Carolina Beach, Wilmington Top Spots For 'Revenge Travel'

By Johanna Cano, posted May 19, 2021
A recent report by AirDNA and HomeToGo shows that Carolina Beach is a top-booked location and Wilmington has high-growth potential for summer 2021 vacation bookings. (File photo)
The region is both a top destination and has shown growth potential when it comes to 2021 summer vacation travel bookings, according to a recent report by AirDNA and HomeToGo.

Carolina Beach is listed as one of the top-booked destinations in the country, with North Carolina as one of the top 10 booked states on HomeToGo. Other top-booked spots in the state are Nags Head and Corolla.

In addition, Wilmington is one of 10 locations in the country with the best market for growth. According to AirDNA, Wilmington’s year-over-year bookings increased by 62% from data gathered in April 2021 compared to that of pre-pandemic April 2019. Data from 2020 was not used because of the negative impact the pandemic had on travel.

The report, titled “Revenge Travel,” provides an outlook into guest intentions for upcoming travel in the summer of 2021 and beyond. "Revenge Travel" is the idea that due to the pandemic "guests are going to be making up for the trips they couldn’t take over the past year by spending more and traveling longer," according to an article by Rachel Tabellion, head of sales at HomeToGo.

The report looks at “how property managers have adapted their business to the new normal.” The report also shows data points such as average booking volume, length of stay, book-to-check-in and more.

HomeToGo is a vacation rental search engine that aggregates and compares short-term rental and hotel listings on, Tripadvisor, Vrbo, Airbnb and more. AirDNA is a vacation rental data and insights company that forecasts the revenue potential of the millions of vacation rental listings on Airbnb and Vrbo.

The report comes as more states are loosening restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus and more people become vaccinated against the virus.

“Our hope in offering this exclusive analysis that overlaps user behavior with consumer intentions and insights from property managers is to help give our colleagues in the travel industry the best chance possible to capitalize off the eagerness to travel and make up for lost time. We want this report to serve as a tool to help you have a successful business in 2021,” the report stated.

The report used data from April 2021 combined with a survey conducted with guests and property managers.

Overall, the report shows that guests are eager to travel and plan on spending more money during their trips, with 54% of guest respondents saying they will travel within one-to-two months of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

About 42% of guest respondents said they plan to travel more compared to pre-March 2020 and they are booking longer stays and being more spontaneous.

Additionally, rural, domestic destinations have shown to be the most popular so far with nine out of 10 U.S. travelers showing a preference for these locations.

Beaches are also the top attraction this summer with 48% of guests saying a beach vacation is their most preferred trip.
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