SC city among trendiest as COVID-19 affects travel: Airbnb

South Carolina is home to one of the trendiest future travel destinations, a new survey finds.

Greenville was named a top location for people who want a change of scenery from their work-from-home routines, according to results released Thursday from Airbnb.

As COVID-19 forces many to work outside the office, the vacation rental website says 83% of people in a survey expressed support for traveling to another place to do their jobs remotely.

“On Airbnb, people who have the opportunity to work from anywhere are actively booking longer stays (2+ week trips) in small-to-mid-size cities with access to immersive natural surroundings and wide open spaces,” the company said in a news release.

Working from home may give some a chance to test out dream locations before making a big move, Airbnb said.

“From July to September this year, there has been a 128 percent increase in guest reviews mentioning ‘relocation,’ ‘relocate,’ ‘remote work’ and ‘trying a new neighborhood’ in comparison to the same time frame last year,” according to the company.

Greenville was named a desirable destination on the same list that laid out other trends for 2021.

The short-term rental website also expects “staycations” to be popular as the coronavirus upends the travel industry. People may also consider “pod travel,” venturing out in tight-knit groups to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

The new findings come after Greenville earlier this year missed out on another Airbnb list.

Charleston and Hilton Head were the only South Carolina cities that got nods as top destinations for Labor Day travel, based on year-over-year bookings, McClatchy News reported.

People were expected to visit despite the pandemic hitting southeastern states hard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says “staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.”

To come up with its recent findings about remote work, Airbnb says it worked with ClearPath Strategies on a survey of 1,010 U.S. adults. It gathered online responses from from Sept. 15-19, according to the company.

Airbnb says other top cities for people seeking new work-from-home settings were Boise, Idaho; Durham, North Carolina; Fort Walton Beach, Florida; Indianapolis, Indiana; Park City, Utah; Richmond, Virginia; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; and Truckee, California.

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Simone Jasper is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.

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