Sure, we know that Cincinnati is a pretty awesome city. But a top travel destination? Really?
But that's what a new report from vacation rental agency Vrbo says. Its annual trend report looks at travel demand from a 12-month period to forecast which destinations will be hot for the following year. Travel was ... well, odd... in 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, upending some previous predictions.
According to Vrbo's 2022 trend report, which was released last week, Cincinnati is positioned to be 2022's top emerging vacation destination. Interest in the Queen City increased 125% over the previous year, Vrbo says — something the agency attributes to our "mix of outdoor recreation and urban tourist attractions" and proximity to Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville.
A few other surprising cities are on their way up in 2022, Vrbo says. Coming in behind Cincinnati are Yorktown, Virginia; Niagara Falls; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Matanuska-Susitna, Alaska.
For its report, Vrbo also surveyed 1,000 families about their previous and anticipated travel plans as uncertainty around the pandemic continues (Vrbo does not indicate what its definition of "family" is or if single travelers played any role in the report).
Those surveyed cited chalets as lodging they're interested in, particularly near a lake or in the woods. Parents also say they're willing to let kids skip school for vacations, they're bringing their pandemic pets with them, they're booking accommodations two to three months earlier than usual, and many will continue to "work from home" at locations that decidedly aren't "home."
But Cincinnati isn't just hot on Vrbo — the Queen City also is thriving on Airbnb.
Financial publication MarketWatch reports through its partnership with The Escape Home that Cincinnati is one of the United States' five most-booked Airbnb markets, according to recent data. "The trend of travelers opting to visit small cities and rural areas has created an abundance of opportunities for people interested in hosting; from March 2020 through March 2021, new hosts with only one listing have made more than $1.2 billion, Airbnb estimates," Danielle Hyams writes.
Vacation rental companies like Vrbo and Airbnb have been accused of driving up housing costs for both renters and homebuyers, especially in recent years.
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