Grand Strand vacation rental property bookings see holiday week increase despite pandemic

Grand Strand vacation rental property bookings see holiday week increase despite pandemic
Rental home in North Myrtle Beach. (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - If it has felt bit busier along the Grand Strand this holiday week to you, you may be right.

Grand Strand vacation rental property bookings have seen an increase this holiday week despite the COVID-19 pandemic, or maybe because of it.

Amid calls from public health officials to forgo large family gatherings this Thanksgiving holiday due to the ongoing pandemic, the Grand Strand is seeing an increase bookings of vacation rental properties.

Results of a recent survey from the Clay Brittain Jr. Center for Resort Tourism at Coastal Carolina University show reservations of vacation rental properties along the Grand Strand from Nov. 21 to Nov. 27 are up more than 5% compared to the 2019 Thanksgiving week.

According to the survey, 65.2% of area vacation rental properties were booked for this past week compared to 59.7% for last year’s Thanksgiving week, which fell from Nov. 23 to Nov. 29.

Researchers with the Center for Resort Tourism added with the weather predicted for this weekend, average occupancy may be near or above 70%.

The increase in bookings hasn’t just come this week.

While year-over-year hotels have seen a slight dip in occupancy over the six-week period ending Nov. 14, vacation rental properties have seen a drastic 77% jump in use over the same time period, according to survey data.

Hotels, condo-hotels and campsites on the other hand have not seen as many visitors, with average occupancy dropping 2% and average daily rates dropping just over 9% during the same six-week period compared to 2019.

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