately 3,500 were based in international locations.
Inclusion and Diversity
As a leisure-focused company, we are in the business of bringing people together. Like our customers, our associates come from diverse backgrounds, offering invaluably distinct perspectives. Women comprise 54% of our worldwide workforce and men comprise 46%. Within the United States, people of color comprise 41% of our management level positions and women comprise 46% of our management level positions. We are implementing recruiting efforts focused on placing women and people of color in management roles.
In 2021, we launched an Executive Inclusion Council, which is comprised of approximately 20 senior leaders dedicated to enabling and championing Inclusion and Diversity initiatives throughout the organization. Top priorities include providing guidance regarding our Inclusion and Diversity strategy, increasing leaders’ ability to discuss and be held accountable for driving Inclusion and Diversity outcomes, and increasing awareness and impact of initiatives. With the support of the Executive Inclusion Council, we completed an internal review of our Inclusion and Diversity practices and programs as well as external benchmarking to refine our Inclusion and Diversity strategic framework and ongoing areas of focus. This work led us to establish a framework rooted in our core values and supported by a newly developed Inclusion and Diversity Commitment Statement (included below).
MVW is committed to advancing and cultivating inclusion and diversity in all aspects of our business. We provide treasured vacation experiences to our customers around the world, and foster an inclusive, diverse, and caring work environment for our associates. We support a life fulfilled for all individuals and embrace that we are better together.
We seek to cultivate a learning-rich environment where associates are prepared to succeed, are encouraged to grow their careers, and are motivated to serve our owners, members, and guests. Our Global Talent Management team develops and deploys programs and resources for all our associates. Our learning programs are designed to help ensure our company is a desirable place to start and cultivate a fulfilling career, with increased opportunities for growth. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a key training focus in 2021 was to provide courses on returning to work safely and supporting our associates’ overall health and well-being.
Our Global Talent Management team is also committed to providing our leaders with the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and equip leaders with the skills they need to create a positive work environment for all associates. With a curriculum of approximately 15 distinct courses, the Leadership Development Program provides associates the tools, resources, and practices we believe are important to becoming successful leaders and strengthening our diverse talent pipeline. In 2021, we continued to deliver virtual learning courses to support leadership development training in a socially distant manner. We also adapted in-classroom practices to accommodate live, instructor-lead training for select courses. Our efforts helped us continue to support leaders in building leadership skills for the future.
Collective Bargaining Agreements
We are party to collective bargaining agreements in the United States, Spain, and Mexico primarily with regard to employees working in food service, laundry, and hospitality and tourism.
We maintain a Human Rights Policy that aligns with government, business, and public concerns about issues such as human trafficking and the exploitation of children. We do not recruit child labor, and we support programs and partnerships that help at-risk young people and their families prepare for and find meaningful employment. Our Human Rights Policy is available on our website at (www.marriottvacationsworldwide.com) under the “Investor Relations” tab.
Our investor relations website address is www.ir.mvwc.com. Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements, and any and all amendments thereto are available free of charge through our investor relations website as soon as reasonably practicable after they are filed or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). These materials are also accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
Information About Our Executive Officers
Set forth below is certain information with respect to our executive officers. The information set forth below is as of February 21, 2022, except where indicated.
|Name and Title||Age||Business Experience|
|Stephen P. Weisz|
Chief Executive Officer
Stephen P. Weisz has served as our Chief Executive Officer since 2011, and as our President from 1996 through December 2020. Mr. Weisz has also been a member of our Board of Directors since 2011. Mr. Weisz joined Marriott International in 1972. Over his 39-year career with Marriott International, he held a number of leadership positions in the Lodging division, including Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Executive Vice President-Lodging Brands. Mr. Weisz is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Resort Development Association and also a past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Children’s Miracle Network.
|John E. Geller, Jr.|
John E. Geller, Jr. has served as our President since October 2021. From January 2021 to October 2021, he served as our President and Chief Financial Officer. From January 2018 to January 2021, he served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer. From 2009 to December 2017, he served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Geller joined Marriott International in 2005 as Senior Vice President and Chief Audit Executive and Information Security Officer.
|Name and Title||Age||Business Experience|
|R. Lee Cunningham|
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer - Vacation Ownership
R. Lee Cunningham has served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer - Vacation Ownership since September 2018. From December 2012 to August 2018, he served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. From 2007 to December 2012, he served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer – North America and Caribbean. Mr. Cunningham joined our company in 1997 as Vice President of Revenue Management and Owner Service Operations. Mr. Cunningham joined Marriott International in 1982. As reported in a Current Report on Form 8-K filed on January 12, 2022, Mr. Cunningham announced his decision to retire as our Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer - Vacation Ownership in April 2022; Mr. Cunningham subsequently announced that he would instead retire in May 2022.
|Anthony E. Terry|
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Anthony E. Terry has served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since October 2021. From July 2005 to September 2021, he served as our Senior Vice President, Global Operational Finance. From October 2001 to June 2005, he served as our Vice President of Product Supply Management. Mr. Terry began his career with the Company in 1996.
Executive Vice President and Chief Brand and Digital Strategy Officer
Lori Gustafson joined our company in November 2020 and serves as our Executive Vice President and Chief Brand and Digital Strategy Officer. From May 2019 to November 2020, she served as Senior Vice President, Global Brands & Digital for Wyndham Destinations, where she was responsible for brand management and digital marketing. From January 2018 to May 2019, she served as Vice President, Brand Marketing, where she was responsible for brand management, campaign development and advertising. From July 2017 to January 2018, she served as Corporate Vice President of Digital, eCommerce, and Media at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, where she led the U.S. team that oversaw the development of eCommerce, digital marketing, social media, business intelligence and digital content. From 2015 until July 2017, she served as Senior Director, Digital Marketing at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, where she was the executive leader for digital transformation initiatives, including websites, mobile and digital commerce improvements and the implementation of a data and analytics program related to customer experience.
|James H Hunter, IV|
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
James H Hunter, IV has served as our Executive Vice President and General Counsel since November 2011. Prior to that time, he had served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel since 2006. Mr. Hunter joined Marriott International in 1994.
Executive Vice President and Chief Development and Product Officer
Lizabeth Kane-Hanan has served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Development and Product Officer since September 2018. From November 2011 to August 2018, she served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Growth and Inventory Officer. Prior to that time, she had served as our Senior Vice President, Resort Development and Planning, Inventory and Revenue Management and Product Innovation since 2009. Ms. Kane-Hanan joined our company in 2000.
|Jeanette E. Marbert|
President, Exchange and Third-Party Management
Jeanette Marbert has served as our President, Exchange and Third-Party Management since October 2018. She served as President and Chief Executive Officer for the Exchange and Rental Segment of ILG, Inc. from November 2017 until September 2018, and as Executive Vice President from June 2009 until November 2017. She was Chief Operating Officer of ILG, Inc. from August 2008 to November 2017, and served as a Director of ILG, Inc. from February 2015 to May 2016. Ms. Marbert joined Interval in 1984.
|Brian E. Miller|
President, Vacation Ownership
Brian E. Miller has served as our President, Vacation Ownership since October 2020. From October 2018 to September 2020, he served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing, Sales and Service Officer. From November 2011 to September 2018, he served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. Prior to that time, he had served as our Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing and Service Operations since 2007. Mr. Miller joined our company in 1991.
|Dwight D. Smith|
Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Dwight D. Smith has served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer since December 2011. Prior to that time, he served as our Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer since 2006. Mr. Smith joined Marriott International in 1988.
|Name and Title||Age||Business Experience|
|Michael E. Yonker|
Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Michael E. Yonker has served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer since December 2011. Prior to that time, he served as our Chief Human Resources Officer since 2010. Mr. Yonker joined Marriott International in 1983.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
This section describes circumstances or events that could have a negative effect on our financial results or operations or that could change, for the worse, existing trends in our businesses. The occurrence of one or more of the circumstances or events described below could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and/or on the trading prices of our common stock. The risks and uncertainties described in this Annual Report are not the only ones facing us. Additional risks and uncertainties that currently are not known to us or that we currently believe are immaterial also may adversely affect our businesses and operations.
Risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had, and may continue to have, serious adverse effects on our business, financial condition, and results of operations for an unknown period of time.
As the outbreak of the coronavirus continues, both in the U.S. and globally, there has been significant volatility in global economies and financial markets. The severity, magnitude and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic is uncertain, rapidly changing and hard to predict. Uncertainties related to the pandemic include, but are not limited to, the continued disruptive effect of the pandemic on the global economy, our supply chain partners, our workforce, traveler sentiment, resort occupancy and periodic mandates from governmental authorities to stay home, avoid non-essential contact and gatherings, and self-quarantine.
In 2020, we saw marked declines in occupancy, rentals, and contract sales because of the temporary closure of nearly all of our sales centers, the temporary closure of many of our resorts, the temporary closure of our branded North America vacation ownership resorts for rental stays, and the reduction in operations and amenities at all of our resorts based on government mandates and advisories. Protocols adopted to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, such as canceling, or implementing alternatives or modifications to, in-person sales tours and customized presentations, and reductions in amenities at our resorts, have resulted, and could continue to result in, lesser effectiveness of customer-associate interaction and diminished customer satisfaction, which could adversely impact our financial condition. As of December 31, 2021, nearly all of our resorts and sales centers have reopened; however, extended or further closures may be required nationally, regionally, or in specific locations in the event of a resurgence or variant of the virus.
The success of our business and our profitability depend, in substantial part, upon the health of the travel industry, which has been materially adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As new variants of the virus make headlines every few months, consumer fear about contracting COVID-19 and recommendations or mandates from governmental authorities to avoid large gatherings of people or self-quarantine may increase. These recommendations and mandates have already affected and may continue to affect resort occupancies. A substantial amount of our sales activity occurs at our resorts, and the number of prospective and current owners who visit our resorts impacts sales volume. Our rental revenue is also substantially impacted by the desire and ability of vacationers to travel. Fear of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, government restrictions on travel, including quarantine requirements, low vaccination rates in some parts of the world and variants that may be resistant to available vaccines have caused travelers to cancel or delay travel plans to our resorts. These changes in vacation and travel patterns have adversely affected our cash flows, revenues, and profits, and are expected to continue to do so. Moreover, when travel advisories and restrictions have been lifted, there has been a resurgence of the virus, and as a result, travel demand is unpredictable and could remain so for a significant period. Adverse changes in the perceived or actual economic climate, including higher unemployment rates, declines in income levels, inflation, and loss of personal wealth resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may negatively affect travel demand for a prolonged period.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in payment delinquencies for our vacation ownership notes receivable. The number of delinquencies may increase again as the duration of the pandemic or its effect on economic conditions and the ability to travel continues and could lead to defaults on financing that we provide to purchasers of our products in excess of our estimates. Purchaser defaults may cause us to foreclose on vacation ownership notes receivable and reclaim ownership of the financed interests and could impact our ability to secure ABS or warehouse credit facility financing on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all. In addition, the transactions in which we have securitized vacation ownership notes receivable contain certain portfolio performance requirements related to default and delinquency rates, which, if not met, would result in loss or disruption of cash flow until portfolio performance sufficiently improves to satisfy the requirements.
The duration and extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and financial results will largely depend on future developments, including the duration and spread of the pandemic, the extent and severity of any resurgences of the pandemic in the future, the response by all levels of government in their efforts to contain the pandemic and to mitigate the economic disruptions, the related impact on consumer confidence and spending, and how quickly economies and demand for our products and services recover after the pandemic subsides, all of which are highly uncertain, rapidly changing and cannot be predicted. Such impacts are expected to adversely affect our profitability, cash flows, financial results, and capital resources for a significant period. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic may also adversely affect our operating and financial results in a manner that is not presently known to us or that we currently do not consider to present significant risks to our operations.
The economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected our ability to generate cash to support our continuing operations and debt service, implement our growth plans and make other payments.
We depend upon our operations to generate strong cash flows to support our operating activities, supply capital to finance our operations and growth, make capital expenditures and acquisitions, service our debt and return value to our shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases. In 2020, the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected our ability to generate sufficient cash flows from operations to support these activities and the continuing pandemic may do so in the future.
Steps taken to reduce operating costs and improve efficiency and further changes we may make in the future to reduce costs have negatively impacted, and may in the future impact, owner and guest satisfaction. Reductions in or deferrals of planned corporate capital expenditures may negatively impact owner satisfaction and make our products less attractive to prospective purchasers.
If we cannot make scheduled payments on, or refinance, our debt, we would be in default, and the lenders under our Corporate Credit Facility could terminate their commitments to loan money. Creditors could foreclose on the assets securing our secured debt and apply the amounts realized from such foreclosures to repay amounts owed to them. Any of these actions would likely trigger cross-default or cross-acceleration provisions in our other debt instruments, which would allow the creditors under such instruments to exercise similar rights. If any of these actions were taken, we could be forced into restructuring, bankruptcy or liquidation.
Risks related to our business and industry.
Our business may be adversely affected by factors that disrupt or deter travel.
Our success and profitability depend, in substantial part, upon the health of the worldwide vacation ownership, vacation rental and travel industries, and may be adversely affected by a number of factors that can disrupt or deter travel. A substantial amount of our sales activity occurs at our resorts, and sales volume is affected by the number of visitors at our resorts. Fear of exposure to contagious illnesses, such as COVID-19 or other diseases, or natural or man-made disasters, and the physical effects of climate change, such as more frequent or severe storms, droughts, hurricanes and flooding, have caused and may continue to cause travelers to delay or cancel travel plans, including tours at our resorts, with greater frequency. Other factors such as weakened consumer confidence, limited availability of consumer credit and damage to infrastructure caused by natural or man-made disasters or other causes that impede travel have caused, and may in the future cause, travelers to delay or cancel plans to tour or visit our resorts. For example, hurricanes have caused a number of Interval International exchange network resorts and our managed vacation ownership resorts to close for prolonged periods. Actual or threatened war, civil unrest and terrorist activity, as well as heightened travel security measures instituted in response to the same, could also interrupt or deter travel plans. In addition, demand for our products and services may decrease if the cost of travel, including the cost of transportation and fuel, increases, airlift to vacation destinations decreases, or if general economic conditions decline.
Our ability to process exchanges for members and to find purchasers and renters for accommodations we market or manage, as well as the need for the vacation rental and property management services we provide, largely depends on the continued desirability of the key vacation destinations in which our branded, managed or exchange properties are concentrated. Changes in the desirability of the destinations where these resorts are located and changes in vacation and travel patterns may adversely affect our cash flows, revenue and profits.
Our results of operations can be adversely affected by labor shortages, turnover and labor cost increases.
A number of factors may adversely affect the labor force available or increase labor costs from time to time, such as high employment levels, federal unemployment subsidies, including unemployment benefits offered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and other government regulations. In 2021, we observed an overall tightening and increasingly competitive labor market. A sustained labor shortage or increased turnover rates within our employee base, whether due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic or as a result of general macroeconomic factors, could lead to increased costs, such as increased overtime to meet demand and increased wage rates to attract and retain employees, and could negatively affect our ability to efficiently operate our business. If we are unable to hire and retain employees capable of performing at a high level, our business could be adversely affected.
Significant inflation, higher interest rates or deflation could adversely affect our business and financial results.
Inflation can adversely affect us by increasing the costs of development or other corporate capital expenditures, materials and labor, and interest rates. All of these factors can have a negative impact on the affordability of our products and services. In a high inflationary environment, we may be unable to raise the price of our products and services in a proportional manner, which could reduce our profit margins. In addition, our cost of capital, labor and materials can increase, which could have an adverse impact on our business or financial results.
Alternatively, deflation could cause an overall decrease in spending and borrowing capacity, which could lead to a deterioration of economic conditions and employment levels. Deflation could also cause the value of our products and services to decline. These, or other factors that increase the risk of significant deflation, could have a negative impact on our business or financial results.
Our business is extensively regulated, and any failure to comply with applicable laws could materially adversely affect our business.
We are subject to a wide variety of highly complex international, national, federal, state, and local laws, regulations and policies. The vacation ownership industry is subject to extensive regulation around the world. Each jurisdiction where we operate generally requires resort developers to follow a set of specific procedures to develop, sell and market vacation interests. Our real estate development activities, marketing and sales activities, lending activities and resort management activities are also heavily regulated. In addition, myriad laws, regulations and policies impact multiple areas of our business, such as those regulating the sale and offer of securities, anti-discrimination, anti-fraud, data protection, anti-corruption and bribery or implementing government economic sanctions.
Complying with the intricate and multifaceted regulatory structures applicable to our businesses across the globe is complicated, constantly evolving, time-consuming and costly. We may not be able to successfully comply with all laws, regulations and policies to which we are subject. These laws, regulations and policies may change or be subject to different interpretation in the future, including in ways that could decrease demand for our services, increase costs, and subject us to additional liabilities. Failure to comply could have a material adverse effect on our business. For example, failure to comply with applicable law could result in the loss of licenses or registrations we must have in order to operate our business, render sales contracts for our products void or voidable, subject us to fines or other sanctions, and increase our exposure to litigation. Adverse action by governmental authorities or others alleging our failure to comply with applicable laws could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and reputation.
Changes in privacy laws could adversely affect our ability to market our products effectively.
We rely on a variety of direct marketing techniques, including telemarketing, email marketing and postal mailings. Adoption of new laws, or changes in existing laws, in any of the jurisdictions in which we operate regulating marketing and solicitation or data protection could adversely affect the effectiveness of our marketing strategies. If we are not able to develop adequate alternative marketing strategies, our sales may be adversely affected. We also obtain access to potential customers from travel service providers and other companies with whom we have relationships. If our access to these third-party customer lists was prohibited or restricted, our ability to develop new customers and introduce our products to them could be impaired.
Failure to maintain the integrity of internal or customer data or to protect our systems from cyber-attacks could disrupt our business, damage our reputation, and subject us to costs, fines or lawsuits.
We collect large volumes of data, including social security numbers and other personally identifiable information of our customers and employees, and retain it in our information systems and those of our service providers. It is critical that we maintain the integrity of and protect this data, which we rely on to make business decisions and which our customers and employees expect that we will protect. The regulatory environment in the jurisdictions where we operate and the requirements imposed on us by the payment card industry regarding information, security and privacy is increasingly demanding. Many of the laws applicable to us in different jurisdictions vary from each other in significant ways and may not have the same effect, thus complicating compliance efforts. Our efforts to comply with these requirements may require significant additional resources and time and may not be successful.
We may be required to expend significant capital and other resources to enhance the security of our data. Our information systems and records, including those we maintain with our service providers or licensors, may be subject to security breaches, cyber-attack or cyber-intrusion, system failures, viruses, operator error or inadvertent releases of data. Data breaches have increased in recent years as the number, intensity and sophistication of attacks have increased. The techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems change frequently and may be difficult to detect for long periods of time. Neither we nor our service providers may be able to prevent, detect and contain unauthorized activity and misuse or human errors compromising the efficacy of security measures. A breach in the security of our information systems or those of our service providers or licensors could lead to an interruption in the operation of our systems, resulting in operational inefficiencies and a loss of profits. A significant cyber-attack or theft, loss, or fraudulent use of our customer, employee or company data could adversely impact our reputation and result in remedial and other expenses, fines or litigation.
We and the companies we work with have experienced cyber security threats to our data and systems, including ransomware and other forms of malware and computer virus attacks, unauthorized access, systems failures and temporary disruptions. We have experienced cyber incidents in the past, and have previously disclosed those with material operational or financial implications to the Company or our stakeholders. Routinely, we partner with and use third-party service providers and products that host, manage, or control sensitive data. The failure of any such service providers or products to comply with our privacy policies or privacy laws and regulations, or any unauthorized release of personally identifiable information or other user data, could damage our reputation, discourage potential users from trying our products and services, breach certain agreements under which we have obligations with respect to network security, and/or result in fines and/or proceedings against us by governmental agencies, service providers and/or consumers. Any of the foregoing could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our international operations expose us to risks that could lower our profits or disrupt our business.
Our international operations expose us to a number of additional risks, any of which could reduce our profits or disrupt our business, such as: compliance with laws of non-U.S. jurisdictions, including foreign ownership restrictions, import and export controls, and trade restrictions, and U.S. laws affecting our activities outside of the U.S.; anti-American sentiment; political or civil unrest and terrorism; difficulties of managing operations in many different countries; local economic risks; foreign currency exchange risks; and uncertainty as to the enforceability of contract and intellectual property rights under local laws.
Inadequate or failed technologies could lead to interruptions in our operations and materially adversely affect our business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Our operations and competitive position depend on our ability to maintain existing systems and implement new technologies. Our information technology systems and our databases are potentially susceptible to manmade and natural disasters, as well as power losses, computer and telecommunications failures, technological breakdowns, cyber-attacks, acts of war or terrorism and other events. System interruption, delays, obsolescence, loss of critical data and lack of integration and redundancy in our information technology systems and infrastructure may adversely affect our ability to provide services, operate websites, process and fulfill transactions, respond to customer inquiries and generally maintain cost-efficient operations. Our backup systems only relate to certain aspects of our operations; these systems are not fully redundant and disaster recovery planning is not sufficient for all eventualities. Projects to upgrade or replace our technologies may be extremely complex and require significant resources and time. We may not have adequate insurance coverage to compensate for losses from a major interruption. If our information technology systems fail to adequately support our strategic, operational or compliance needs, our business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows may be adversely affected, as well as our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting.
Spanish court rulings voiding certain timeshare contracts have increased our exposure to litigation that may materially adversely affect our business and financial condition.
A series of Spanish court rulings that, since 2015, have voided certain timeshare contracts has increased our exposure to litigation that may materially adversely affect our business and financial condition. These rulings voided certain timeshare contracts entered into after January 1999 related to certain resorts in Spain if a resort’s timeshare structure did not meet requirements prescribed by Spanish timeshare laws enacted in 1998, even if the structure was lawful prior to 1998 and adapted pursuant to mechanisms specified in the 1998 laws. These rulings have led to an increase in lawsuits by owners seeking to void timeshare contracts in Spain, including certain contracts at certain of our resorts in Spain. If additional owners at our resorts in Spain file similar lawsuits, this may: void certain of those owners’ timeshare contracts; cause us to incur material litigation and other costs, including judgment or settlement payments; and materially adversely affect the results of operation of our Vacation Ownership segment, as well as our business and financial condition. The increased ability for owners of Spanish timeshares to void their contracts is negatively impacting other developers with resorts in Spain, which may lead to a significant decrease in the number of resorts located in Spain in the Interval International network and the loss of members who own VOIs at those resorts.
The industries in which our businesses operate are competitive, which may impact our ability to compete successfully.
Our businesses will be adversely impacted if they cannot compete effectively in their respective industries, each of which is highly competitive. A number of highly competitive companies participate in the vacation ownership industry. Our brands compete with the vacation ownership brands of major hotel chains in national and international venues, as well as with the vacation rental options (such as hotels, resorts and condominium rentals) offered by the lodging industry. Our competitors may have greater access to capital resources and broader marketing, sales and distribution capabilities than we do. Competitive pressures may cause us to reduce our fee structure or potentially modify our business models, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our principal exchange network administered by Interval International included nearly 3,200 resorts located in over 90 nations as of December 31, 2021. Interval International’s primary competitor, RCI, has a greater number of affiliated resorts than we have. Through the resources of its corporate affiliates, particularly, Travel + Leisure Co., engaged in vacation ownership sales, RCI may have greater access to a significant segment of new vacation ownership purchasers and a broader platform for participating in industry consolidation. In addition, Interval International competes with developers that create, operate and expand internal exchange and vacation club systems, which decreases their reliance on external vacation ownership exchange programs, including those we offer, and adversely impacts the supply of resort accommodations available through our external exchange networks. The effects of such competition on our exchange business are more pronounced as the proportion of vacation club corporate members in the Interval International network increases.
Our businesses also compete for leisure travelers with other leisure lodging operators, including both independent and branded properties, as well as with alternative lodging marketplaces, which operate websites that market furnished, privately-owned residential properties throughout the world which can be rented on a nightly, weekly or monthly basis.
Negative public perception regarding our industry could have an adverse effect on our operations.
Negative public perception regarding our industry resulting from, among other things, consumer complaints regarding sales and marketing practices, consumer financing arrangements, and restrictions on exit related to our products, as well as negative comments on social media, could result in increased regulatory scrutiny, which could result in reputational damage, more onerous laws, regulations, guidelines and enforcement interpretations in jurisdictions in which we operate. These actions may lead to operational delays or restrictions, as well as increased operating costs, regulatory burdens and risk of litigation.
Changes in tax regulations or their interpretation could reduce our profits or increase our costs.
Changes in tax and other revenue raising laws, regulations and policies in the jurisdictions where we do business could impose new restrictions, costs or prohibitions on our practices and reduce our profits. In addition, interpretation of tax regulations requires us to exercise our judgment and taxing authorities or our independent registered public accounting firm may reach conclusions about the application of such regulations that differ from our conclusions. Our effective tax rate reflects the fact that income earned and reinvested outside the U.S. is generally taxed at local rates that can be lower than U.S. tax rates or based on a different tax base than U.S. jurisdictions, as well as our ability to carry forward losses in certain jurisdictions from prior years to offset future profits. Changes to U.S. or international tax laws, regulations or interpretations could impact the tax treatment of our earnings and adversely affect our profitability. For example, if such changes significantly increase the tax rates on non-U.S. income, our effective tax rate could increase, our profits could be reduced, and if such increases were a result of our status as a U.S. corporation, we could be placed at a disadvantage to our non-U.S. competitors that are subject to lower local tax rates.
We are subject to audit in various jurisdictions, and these jurisdictions may assess additional taxes against us. Developments in an audit, litigation, or laws, regulations, administrative practices, principles, and interpretations could have a material effect on our operating results or cash flows. The final outcome of tax audits, investigations, and any related litigation could be materially different from our historical tax provisions and accruals.
Concentration of some of our resorts, sales centers and exchange destinations in particular geographic areas exposes our business to the effects of severe weather and other regional events in these areas.
Our business is susceptible to the effects of natural or man-made disasters, including earthquakes, windstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods, drought, fires, oil spills and nuclear incidents, in the areas where some of our resorts, sales centers and exchange destinations are concentrated, such as Florida, California, South Carolina and Hawaii. For example, properties in these markets have had to close in the past in order to repair damage caused by disasters. Depending on the severity of future disasters, the resulting damage could require closure of all or substantially all of our properties in one or more of these markets while we complete renovations. Our insurance may not cover all damages caused by any such event, including the loss of sales of VOIs at sales centers that are not fully operational. In addition, insurance costs may increase and coverage levels may decrease for properties in these areas as a result of the number and magnitude of recent natural disasters in these areas.
Our business is also susceptible to the effects of adverse economic developments in these areas, such as regional economic downturns, significant increases in the number of our competitors’ products in these markets and potentially higher labor, real estate, tax or other costs in these geographic markets. Because of this geographic concentration of properties, we face a greater risk of a negative effect on our revenues and profits if these areas are affected by severe weather, man-made disasters or adverse economic and competitive conditions.
If we are not able to successfully identify, finance, integrate and/or manage costs related to acquisitions, our business operations and financial position could be adversely affected.
We have expanded in part through acquisitions of other businesses and may continue to do so in the future. Our acquisition strategy depends on our ability to identify, and the availability of, suitable acquisition candidates. We may incur costs in connection with proposed acquisitions, but may ultimately be unable or unwilling to consummate any particular proposed transaction for various reasons. In addition, acquisitions involve numerous risks, including risks that we will not be able to: successfully integrate acquired businesses in an efficient and cost-effective manner; achieve anticipated benefits of an acquisition, including expected synergies; control potential increases in operating costs; manage geographically remote operations; successfully expand our system of internal controls or our technological infrastructure to include an acquired business; avoid potential disruptions in ongoing operations during an acquisition process or integration efforts; successfully enter markets in which we have limited or no direct experience, including foreign markets whose practices or laws may pose increased risk; and retain key employees, clients, vendors and business partners of the acquired companies. Failure to achieve the anticipated benefits of any acquisition may adversely affect our financial condition, operating results and prospects. Acquisitions may also significantly increase our debt or result in dilutive issuances of our equity securities, write-offs of goodwill or substantial amortization expenses associated with other intangible assets.
Our use of different estimates and assumptions in the application of our accounting policies could result in material changes to our reported financial condition and results of operations, and changes in accounting standards or their interpretation could significantly impact our reported results of operations.
Our accounting policies are critical to the manner in which we present our results of operations and financial condition. Many of these policies, including policies relating to the recognition of revenue and determination of cost of sales, are highly complex and involve many assumptions, estimates and judgments. We are required to review these assumptions, estimates and judgments regularly and revise them when necessary. Our actual results of operations vary from period to period based on revisions to these estimates. For example, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we increased our sales reserve due to higher default expectations and revised our estimates of the fair value of our reporting units, resulting in the impairment of goodwill. In addition, the regulatory bodies that establish accounting and reporting standards, including the SEC and the Financial Accounting Standards Board, periodically revise or issue new financial accounting and reporting standards that govern the preparation of our consolidated financial statements. Changes to these standards or their interpretation could significantly impact our reported results in future periods. See Footnote 2 “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” to our Financial Statements for more information regarding changes in accounting standards that we recently adopted or expect to adopt in the future.
The growth of our business and execution of our business strategies depend on the services of our senior management and our associates.
Our business is based on successfully attracting and retaining talented associates. The market for highly skilled associates and leaders in our industry is extremely competitive. If we are less successful in our recruiting efforts, or if we are unable to retain management and other key associates, our ability to develop and deliver successful products and services may be adversely affected. Effective succession planning is also important to our long-term success. The departure of a key executive or associate and/or the failure to ensure an effective transfer of knowledge and a smooth transition upon such departure may be disruptive to the business and could hinder our strategic planning and execution.
Increasing scrutiny and evolving expectations from customers, regulators, investors, and other stakeholders with respect to our environmental, social and governance practices may impose additional costs on us or expose us to new or additional risks.
Companies are facing increasing scrutiny from customers, regulators, investors and other stakeholders related to their environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) practices and disclosure. Investor advocacy groups, investment funds and influential investors are also increasingly focused on these practices, especially as they relate to the environment, health and safety, board and workforce diversity, labor conditions and human rights. Increased ESG-related compliance costs could result in increases to our overall operational costs. Failure to adapt to or comply with regulatory requirements or investor or stakeholder expectations and standards could negatively impact our reputation, ability to do business with certain partners, and stock price. New government regulations could also result in new or more stringent forms of ESG oversight and expanding mandatory and voluntary reporting, diligence, and disclosure.
Risks related to our vacation ownership business.
The termination of our license agreements with Marriott International or Hyatt, or our rights to use their trademarks at our existing or future properties, could materially harm our business.
Our success depends, in part, on our relationships with Marriott International and Hyatt. These relationships are governed by various agreements, including long-term license agreements that expire between 2090 and 2095, subject to renewal. However, if we breach our obligations under a license agreement, the applicable licensor may be entitled to terminate the license agreement and our rights to use its brands in connection with our businesses. In addition, if any of our properties does not meet applicable brand standards, the applicable licensor can terminate our right to use its trademarks at the subject properties.
The termination of our license agreements with Marriott International or its affiliates would materially harm our business and results of operations and materially impair our ability to market and sell our products and maintain our competitive position, and could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows. Our inability to rely on the strength of the Marriott, Sheraton and/or Westin brands to attract qualified prospects in the marketplace would likely cause our revenue and profits to decline and our marketing and sales expenses to increase. Our inability to market to guests in hotels affiliated with our licensors that are located near one of our sales locations or maintain our marketing partnerships with North American Marriott International reservation centers would cause our sales to decline, which could adversely affect our financial condition and result of operations. In addition, we would not be able to use the brand websites as channels through which to rent available inventory, which would cause our rental revenue to decline materially.
Our license agreements also allow us to offer points to members of the loyalty programs associated with the Marriott, Sheraton, Westin and Hyatt brands, which provides us with the opportunity to market directly to these members. The termination of the license agreements with Marriott International or Hyatt would eliminate this valuable marketing channel.
We must also obtain the applicable licensor’s consent to use its trademarks in connection with properties we acquire or develop in the future. If our licensors do not consent to such use, our ability to expand our business and remain competitive may be materially adversely affected.
Deterioration in the quality or reputation of the brands associated with our portfolio could adversely affect our market share, reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.
We offer vacation ownership products and services under the Marriott, Sheraton, Westin, The Ritz-Carlton, and Hyatt brands. Our success depends in part on the continued success of Marriott International and Hyatt and their respective brands. If market recognition or the positive perception of Marriott International and/or Hyatt is reduced or compromised, the goodwill associated with these brands may be adversely affected, which may adversely affect our market share, reputation, business, financial condition or results of operations. The positioning and offerings of any of these brands and/or their related customer loyalty programs could change in a manner that adversely affects our business.
Marriott International could compete with our vacation ownership business in the future.
Under the license agreement with Marriott International, if other international hotel operators offer new products and services as part of their respective hotel businesses that may directly compete with our vacation ownership products and services, then Marriott International may also offer such new products and services, and use its trademarks in connection with such offers. If Marriott International offers new vacation ownership products and services under its trademarks, it may compete directly with our vacation ownership products and services, and we may not be able to distinguish our vacation ownership products and services from those offered by Marriott International. Our ability to remain competitive and to attract and retain owners depends on our success in distinguishing the quality and value of our products and services from those offered by others. If we cannot compete successfully in these areas, this could limit our operating margins, diminish our market share and reduce our earnings.
If a branded hotel property co-located with one of our resorts ceases to be affiliated with the same brand as our resort or a related brand, our business could be harmed.
Approximately 20% of our Vacation Ownership segment resorts are co-located with same-branded hotel properties. If a branded hotel property with which one of our resorts is co-located ceases to be operated by or affiliated with the same brand as our resort, which has happened in the past, we could lose benefits such as sharing amenities, infrastructure and staff, integration of services, and other cost efficiencies. Our owners could lose access to the more varied and elaborate amenities that are generally available at the larger campus of an integrated vacation ownership and hotel resort. We expect our overhead and operating costs for such resorts would increase. We could also lose our on-site access to hotel customers, including brand customer loyalty program members, at such resorts, which is a cost-effective marketing channel for our vacation ownership products, and our sales may decline.
We may not have inventory available for sale when needed or we may have excess inventory.
We may enter into capital-efficient transactions to source inventory in which third parties agree to deliver completed units to us at pre-agreed prices in the future. These transactions expose us to additional risk as we will not control development activities or timing of development completion. If our counterparties default on their obligations, or exercise their right to sell inventory to a different buyer, we may not acquire the inventory we expect on time or at all, or it may not be within agreed upon specifications. If we cannot obtain inventory from alternative sources on a timely basis, we may not be able to achieve sales forecasts. Conversely, if we procure or commit to procure inventory based on an expected sales plan and fail to achieve that plan, we could have excess inventory, potentially negatively impacting our profit margins.
The sale of vacation ownership interests in the secondary market by existing owners could cause our sales revenues and profits to decline.
Sales of VOIs by existing owners, which are typically at lower prices than the prices at which we would sell interests, can create pricing pressure on our sale of vacation ownership products and cause our sales revenues and profits to decline. In addition, unlawful or deceptive third-party VOI resale schemes involving interests in our resorts could damage our reputation and brand value and adversely impact our sales revenues. Development of a more robust secondary market may also cause the volume of lower-cost VOI inventory that we are able to repurchase to supplement our inventory needs to decline, which could adversely impact our development margin.
Purchaser defaults on the vacation ownership notes receivable our business generates could reduce our revenues, cash flows and profits.
In connection with our vacation ownership business, we provide loans to purchasers to finance their purchase of VOIs. Accordingly, we are subject to the risk that purchasers of our VOIs may default on the financing that we provide. The risk of purchaser defaults may increase due to man-made or natural disasters, which cause financial hardship for purchasers. The risk of purchaser defaults may also increase if we do not evaluate accurately the creditworthiness of the customers to whom we extend financing or due to the influence of timeshare relief firms. Purchaser defaults have caused, and may continue to cause, us to foreclose on vacation ownership notes receivable and reclaim ownership of the financed interests, both for loans that we have not securitized and in our role as servicer for the vacation ownership notes receivable we have securitized through the ABS market or the Warehouse Credit Facility. If default rates for our borrowers increase, we have been required, and may in the future be required, to increase our reserve on vacation ownership notes receivable.
If default rates increase beyond current projections and result in higher than expected foreclosure activity, our results of operations could be adversely affected. Purchaser defaults could impact our ability to secure ABS or warehouse credit facility financing on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all. In addition, the transactions in which we have securitized vacation ownership notes receivable contain certain portfolio performance requirements related to default and delinquency rates, which, if not met, would result in loss or disruption of cash flow until portfolio performance sufficiently improves to satisfy the requirements. Also, if a purchaser of a VOI defaults on the related loan during the early part of the amortization period, we may not have recovered the marketing, selling and general and administrative costs associated with the sale of that VOI. If we are
unable to recover any of the principal amount of the loan from a defaulting purchaser, or if the allowances for losses from such defaults are inadequate, the revenues and profits that we derive from the vacation ownership business could be reduced.
Our points-based product forms expose us to an increased risk of temporary inventory depletion.
Selling VOIs in a system of resorts under a points-based business model increases the risk of temporary inventory depletion. Currently, our VOI sales are made primarily through a limited number of trust entities that issue VOIs. This structure can lead to a temporary depletion of inventory available for sale caused by: (1) delayed delivery of inventory under construction by us or third parties; (2) delayed receipt of required governmental registrations of inventory for sale; and (3) significant unanticipated increases in sales pace. If the inventory available for sale for a particular trust were to be depleted before new inventory is added and available for sale, we would be required to temporarily suspend sales until inventory is replenished or shift to selling an alternative product which may increase marketing and sales costs and lower VPG. Our efforts to avoid the risk of temporary inventory depletion by maintaining a surplus supply of completed inventory based on our forecasted sales pace, and by employing other mitigation strategies such as accelerating completion of resorts under construction, acquiring VOIs on the secondary market, or reducing sales pace by adjusting prices or sales incentives, may not be successful. A depletion of VOI inventory could decrease our financing revenues generated from purchasers of VOIs and fee revenues generated by providing club, management, exchange, sales, and marketing services. In addition, any temporary suspension of sales due to lack of inventory could reduce our cash flow and have a negative impact on our results of operations.
Our development activities expose us to project cost and completion risks.
Our project development activities entail risks that may cause project delays or increased project costs and therefore may adversely impact our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, including:
•construction delays or cost overruns;
•shortages of skilled labor;
•claims for construction defects, including claims by purchasers and owners’ associations;
•the discovery of hazardous or toxic substances, or other environmental, culturally-sensitive, or related issues;
•an inability to timely obtain required governmental permits and authorizations;
•compliance with zoning, building codes and other local regulations;
•performance by third parties involved in the financing and development of our projects;
•the cost or availability of raw materials; and