Vacation home rentals contribute $27 billion to Florida economy, UCF study shows

50% of rentals booked are for vacations

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida’s theme parks, beaches and endless summer weather make the state a top vacation choice for travelers. According to a University of Central Florida-led study those vacationers are contributing more than $27 billion to the state through vacation home rentals instead of more traditional hotels and resorts.

The University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management released a report Monday that details how much the vacation rental home industry contributes to the state’s economy annually.

The study was conducted by surveying 6,240 tourists, 1,748 rental homeowners and 143 rental home management companies. Those surveys were then compared with data from the Survey Center of the Bureau of Economic and Business Center, Airbnb, the Florida Tourist Development Tax Association, multiple county tax collectors’ offices and the Florida Department of Revenue, according to a news release.

“Our research confirms that Florida’s lodging industry for vacations, beyond traditional hotels and resorts, which include rentals like houses, apartments and condos, boosts the economy significantly," Associate Dean of research at UCF Rosen College Robertico Croes said in a news release. "Renters remain in the state longer, some up to 30 days, and spend more money, on average $1,000 per person.'

According to the report, 50% of rentals are booked for vacation, while 18% are booked for beach and water activities and 10% to visit family and friends.

The top three reasons people choose to stay in a vacation rental home as opposed to a hotel or resort are because of the value, location and the privacy and freedom gained from having their own space, according to the study.

The report also states that the direct spending on these rentals totals nearly $46 million a day and supports roughly 115,00 jobs in the industry.

“Floridians have long-known that the state’s vacation home rental industry has a significant impact on our economy, but the numbers in this report are simply staggering,” Florida Realtors president Barry Grooms said.

Eighty-four percent of people surveyed said it was extremely likely for them to come back to Florida, while 85% said they would stay in a vacation home again.

To read the full report click here.