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With Brazil and Venezuela recording double-digit growth in interval sales in 2009 mainly due to their sales in the domestic market, Latin America showed signs of strength and continued to attract new players to its vacation ownership industry.

According to RCI's "Executive Summary" of the Latin American and Caribbean Vacation Ownership Fact Book, 61 new vacation resorts joined the region's vacation exchange system in 2009, and Latin America closed the year with a total of more than 1,200 affiliated resorts.

In its Executive Summary, RCI also notes that 97% of interval sales in Brazil - which totaled more than 14,300 weeks - were done by domestic buyers. Results from Venezuela indicate that Venezuelans purchased 99% of the 12,700 weeks sold in the country. With these and other data gathered by RCI in the region, estimated sales of vacation weeks in Latin American totaled 212,316 intervals, a 12% decline from the previous year.

RCI's Executive Summary also indicates that despite the tough economic environment of the previous year, some other markets showed promising growth signs. In Costa Rica, for example, several luxury projects were started in the country's most popular beach destinations with some of them slated to open this year. In Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Colombia, new timeshare players came into the industry and introduced new resorts - ranging from standard quality to luxury developments - to the vacation ownership market.

Notwithstanding the challenging times faced by the Mexican tourism industry, one of the biggest regions affected by the influenza outbreak, Mexico topped the list of new affiliations with 22 resorts, followed by the Caribbean with 16 and Brazil with seven.

Other significant data about the vacation ownership market in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2009 is highlighted by RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange, in its Executive Summary presented at the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) 2010 Convention and Exposition. The Executive Summary, a highly-regarded industry publication, documents the performance of the industry during the last year and puts into perspective future trends by analyzing market information from the World Tourism Organization, the Tourism Ministries, affiliates in the region, and the International Monetary Fund.

The Executive Summary is a well-received document within the regional vacation ownership industry and is part of a broader RCI endeavor: The 2010 Latin America and the Caribbean Vacation Ownership Fact Book will be presented later this year.

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