Vacation rental figures are looking good for the holidays


KISSIMMEE, Fla .– Kissimmee has been dubbed the “vacation home capital of the world,” and according to the city’s tourism branch, 50,000 of its 70,000 accommodations were vacation homes before the pandemic.


What would you like to know

  • Kissimmee has been dubbed the ‘vacation home capital of the world’ with 50,000 rentals available before pandemic hit
  • That number has dropped to around 40,000, but owners expect things to improve a lot, especially over the next two months.
  • Short-term vacation rentals increased 377% nationwide from 2020, according to Airbnb and Vrbo

That number fell to around 40,000 after the COVID-19 hit, but over the next two months those who remain expect to cash in.

Airbnb and Vrbo report that for vacation travel this year, short-term rental bookings are up 377% from 2020. That number shouldn’t be surprising given the pandemic. What is surprising is that the numbers for 2021 are 91% compared to 2019, before the pandemic hit.

Kim Brown, who owns a vacation rental home at Reunion Resort, said her property is fully booked for November and December.

“It looks really good on my wife,” he said, laughing with his wife nearby. “She’s the person looking at the numbers, so I’m sure she’s tickled to death.”

And these numbers have a very good trend across the county.

According to Live Kissimmee, in October, vacation home rentals saw a 35% drop between 2019 and 2020. But from 2020 to 2021, things rebounded with a 56% increase, which turned out to be a 1% increase. compared to the 2019 pre-pandemic.

Sharon Harley, CEO of Jeeves Floria Rentals, rents approximately 500 vacation homes in Osceola County. As of November, she said, 97% of them are already booked.

“Florida has a reputation for being open and welcoming all travelers,” said Harley. “There is so much for them to do. Not too many restrictions, but the vacation home that they can literally drive into from all different states.

AAA estimates that 48.3 million Americans will hit the road for Thanksgiving weekend. One of these families is staying in Brown’s vacation rental on Reunion Island.

“You see a lot of Thanksgiving and Christmas rentals, especially since the family can be together in a house very comfortably,” Brown said. “In Florida, it’s one of the few places where you can swim on Christmas Day.

Not only is business good for Brown, it’s also good for other homeowners. The Kissimmee experience says that since the start of the pandemic, vacation homes have exceeded hotel occupancy rates month after month.

Another sign that tourist activity is returning to normal in Osceola County: in September 2019, the tourism development tax brought in 3.5 million dollars, while this year is only slightly lower than 3, $ 1 million.


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