What is America’s top Tourist Destination?
A recent Wall Street Journal article confirms just how important vacation homes are to Orlando’s tourism popularity.
New York City and Orlando have been competing for years for the title of the “most visited travel destination” in the United States. Orlando currently has a 3 million visitor advantage or at least based upon the city’s own counting methodology.
At issue is the fact that Orlando counts visitors traveling as far away as Kissimmee and Davenport in Polk, Lake and Osceola counties and New York City only counts travellers in a much narrower geographic area.
Polk, Lake and Osceola counties are huge vacation home rental destination markets in Central Florida.
The biggest difference when comparing New York and Orlando is the fact that vacation rentals are a fraction of NYC’s lodging accommodations. The Central Florida lodging market is significantly different. The economic impact of vacation homes in Osceola County alone was over $1 billion with over 1.24 million visitors staying in rental homes. This study was conducted a few years ago, so these numbers could be much higher now.
The number of vacation rentals in Central Florida provide a unique option for travellers that most destinations cannot offer in terms of market size and scope. Vacation rentals help keep Orlando in the top spot. The number and variety of theme parks and attraction guests in the region simply could not be served without the capabilities and conveniences that vacation home rentals offer the Central Florida area.
Moreover, if you add in the tourists staying in vacation rentals in Lake and Polk County, this would potentially account for over 3 million extra tourists. Thus, vacation home rentals potentially provide the edge for Orlando or more technically Central Florida, as America’s top vacation destination.