With travel restrictions easing, foreign guests seek Miami, Orlando vacation rentals
Image via Airbnb and VISIT FLORIDA.

With U.S. borders opening to vaccinated visitors, demand rises quickly.

The British are coming! The British are coming! So are the Canadians, French, Chileans, and others.

With the pending reopening of some international tourism travel into the United States, Miami, Orlando, and the rest of South Florida’s Atlantic coastal communities are among the most sought destinations for foreign visitors to the United States, according to vacation rental home marketing platform Airbnb.

And interest is picking up rapidly.

During the week following President Joe Biden‘s Sept. 20 announcement that coronavirus travel restrictions into the United States would be lifted soon, Airbnb searches for American vacation rental properties by international visitors increased 50%, the company reported Friday.

During the week following the announcement Oct. 15 that the border would reopen Nov. 8 to fully vaccinated foreign travelers, nights booked by foreign guests for stays on Airbnb increased by 44%.

The top destination for inquiries, among 4,000 destinations the company tracks, was Los Angeles, followed by Miami, New York, Orlando, and the South Florida Atlantic coast. Those also were the top five locations for visitors interested in spending at least 28 days.

The top cities of origin are London; Paris; Santiago, Chile; Toronto; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Those figures, released by Airbnb Friday, are the closest to real-time responses available as Florida’s official data on visitations tend to lag several months.

Airbnb’s message: the pent-up demand for foreigners’ American vacations is being unleashed.

Airbnb maintained the company also is seeing an increase in hybrid trips, where people are traveling to work in vacation rentals.

“The pandemic has suddenly untethered tens of millions of people from the need to work in specific places at specific times. They can now work from anywhere, travel any time, and stay for longer,” the company stated in a news release. “While technologies like Zoom make it possible to work from home, Airbnb is making it possible to work from any home — and ultimately, to live anywhere.”

The United States is historically the largest inbound travel market in the world, and the largest country to reopen to foreign travelers arriving by commercial flights, Airbnb stated in the release.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


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