Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Rural areas more popular vacation destinations in pandemic

The pandemic has been hard on travel. According to the U.S. Travel Association, it has caused $386 billion in cumulative losses, but the pain hasn’t been evenly distributed," Elaine Glusac reports for The New York Times. Cities, which are largely reliant on business and group travel, have suffered more compared to rural and outdoor destinations where it is easier to fulfill social-distancing needs. That sense of safety in extra space has tempted many leisure travelers to venture out on vacation."

Short-term rentals such as Airbnbs and hotels were more popular in rural areas than in cities this summer. "Most of those who have taken a vacation since the pandemic chose rural over urban areas for their getaways," Glusac reports. "Signs point to this pattern of fleeing population centers continuing. In a recent survey, Destination Analysts found nearly 40 percent of respondents who planned to travel this fall planned to visit small towns or rural destinations."

Hotels and resorts in rural and urban areas are rolling out big discounts to attract vacationers in the coming months, but "the rural-versus-urban contest for leisure travelers is still a losing game for most contenders; for example, rural places consider being down 20 percent a sign of relative health," Glusac reports.

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