Tag: bookings

Vacation rental bookings in SC saw an increase for Thanksgiving 2020

The ongoing pandemic didn’t affect travel for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in Horry and Georgetown Counties based on recent data. 

For the week ending on Black Friday, vacation rental bookings in Horry and Georgetown counties increased from 44.5% booked in 2019 to 65.2% booked in 2020. 

Taylor Damonte, the CCU professor who puts out the school’s weekly tourism update through the Clay Brittain Jr. Center for Tourism said the weather this year may have played a role in that increase. 

“The vacation rental properties had a pretty good fall, this was the first year since 2014 that we didn’t have a major named tropical event,” Damonte said. “Vacation rental bookings were substantially above where they were for the week beginning November 21-27. They’re substantially above where they were for the equivalent week last year.”

Damonte said these numbers are based on the center’s observations of random samples of internet websites and vacation rental properties in the coastal sections of Horry and Georgetown counties. He said although vacation rental properties saw a strong week, hotels and condo-hotels aren’t seeing the same strong numbers. 

“Of course the pandemic impacted tourism more broadly. The vacation rental market was quite strong this fall. While occupancy is still down a point or two for the year in the vacation rentals it is not down as much as it is in the hotels or condo-hotels,” Damonte said. 

He said vacation rental properties were able to rebound from the earlier months and although December is typically a slow time for these properties, they may see strong numbers in December as well.

“Typically, occupancy in December is 20-30% and that again is the slowest month of the year. December and January are the slowest months of the year and we expect that to be the case this year,” Damonte said. “The vacation homes seem to be doing as well as they did last year if not better than they did last year during the fall and that may continue as well during December.”

Preliminary results show that for the week ending on Nov. 21, a voluntary sample of hotel, condo-hotel, and campsite properties the average percent occupancy decreased more than 9% compared to the same time last year.

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

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



a house with trees in the background: Rental home in North Myrtle Beach. (Source: WMBF News)


© Provided by Myrtle Beach-Florence WMBF-TV
Rental home in North Myrtle Beach. (Source: WMBF News)

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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‘All eyes’ on the Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble as other Asian countries prepare for more, bookings firm says

  • The travel industry will be closely watching to see if the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble will succeed, as countries in the region hope to strike up similar arrangements.
  • Eric Gnock Fah, co-founder of travel bookings platform Klook, said tourism boards across the region have already reached out to make plans.

Klook: ‘Really excited’ about Hong Kong-Singapore air travel bubble

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SINGAPORE — The world will be watching closely to see if the quarantine-free travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong will succeed, according to one of the region’s major travel operators Klook.

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“All eyes are on this bubble, making sure that it’s going to get pulled off,” Eric Gnock Fah, co-founder and chief operating officer of travel bookings platform Klook, told CNBC Wednesday ahead of this weekend’s highly-anticipated launch.

If successful, he’s optimistic that there will be more of such travel bubbles in the region.

Specially designated “air travel bubble” flights between Hong Kong and Singapore are due to begin on Nov. 22 after further details were released last week, which will see travelers switch quarantine for testing.

Following the announcement, Gnock Fah said tourism authorities across the region had been reaching out to make plans for additional travel agreements, should they be made.

“Once this news came out, actually many of the other tourism boards around Asia have been very active coming to us to discuss about the plans that they have put in place,” said Gnock Fah.

“As this bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore starts becoming a bit more stable, we should be expecting more travel bubbles to open on that front. We’re quite optimistic on that front,” he added.

Travel searches soar

Klook, which manages in-destination bookings like hotels and experiences, saw searches for the respective destinations surge more than 8 times on the day of the announcement.

Travelers from Singapore proved particularly restless, he noted, with travel searches from the tiny city-state up 8-10 times versus 3-5 times in Hong Kong.



a man standing in front of a group of people posing for the camera: Singapore Airlines crew members arrive to board the plane for the inaugural lunch at Restaurant A380 @Changi onboard a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 plane at Changi International Airport in Singapore on October 24, 2020.


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Singapore Airlines crew members arrive to board the plane for the inaugural lunch at Restaurant A380 @Changi onboard a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 plane at Changi International Airport in Singapore on October 24, 2020.

Travelers on both sides were equally keen to offset heightened airfares and testing costs with longer stays, Gnock Fah said, pointing out that it marked a departure from pre-Covid preferences for long-weekend stays. In-destination operators like hotels aim to capture this trend with continued discounting, he added.

The travel and tourism industry received a further boon this past week as promising vaccine announcements from Pfizer and Moderna signaled optimism for a resumption of international travel in 2021.

“Travel companies, the tourism boards are getting very busy to make sure we capture this pent-up demand when it comes,” Gnock Fah said.

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Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble sparks surge in bookings, hopes for broader re-opening

By Jamie Freed



a view of a city street: Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Changi Airport in Singapore


© Reuters/EDGAR SU
Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Changi Airport in Singapore

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The opening of Asia’s first “travel bubble” allowing tourism without quarantines since the pandemic hit has sparked a surge in searches and bookings for travel between Singapore and Hong Kong, stirring hopes the model could be rolled out more broadly.

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Some of the first flights between the two cities starting Nov. 22 on Singapore Airlines Ltd and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd have already sold out, amid a quota of 200 daily travellers that will rise to 400 on Dec. 7. In the three hours after details were released on Wednesday, flight searches for Hong Kong to Singapore grew by 300%, followed by a 200% increase in Singapore hotel searches, according to Trip.com Group Ltd data.

“I think in the short term, people who want to travel are, like, shaking in their pants right now to sign up to travel,” said Jameson Wong, APAC director of travel data firm ForwardKeys. “Christmas has been popular (for bookings), as offices will be closed.”

Airfares between the cities have risen by about HK$1,000 ($128.96), or 35%, since the travel bubble was announced last month, Daiwa analyst Kelvin Lau said in a note to clients.

One way Singapore-Hong Kong tickets range from S$618 ($458) to S$1,028 on Singapore Airlines in December, according to a check of its website on Thursday.

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Travellers will need to take and pay for two to three COVID-19 tests depending on the duration of their stay, in an agreement that Lau said could be a model for a broader re-opening of travel within Asia.

International passenger traffic fell by 96.4% in September compared with last year at airlines in the region, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines. Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific have been among the hardest hit because they lack domestic aviation markets, and both carriers have cut thousands of jobs.

International Air Transport Association Regional Vice President for Asia Pacific Conrad Clifford said the bubble, although small, was a step in the right direction to reboot international travel.

“We look forward to seeing Hong Kong and Singapore expand this arrangement with other destinations, and for other governments to adopt a similar approach,” he said in a statement.

($1 = 7.7541 Hong Kong dollars)

($1 = 1.3488 Singapore dollars)

(Reporting by Jamie Freed. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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First look inside new Hilton hotel as surf lagoon boss says 2021 bookings already pouring in

The new Hilton hotel in North Wales will open this spring with a surf lagoon boss saying bookings are already pouring in.

Practical completion for the £11 million Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia and Wave Garden Spa is on track for January 2021.

Guests can check in at the hotel at Adventure Parc Snowdonia, Dolgarrog, from Friday March 26.

Adventure Parc Snowdonia – New Hilton Hotel being constructed. First look inside

The update comes as news emerges about a new Covid vaccine that could be rolled out as early as December – with hopes that some sort of normality could return by spring 2021.

After an incredibly challenging year there are huge hopes that pent up demand could mean next year is a bumper one for tourism – although concerns remain that many operators will not make it through the winter.

Adventure Parc Snowdonia took the decision not to reopen this summer due to the pandemic disruption but did crack on with the 106 bedroom hotel.

North Wales Live this week took a tour of the site as the countdown to completion starts.

The interior is starting to take shape with ‘show rooms’ already offering a glimpse of what guests can expect in March.

New room at Hilton Garden Inn

Once open the hotel and spa will create 65 full time equivalent jobs.

It will include 100+ covers in Zephyr’s Restaurant & Bar and the company says they will work closely with local dairies, breweries, distillers and farms to ensure the menu is packed with local produce.

CGI Images of the new Hilton Garden Inn Hotel and Wave Garden Spa at Adventure Parc Snowdonia

There is capacity for conferences and events, and the site will be licenced for weddings and civil partnerships.

The new spa includes a vitality waterfall pool, oversized Himalayan salt sauna, treatment rooms, with an outdoor hot whirlpool and relaxation pods, with fire pits. There is also a yoga studio and a traditional wooden barrel sauna.

CGI Images of the new Hilton Garden Inn Hotel and Wave Garden Spa at Adventure Parc Snowdonia

Justin Everley, commercial director at Adventure Parc Snowdonia, said: “We believe it will be a great new new addition to the North Wales accommodation offer.

“It is giving people a recognised brand so they know there is a good standard there and it’s on the site of our adventure park which in itself is a unique offering throughout Europe.

Adventure Parc Snowdonia . Commercial director Justin Everley

“This will bring 65 full time equivalent jobs to the site, at its peak it will be more like 80/90.”

He added: “Our owners have done nothing but demonstrate their confidence in the area since Surf Snowdonia came in 2015.

“We all believe North Wales was on an upward trajectory before this pandemic hit and it

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Vacation-rental agencies asked to halt bookings for Pitkin County, Aspen properties | News

After receiving information that some people recently booked vacation rentals in the area and then sought medical treatment for coronavirus-like symptoms, Pitkin County’s Incident Management Team reiterated on Tuesday that the latest public health order bans short-term lodging.

Those who violate the order could face misdemeanor charges leading to fines and/or jail time. Officials also contacted vacation-rental agencies VRBO and Airbnb to inform them not to accept nonresident bookings of short-term rentals within county boundaries. 

“We’ve gotten some information recently to lead us to believe that there are still some companies accepting short-term rentals and reservations, like VRBO and Airbnb. We’ve issued a letter to both of those companies today to ask that they stop accepting them per the Pitkin County public health order,” said Alex Burchetta, IMT spokesperson and chief deputy of operations for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

“Specifically, they are not to accept any new reservations and they are to cancel any existing reservations,” he continued. “The intent there is to allow nonresidents of Pitkin County to return to their primary [place] of residence.” 

Burchetta said the county doesn’t have the capacity from a public health and safety standpoint to handle an influx of visitors.

“As much as we love them … we love having you here, but just not now,” he said. 

Being at an elevation of around 8,000 feet puts undue stress on a person’s immune system and health, he said. Small and less-noticeable illnesses can be exacerbated by the altitude. While the area has excellent health care providers and systems, would-be visitors might have access to a wider range of health services within their own communities, Burchetta said.

Section L of Pitkin County’s public health order issued on March 23 states, “There shall be no new bookings or reservations during the pendency of this Order. Furthermore, current reservations for the timeframe anticipated in this Order shall be cancelled for all short-term lodging, including but not limited to hotels, motels, short-term rentals (30 days or less), bed and breakfast establishments, lodges and retreats.”

Burchetta said officials were alerted by Aspen Valley Hospital doctors that nonresidents who recently booked vacation rentals in Aspen sought treatment Monday of “some symptoms” not necessarily associated with COVID-19. 

He said he didn’t know how many people were involved in presenting those symptoms to the hospital. Even if it were just two people who got short-term rentals since the order was issued, “it still represents two too many,” Burchetta said. 

“We started [notifications] with the global short-term rental market” like VRBO and Airbnb, he said. “Pitkin County and the Colorado mountain communities are not a place of refuge as they are most other times of the year. …We don’t have the ability to handle the increased capacity.”

Those who fail to comply with provisions of the order, including the mandate banning short-term vacation lodging, may be subject to misdemeanor charges and fines of up to $5,000 and/or up to 18 months of jail time.

“We’re just trying to reinforce [the order],”

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