To enhance its presence in the vacation ownership industry, UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management has joined the largest timeshare organization in the nation – the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). With approximately 1,000 corporate members, ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded corporations, membership to ARDA’s vast industry network will provide Rosen College and its students with direct access to experienced professionals, best business practices, news, scholarships, and research opportunities.

ARDA is the Washington D.C.-based trade association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries (timeshares). ARDA promotes growth and development of the timeshare industry through a variety of capacities: legislative advocacy, professional and educational networking, industry news and knowledge, and professional development. 

The timeshare industry, which generated $69B in economic output, 465,000 jobs, and $22B in salaries and wages in the United States in 2010, has the greatest concentration of its resorts and corporations located in Orlando, Fla.

“With our university located in the largest timeshare resort destination in the world, there are numerous opportunities for Rosen College and its students to benefit from academic and practical study of this industry segment,” said Dr. Amy Gregory, Rosen College visiting assistant professor and liaison for ARDA. “More specifically, ARDA sponsors academic scholarships and mentoring opportunities for students interested in pursuing a career in the timeshare industry.”

Rosen College is already reaping immediate benefits from joining ARDA, as the organization recently awarded four Rosen students with scholarships. Eric Flowers, Charles Bido and Felice Tucker each received the Jack Richardson Memorial Scholarship, which pays for their registration fees.

Jasmine Kouly, a student in Dr. Kaufman’s timeshare class, was awarded the 2012 AIF Academic Outreach Scholarship, which will cover all expenses (including air fare, accommodations, and convention registration) for the recipient to attend the ARDA Convention in Las Vegas this April.  Additionally, Kouly is invited to attend an awards gala and participate in a 12-month industry mentorship program.

Students, who would like to become involved with the program, should contact [email protected] or visit hospitality.ucf.edu.

For more information on ARDA, please visit ARDA.org.