TN Smokies Cities See Increase in Vacation Ads: Airbnb

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Two towns near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were named among the best places in the country for new Airbnb listings.

National Park Service Photo

If you are looking to escape to a retreat in the Great Smoky Mountains, you might be in luck.

Two towns near the national park were among the hottest places in the country for new Airbnbs, the short-term rental company said in a press release on Monday.

Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, both located in Tennessee, were on the list after Airbnb said it studied U.S. cities with the “largest percentage increase in active listings” from March 2020 to June 2021. The results reflect a national trend.

Airbnb has seen an increase in supply in the regions most popular with travelers: active ads in non-urban areas in the first quarter of 2021 increased by almost 30% compared to the same period in 2019 “, wrote a spokesperson for the company in an email. at McClatchy News.

The ranking comes as the AAA expects millions of drivers to hit the road for the weekend of July 4.

Nationally, Airbnb said its users are spending time with their families as more people get vaccinated and states lift coronavirus-related closures. Travelers also think of heading to beaches and other destinations with outdoor activities.

Earlier in the pandemic, the travel website TripAdvisor said it saw an increase in searches for outdoor vacation spots as states ordered restrictions to help stop the spread of COVID-19, McClatchy News reported.

This is not the first time that tourist sites in the Smoky Mountains have achieved national recognition during the pandemic.

In January, TripAdvisor ranked Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge among its hottest travel destinations of 2020. Although some data was collected before the pandemic, it revealed that the two cities had recorded some of the biggest increases in positive ratings visitors.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park sits along Tennessee’s border with North Carolina. In 2020, it hosted more than 12 million people, making it America’s most visited site and designated a national park, officials said.

In Airbnb’s recent report, the company said vacation searches were on the rise in neighboring Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi, among other states.

Overall, the other cities with the largest increases in registrations were: Alexandria, Virginia; Branson, Missouri; Jordan Valley, Oregon; Keystone, Colorado; Port Aransas, Texas; Scranton, Pennsylvania; and Tampa, Florida.

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Simone Jasper is a reporter covering breaking news for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.

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