“We’ve had a phenomenal recovery,” Vrbo president Jeff Hurst reportedly told CNN Business. “We could be looking at a real boom period for leisure travel.”
Hurst is co-head of marketing at parent company Expedia, CNN reported, and said there are signs of recovery assibling brands Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbitz and Hotwire, are starting to bounce back, too.
And travelers aren’t just looking for deep woods cabins, Hurst reportedly added: “More people are searching for core urban destinations that had a falling out during the pandemic. People are interested in going to Las Vegas again.”
With vaccinations proliferating, he said, “People will start booking more flights and hotels and resorts will have a big comeback.”
Vrbo started life as Vacation Rentals By Owner, CNN said, and Hurst reported that destinations within driving distance of urban areas also are enjoying heavy bookings.
Airbnb also is enjoying a surge in business, CNN reported, noting that the company earlier this month said: “guests are increasingly looking for ways to safely reunite and meaningfully connect with loved ones.”
Airbnb, according to CNN, said hotspots include: Southern Maine, the Jersey Shore, the suburbs of Austin, northern Arizona and Florida beaches.
Whether an individual or family books a vacation depends not only on safety, but also perceived affordability, and a number of economic measures are trending in the vacation industry’s favor. New claims for unemployment benefits, for instance, came in last week at a pandemic low: 684,000.
Additionally, Americans confronted with diminished spending options and in many cases receiving stimulus checks during COVID-19 paid down credit card debt, according to data maintained by the Federal Reserve. The total amount of credit card debt held by U.S. residents in January 2021 was at its lowest level in four years, another potential indicator would-be vacationers have the financial dry powder to head out.