A Look at the True Economic Impact of Vacation Rentals in Florida

Florida Realtors partnered on a study that found that in 25 counties surveyed, the
rental-home business accounted for $27.4 billion in sales in 2018
Janice Mason, Real Estate Advisor
President's Society Member
Coastal Properties Group | Christie's International Real Estate
Janicemason1@gmail.com
727-504-6708
Janicemason1.com

Florida’s tourism industry is a top economic driver to the state’s GDP and is growing faster than the U.S. Economy, consumer spending, health care spending, and spending on recreation (Rockport Analytics Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2017).

According to Visit Florida (2018), the state has experienced eight consecutive years of record-breaking visitation. In 2018, the state received 127.0 million visitors making Florida one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. In 2017, out-of-state visitors added $85.9 billion to Florida’s economy resulting in every 81 visitors supporting one Florida job (Visit Florida, 2018). It is clear that the Florida tourism industry is vital to the economic welfare of the state.

Florida’s vacation rental home industry is an important component of the lodging industry that contributes to the overall tourist experience as well as the economic contribution that the tourism industry is able to make to the state of Florida. However, to date, the economic impact of the vacation rental home industry on Florida’s overall economy is largely undetermined, due, in part, to the lack of a statewide analysis.

To determine the true extent of the economic impact of vacation rental homes to the state, Florida Realtors partnered with the University of Central Florida and the Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association to produce this report.

The report focuses on the economic impact of the vacation rental home industry in 25 Florida counties: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Franklin, Nassau, Duval, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Monroe, Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Volusia, and Flagler. When combined, these 25 counties include 89.3% of the total amount of registered vacation rental homes in the state of Florida.

The below bullets represent specific highlights of the report’s findings that will be of interest to vacation rental stakeholders and others interested in this rapidly growing industry.

• In total, the 2018 economic impact of Florida’s vacation rental home industry in the 25 targeted counties was roughly $27.4 billion in sales.
• This represents approximately $16.6 billion in direct spending and $10.8 billion in indirect spending.
• The $16.6 billion in direct spending represents 18.7% of the total direct spending of the Florida tourism industry in 2017 and translates to 1.6% of the total gross domestic product for Florida in 2018.
• The direct spending amounts to nearly $46 million a day and approximately $1.9 million every hour reverberating through the state’s economy.
• The direct spending supports roughly 115,000 jobs with one job being created for every $144,181 spent.
• Overall, the industry generates 312 jobs statewide every day, 13 jobs every hour, and one job every 5 minutes.
• In 2018, the total amount of tourists staying in vacation rental homes in Florida was 14,233,274, which equates to 11.2% of the total 127 million tourists that came to Florida in 2018.
• On average, visitors staying in vacation rental homes spent nearly $46 million per day in Florida, which is an economically significant number.

The report was commissioned by Florida Realtors and conducted in partnership with the Florida Vacation Rental Management Association. For a copy of the full report visit: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/dickpopepubs/80/