The USA is opening once again to tourism, with many destinations taking steps to ease restrictions originally put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. While the re-emerging tourism market becomes a topic of conversation, Airbnb has revealed the top ten trending destinations across the country. 

According to the company, despite obvious concerns around coronavirus, the period between May 17 to June 6 2020 actually saw more nights being booked for travel to Airbnb listings in the United States than that same time last year. The fact that international travel is more difficult however will no doubt have played a major role in that. That time period also saw 55% of the bookings being made with superhosts on the platform, another big leap in figures.

The top 10 trending destinations in the US were:

  1. Big Bear Lake, California
  2. Miramar Beach, Florida
  3. Panama City Beach, Florida
  4. Smoky Mountains
  5. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  6. Destin, Florida
  7. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  8. Branson, Missouri 
  9. Palm Springs Desert, California
  10. Port Aransas, Texas

Other US destinations that have seen strong growth in bookings included Idyllwild, California, Fredericksburg and South Padre Island in Texas, northern Wisconsin, Tulsa, Oklahoma and northern Michigan.

A boy and his dog paddle boarding.
Big Bear Lake in California was the top trending destination © The Image Bank / Getty Images

The study revealed that summer travel is at the forefront of many people’s minds, with the most common words in recent wish lists by Airbnb users being “beach” and “summer 2020”. Families are also making up a great share of Airbnb guests, with nights booked for guests with at least one child or infant going up more than 55% on 2019. A recent survey also revealed that nearly half of US respondents said they will prefer to stay within a day’s drive for their first trip once lockdown restrictions lift. Since the pandemic began, the percentage of bookings made on Airbnb within 200 miles has grown from one-third of all bookings in February to over half in May. The app and homepage is being updated to help guests rediscover stays in their own backyards by making it easier to book local travel.

Airbnb family
The study revealed that family bookings have gone up 55% over last year © Airbnb

Airbnb has said that that company will continue to follow guidance from local officials and encourage safe travel.

Former US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy helped develop an Enhanced Cleaning Protocol for hosts on the platform, which includes a step-by-step cleaning handbook designed for everyday hosts.

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