Vacation rentals in North Carolina were booked at higher rates in 2020 than in the past two years, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 300,000 people booked a house or condo this summer, while an average of 275,000 booked a rental over the past two summers.
Marlise Taylor is the Tourism Research Director at Visit North Carolina, and she says there's a lot of pent-up demand for travel, but people want to do it safely.
“People are more comfortable in the type of lodging where they could isolate from other people.” Taylor said. “So when you rent a home, you're only in that home and there are a lot of remote ways to pick up your keys and to check in. You don't really have to have that interaction with people.”
Visit NC plans on using $10 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to advertise socially distanced travel in the state.
The tourism industry in the state has lost about $6.8 billion in travel spending since the start of the pandemic.