The world received some positive news as the United Kingdom approved Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s Coronavirus vaccine. The United States has not yet approved the vaccine yet for Americans, this is a huge step in seeing tourism return to the Orlando area. The two-shot vaccine resulted in a 95% success rate in the late-stage trial of this vaccine which helped grant the emergency approval. The UK has ordered over 40 million doses of the vaccine with 800,000 of them to arrive by next week. So what does this mean for the travel industry?
Hospitality experts were not anticipating UK travelers to fully return to Orlando until mid-2022. Having a vaccine approved could push up the timeline to opening up the borders. The U.S. accepting international travelers by Summer 2021 would also rise as well. While it is popular for Europeans to travel to Orlando for weeks at a time for vacation, our travelers are 90% domestic. A vaccine in the UK might nudge the US to approve the vaccine sooner for us. The White House has been pushing to get a vaccine approved for months now, but their results only showed 90% effectiveness. We are hoping Pfizer who is an American company will get the vaccine approved here soon as well. They submitted their plan weeks ago to the FDA for approval testing.
While there is controversy on sensitive topics like vaccines, we see it as a positive because this means that we are seeing the end of the COVID-19 era and guests will start feeling safe to travel again. Bookings in Spring Break and Summer are looking strong for 2021 with similar rates to 2019. This indicates that guests may have to plan a little more than Americans are used to as we tend to be more last-minute travelers, but they are coming!
Disney World has already started putting in more marketing dollars and continues to announce opening new rides for 2021. They are having their 50th anniversary next year so we anticipate Disney will take full advantage of this great news. Disney has already announced they will be selling the Park Hopper tickets again where guests can visit multiple Disney parks in one day. Universal Studios announced their Nintendo World in Japan will officially open in Spring 2021 and Orlando continues to advertise their grand opening of the Jurassic World Velocicoaster.
We know 2020 has been a tough year, and news of vaccine approval just made the hospitality industry’s year. I know we could all use some positive news, so we are excited to see tourism return to the City Beautiful and look forward to an amazing year next year!
As you can see, we are extremely active with our marketing efforts. We would love to have the opportunity to manage and market your vacation home. Last year, we did not have one vacation home occupied less than 220 nights and our average vacation home was occupied 248 nights annually…that is over 20 nights a month!