First, Wyndham Destinations acquired the iconic Travel + Leisure brand for $100 million and promptly renamed itself to match. Then, Hilton Grand Vacations purchased Diamond Resorts from Apollo Global Management for $1.4 billion. These back-to-back moves are evidence that major timeshare players are eager to broaden and diversify their reach.
“We acquired Travel + Leisure, including access to its global audience of 35 million loyal followers across multiple platforms and nearly 60 000 club members, because it matches our passion and purpose to put the world on vacation,” said Michael D. Brown: president and chief executive officer of Wyndham Destinations
In early 2021, Wyndham Destinations changed its name to Travel + Leisure Co. and expanded its portfolio through various branded products and offerings. “The new company will inspire travellers with Travel + Leisure’s expert multi-platform content to grow its membership travel club businesses, launch new branded travel services and expand brand licensing agreements under its Travel + Leisure Group,” said Brown.
Wyndham’s Travel + Leisure acquisition has been interpreted as a play to bring one of the largest timeshare brands to a new generation of travellers — specifically millennials.
On the other hand, Hilton Grand Vacations’ acquisition of Diamond Resorts reads more like a straightforward expansion of their brand portfolio. Hilton Grand Vacations will acquire 92 resorts, while 400 000 current Diamond owners will join the Hilton brand (Diamond reports roughly 75 000 more owners than Hilton).
In their press release announcing the merger, a spokesperson for Hilton Grand Vacations noted that “Combining HGV’s points-based deeded product with Diamond’s points-based trust structure will allow the Company to cater to a wider audience.”
However, it’s still unclear what exactly this will mean for owners of the combined brand. Inquiring minds want to know: will HGV owners switch to a strictly points-based system (as opposed to home week-based points)? Or will HGV and Diamond owners maintain separate ownership models?
One thing, however, is for sure: the merger will double resort options for owners of both brands.