December 1, 2022

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Just Do Travel

Post-pandemic Pensacola Beach is a bustling, budget-friendly vacation destination

Whilst 2020 was traditionally the year that everyone was trapped at home, 2021 came brief on its heels as a record-breaking calendar year for Pensacola tourism.

There had been issues whether that momentum would carry into 2022 as soon as individuals bought about their initial restlessness to vacation, even so early figures suggest that Pensacola Seaside is on keep track of for however a different successful tourism time.

Check out Pensacola’s quarterly snapshot from January to March of 2022 shows a 20% maximize in visitors in comparison to 2021. Some of the essential good reasons integrated the reopening of the Pensacola Bay Bridge in 2022, extra attraction to Pensacola’s specific situations and an increase of promoting of the city.

The site visitors appears to be to be seriously regional, as 18% of Pensacola’s visitors have been recognized to be coming from an additional portion of Florida, adopted by Alabama at 11%, then Texas at 6%.

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The crowd checks out Christafari during the Fifth annual Family Beach Fest at Pensacola Beach Saturday, May 28, 2022. The fest was a free concert honoring honoring God, family and the military.

The group checks out Christafari during the Fifth once-a-year Household Beach front Fest at Pensacola Beach front Saturday, May possibly 28, 2022. The fest was a absolutely free concert honoring honoring God, household and the armed forces.

Having said that, as thrilled holidaymakers get ready for their once-a-year seaside getaway, some family’s budget worries have also risen with every round of increasing fuel price ranges.

Rick Harper, director of the UWF Office of financial progress and engagement, doesn’t assume the improve to be enough to cancel plans to Pensacola altogether, mostly because it’s primarily a drivable vacation spot.

“The point that we’re basically a generate-to market place suggests that we’re going to be the net beneficiary of some of the substitution in the holiday marketplace,” Harper mentioned. “Families that may have thought of traveling from Chicago to Disney Earth, they may perhaps effectively discover that people tickets are much too highly-priced. And they could alternatively undertake the working day-and-a-50 % push to arrive to Northwest Florida.

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“(They may) steer clear of the higher expense of concept park tickets and keep in, perhaps, not a lodge on the seashore, but they may possibly be switching to an Airbnb in city at a reduce rate that accommodates the complete household.”

Escambia County Commissioner Robert Bender was also optimistic that travel to Pensacola will carry on irrespective of the growing price tag of fuel.

“For a great deal of our location, we’re just one gasoline tank absent to get to paradise,” Bender claimed. “It’s less costly for a spouse and children of three to generate in than to fly.”

Even even though persons could not be nixing a getaway entirely, Harper included we may well see folks starting to slash back on charges although on their excursion, this kind of as generating additional meals at their shorter-phrase holiday vacation rental residences.

Citrus Door Properties owner Gloria Lemmey shows off one of her short-term rental properties on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.

Citrus Door Houses operator Gloria Lemmey reveals off one particular of her brief-expression rental houses on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.

Gloria Lemmey, the owner of Pensacola’s Citrus Door Properties — or as she likes to say “chief hospitality enthusiast” — explained that 2022 has been an unheard of yr for the Pensacola’s holiday rentals.

Lemmey manages about a dozen houses throughout Pensacola with distinctive options and themes, supplying company with the selections from a historic dwelling to a breezy beachfront.

“2022 has definitely altered,” Lemmey stated. “The
influx of AirBNB’s and VRBO’s is unparalleled … the current market is flooded with limited-time period rentals. This is just the newest business enterprise design of expense.”

Lemmey stated this growth in the marketplace is a constructive modify for individuals hunting to trip in Pensacola, owing to their improve in options.

Purchasers have  the luxury of receiving picky with calls for for their stay, factoring in amenities such as pool access, walkability, or ocean sights that all have the electric power to make or crack a person’s selection to reserve, she reported.

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“Guest encounters have been heightened,” she included.

The change toward holiday vacation rentals has also permitted for far more spur-of-the-moment getaways. Vacations that as soon as would have been booked a year in advance are now having scheduled a 7 days or 10-days ahead of time.

The final-moment booking flexibility looks to be interesting to guests, as three in five guests explained they prepared to their vacation to Pensacola a thirty day period or significantly less in advance, in accordance to Check out Pensacola. As the Airbnb sector has ongoing to surge, lodge occupancy is down by 5% in Pensacola in comparison to final year.

Regardless of the difficult competition, the expanding range of travelers in Pensacola usually means “there’s plenty of business enterprise for all of us,” Lemmey explained.

Commissioner Bender stated the town has gained a good deal of new tourism from the reality that Florida was one particular of the initially destinations to open back up when other pieces of the place ended up still on lockdown.

Bender mentioned the town is also now seeing the effects of elevated marketing for Pensacola, which was capable to be performed utilizing federal Coronavirus Assist, Reduction and Economic Protection Act funding.

Now, new developments and lodges heading up on Pensacola Seashore are all aiming to accommodate the increase in tourism, Bender mentioned.

From a flight standpoint, Air Company Advancement Supervisor Erica Grancagnolo explained that Pensacola Intercontinental Airport may perhaps get to new heights for the quantity of air travelers in 2022.

The 12 months 2019 drew about 2.2 million overall passengers for both of those departing and arriving flights, while 2021 finished up surpassing 2019 at 2.4 million.

Even so, 2022 is on observe to beat records, with about 1,021,518 passengers that have occur as a result of so considerably this calendar year and the summer tourism period just starting up to arrive at total steam.

On the lookout back at earlier yrs, from January via Might 2019, the selection of air passengers totaled about 921,678. In 2021, passengers in that exact same time body fell to 793,164,

Grancagnolo claimed the airport saw a sudden passenger surge in the summer season 2021. This year is showing solid quantities, but in a a lot more normalized trend line.

Passengers pick up the baggage at baggage claim at Pensacola International Airport Sunday, April 3, 2022.

Travellers choose up the baggage at baggage assert at Pensacola Intercontinental Airport Sunday, April 3, 2022.

“We are most unquestionably expecting a hectic summer year,” Grancagnolo mentioned. “Last summer, we seriously seasoned that created-up COVID demand from customers and had to make changes.”

Some of the alterations manufactured to Pensacola’s airport around the previous 12 months have assisted encourage tourism such as, the addition of in excess of 300 new parking areas and a contemporary assortment of non-cease flights.

2020 was also a time to participate in all-around with the choices of non-stop flights, since the current market was so unpredictable as to where people today have been touring anyway.

Now in 2022, the airlines at Pensacola International Airport have now narrowed it down to 19 regular non-halt flights that are routinely used and effectively-trafficked.

Vicky Reddish, a Tennessee-centered advertising supervisor for the FloridaPanhandle.com, has penned about 20 to 30 Florida journey guides and feels Pensacola is one of the greatest destinations to pay a visit to if you are on the lookout to invest on a funds.

Looking at the city’s prosperous heritage and armed service connections, she has always found some of the most entertaining sections of her trip to be absolutely free.

Occasions like watching a Blue Angels apply, a historic tour or a trip to the Palafox Sector were all methods she would propose that other individuals investigate Pensacola with out needing to reserve an excursion.

“There are really neat points in Pensacola that really do not value cash,” Reddish mentioned. “I totally felt like I received the total knowledge, I definitely caught to a spending budget and I got to see every thing.”

This post initially appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Tourism nonetheless envisioned to peak in Pensacola Beach front despite rising ch
arges