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Summer travel surge creates high demand for house rentals

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Posted at 7:04 PM, May 14, 2021

ELLICOTTVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — Kristie Hannon has been an Airbnb host of a five-unit complex in Ellicottville for the past two and a half years. She said she sees an increase in people wanting to book vacations close to home and a place where they can spend time outdoors. She says her rental has bookings through September.

“There’s a lot of things to do outdoors there. It’s like a wonderland close to home,” Hannon said. “You’re out in nature and there’s so much to do out there. You can ride bikes, take hikes.”

Communications Lead for Airbnb in North America, Liz Fusco said this is a national shift. People in Upstate New York and across the country are choosing to travel to more rural areas, and those Airbnbs are booking up quickly.

“We have seen a lot of time travel is concentrated in big cities,” Fusco said. “Now, we are seeing demand for these remote locations.”

Fusco said rural Airbnb hosts in New York have earned nearly $240 million since the beginning of the pandemic, which is nearly twice the average in 2019.

Fusco said searches for more remote destinations in the US over Memorial Day Weekend have increased by nearly 40 percent just in the past month.

“First, I would say if you haven’t booked your summer vacation and you’re planning to take one. Book now! Book earlier than you would in a normal year,” Fusco said.