Rural Airbnb hosts in North Carolina capitalize on desire for “staycations” ::

After months of quarantine, people are eager to travel. The experiences many are looking for in our state could be a money-making opportunity for potential Airbnb hosts in rural areas of the state.

That’s because more vacationers aren’t as interested in crowded resorts or visiting a big city. Instead, many are looking for a “staycation” in a place where they feel at home.

“We’re seeing this huge demand right now,” said Cassady Blackwell of Airbnb. She says North Carolina has become a popular destination for travelers looking for a change of pace.

“Rural hosts have earned more than $170 million in total since the pandemic was declared last March – the typical rural host in North Carolina earning nearly $10,000 over the same period,” Blackwell said. . That’s almost $2,000 more than the typical host in the US

Options for Airbnb hosts include listing their entire home for guest visits or offering a separate guest suite in the home.

On Airbnb’s online site, one host provided a video testimonial, saying, “I let my guests have my whole apartment to themselves, and that’s usually when I go on vacation.”

Home comforts are the biggest draw, Blackwell says, and the more inviting, the better. “Some of the hottest amenities customers are looking for include patios, balconies, barbecues, gardens and backyards,” she said.

Providing housing isn’t the only option for Airbnb entrepreneurs. Organizing “experiences” for visitors is another way to earn extra money from the rush of upcoming trips. “You can host a cooking class or a tour of your community, so there are lots of ways to be an Airbnb host,” Blackwell explained.

Airbnb now also offers a feature called “flexible dates” for individuals or families with flexible work and school hours. “So you can search for stays to take advantage of that flexibility,” Blackwell said.

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