Bookings are up this season. In fact 2010 might be one the biggest years yet, according to Pete Werner, owner of Dreams Unlimited, an Orlando-based travel agency. “We’ve definitely seen an improvement this year over last. The beginning of the year was a little dicey for us because what we’ve noticed is, with the economy, people are not booking their trips as far out as they have previously. So we got a little nervous January and February. But then March, April and May were just gangbuster months for us. We’re seeing some solid growth. We’re on track to have our best year ever,” Werner told the Orlando Sentinel, on June 13th.
On the other side of the tourism coin, corporate dollars are still flowing steadily into an ever-growing list of attractions. The ‘Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ opens this weekend, and several new resorts are under construction, including the Peabody, a thirty-two-story hotel and convention center off International Drive. Vacation rental home development also remains strong throughout the area, with plenty of new property coming available each month. So despite all the negative fanfare about the economy and now the environment, how is Orlando’s tourist-centric economy able to thrive,
It has a lot to do with accessibility: there’s something for everyone in Orlando, on just about any budget. And vacation homes, now offering more choices and bigger savings than ever, are a big reason for that.
When Florida’s housing market slumped in 2008, Orlando had a unique advantage: Attractions. The biggest, best, and the most well known attractions in the world. So Orlando’s homes, though they’d lost value, still played an important economic role by providing cost-effective lodging for the vacationing public. And because vacation homes are cost-effective, families keep coming, even in tough economic times.
And now, with Florida’s coasts threatened by the spill, some beach-goers are electing to head inland for this summer’s getaway. And Orlando is of course, inland.
Summer 2010 is already one of the biggest seasons on record for vacation bookings, especially vacation homes. And with new attractions and no shortage of affordable accommodations, all signs suggest the bookings will keep coming. Perhaps the economy isn’t all bad news these days.