A diverse panel of executives representing the timeshare industry visited Rosen College on Wednesday to share insight and interact with students interested in vacation ownership careers. They indicated that despite difficulties in the past, the timeshare business is undergoing a major transformation, supported by incredible growth even in a weakened economy.

The 2012 Analysis of the Global Shared Vacation Ownership Industry reported approximately 473,000 individuals were employed in the timeshare industry worldwide in 2010 —  and there’s room for growth, particularly in Florida, which is home to 20% of the resorts in the United States.

The local economic benefits of vacation ownership also are substantial. According to the Economic Impact of the Timeshare Industry on the U.S. Economy, 2012 Edition, timeshare visitors spent an average of $1,785 per travel party during their vacations in Orlando in 2011. Based on this spending level and an estimated number of travel parties, visitors spent an estimated $363 million at Orlando area timeshare resorts in 2011 and $1.3 billion at other businesses (outside of timeshare resorts), totaling $1.6 billion in consumer spending.

The Timeshare Panel, led by Dr. Amy Gregory, consisted of six representatives from recognized industry leaders, including Diamond Resorts, Hilton Grand Vacations, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, RCI, Westgate Resorts and Wyndham Vacation Ownership.