COVID-19 Impact Survey Highlights Short-Term Rentals’ Importance to Economic Recovery in Florida

New data released today from a nationwide survey by Rent Responsibly, the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA), and AirDNA highlights the importance of reopening short-term vacation rental activity on the country’s economic recovery efforts.

Megan Cohen, Interim Executive Director of VRMA

“Just as short-term rentals play an important role in the economic health and diversity of many communities around the country, we believe reopening short-term rentals will go a long way in supporting our country’s economic recovery,” said Megan Cohen, Interim Executive Director of VRMA.

The report reflects the responses of more than 1,400 short-term rental owners, hosts and managers around the U.S. who are currently dealing with the unprecedented disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Survey results confirm that short-term vacation rentals are extremely important to individuals, with a majority of survey respondents (88%) indicating they are dependent on the revenue.

The survey also showed that we are running out of time to save many of these businesses, with 85% of managers having already reduced salaries and laying off or furloughing staff.

With 16.7% of all short-term vacation rentals in the U.S. located in the state of Florida, according to Key Data, VRMA and its members welcomed Governor Ron DeSantis’ announcement on Friday, May 15 that counties would be able to apply to reopen their rental activity.

VRMA President Toby Babich

“With thousands of homeowners and small businesses hanging in the balance, we want to thank Governor DeSantis and his staff for their engagement and for taking this important first step to open the vacation rental industry and restart the thriving small business economy in the great State of Florida,” said VRMA President Toby Babich.

Many Floridians whose businesses rely on short term rentals are looking forward to re-opening their properties to guests.

Ashley Horsley, CEO of 360 Blue in Destin

Ashley Horsley, CEO of 360 Blue in Destin, says she has been “preparing to ensure that guests feel safe when they arrive at a home that I manage.

We have taken apart and rebuilt nearly every process in our company to adapt to the safety and health concerns.”

In an effort to aid in the reopening process, VRMA recently released new cleaning and sanitation guidelines for professional short-term vacation rental managers similar to that issued by the U.S. Travel Association and Vrbo.

These guidelines are part of the VRMA & VRHP SafeHome campaign, which empowers members to adopt and execute safe travel standards that conform to — and, in many cases, exceed — those that are mandated nationally, statewide or locally.

The SafeHome initiative encourages all vacation rental management professionals to openly communicate with guests and employees about the precautions they are taking to help keep them safe and healthy.

“We are glad that our voice has been heard and that we are playing a role in ensuring that properties can once again welcome visitors and guests through our SafeHome campaign and we look forward to continuing to lead efforts to promote the highest health and safety standards within the travel industry,” added Babich.

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