Vacation home business sees international renters rise

KISSIMMEE, Florida – Experts say foreign travelers have been flocking to central Florida since the COVID-19 pandemic travel ban in the United States ended Monday for most international residents.

What would you like to know

  • Horizon Vacation Homes international renters have increased since the end of the travel ban for the most part
  • International travelers made up 80% of its tenants before the pandemic
  • Horizon Vacation Homes is based in Kissimmee
  • Owner seeks a 50/50 balance in international and domestic tenants

According to owner and CEO Yann Guyonic, Kissimmee-based Horizon Vacation Homes has seen an increase in inquiries since the ban was ended.

“People abroad come back and just don’t want to wait any longer,” he said.

International travelers made up about 80% of its tenants before the pandemic, but when the ban hit, domestic travelers and remote workers helped close the gap, but not completely.

“It’s not the same as some people who come here for a month or two,” Guyonic said. “So we really like to have (international travelers) back. “

Bookings at his business have returned to pre-pandemic figures for this time of year, he said.

International travelers currently make up 35% of Horizon Vacation Homes guests in January and February, Guyonic said. He expects that number to reach nearly 70% by the end of the month. Those months are generally slower for rentals, but not this time around, he said.

He estimates record rental figures for this summer.

“We expect July and August to be the best year for us to rent,” Guyonic said.

Guyonic said the pandemic had taught him that his business could survive without international guests, and if rentals only balance about 50/50 between international and domestic travelers, he would be happy.

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