Anna Maria Island was listed among the 12 best family vacation spots in the world by FlipKey.com, a vacation rental website.
FlipKey a relatively new TripAdvisor partner website, said in its rating, “This hidden gem is considered to be Florida’s best kept secret. (It) features gorgeous beaches, beautiful weather and a fun and family-friendly environment ideal for the ultimate family vacation.”
Maui in Hawaii is listed first by FlipKey, and Orlando is the only other Florida destination. London, Paris and Playa del Carmen, Mexico, also are listed.
Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce president Mary Ann Brockman said she learned of the ranking last week and was thrilled.
“I think it shows we are a top family destination and we have the real old Florida atmosphere every other Florida destination would like to have,” she said.
“I guess it shows we’re no longer unknown to families, especially with tourism increasing this past winter and spring. And it looks like the summer season is going to be one of the best ever.”
Brockman said FlipKey is one of the newer vacation rental websites, but is fast growing in popularity, and it’s a chamber member.
The notice about the listing came by email to the chamber from Claire Fischer of FlipKey.com in Boston, along with the 12 ranked destinations.
David Teitelbaum, owner of four Bradenton Beach resorts and a member of the chamber board of directors, agreed FlipKey is making inroads in the online reservations industry.
“In my opinion, they are rapidly becoming fairly big players in the online reservations industry. Their ranking of the island is very big for us,” he said.
FlipKey said in a release its rankings were determined from visitor surveys about the family friendliness of a chosen destination.