This week marks the unofficial beginning of the Summer season. Memorial Day is here (well almost), and the Outer Banks is ready for our summer visitors.
As we prepare for the annual 14 or so week influx of visitors there is a feeling of uncertainty among many merchants in the area. "How are this summer's rentals?" is a question that is often posed to the innkeepers of the Outer Banks by the merchants like restaurant owners, shop keepers, and others that rely on our visitors to make the local economy run.
Vacation Rental Managers are the bell weather of business in the area to give those merchants an early feel for what their summer season will be like because traditionally Vacation Rental Managers deal with a longer window of advanced bookings that can be a true indicator of how busy the beach will be. The answer to the question this year has been a generally positive response for the first time in several years. Bookings are ahead of last year, and in fact well ahead of the last several years.
Coming off of a tepid 2009 vacation season some are reporting bookings ahead by double digits. In fact, some weeks in late July and August are almost completely full. Outer Banks Blue Realty Services reports the week of August 21 has only 4% of the inventory available, and at least 5 other summer weeks have single digit percentage availability at this time. That is simply unheard of, and the reality is that those folks who have over the past few years waited until the last minute to make their accommodation reservations may find that there is very little if anything available for them this summer.
The good news for last minute travel is that there are still openings available during the month of June. Special pricing is available on select properties, and the weather is usually fantastic in June.
As we approach the Memorial Day holiday we also are encouraged by nationwide reports recently released by AAA that gives a travel forecast for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend that seems to indicate people are ready to travel this summer! We say here's to the positive vibe!
In cooperation with AAA, IHS Global Insight has released the 2010 Memorial Day Travel Forecast. Key findings are based on those Americans planning to travel 50 miles or more away from home over the holiday weekend, traditionally the start to the US Summer travel season. K
Key findings are:
32.1 million Americans will travel this upcoming Memorial Day
- A 5.4% increase over 2009 levels
- The first projected increase in Memorial Day travel since 2005
- A 5.8% increase over 2009 levels
- Contributing Factors in the Increase...
- Consumer sentiment levels have risen 12.9% above 2009
- Household net worth is up 8.1% above 2009
- Real Gross Domestic Product has grown by 2.9% above 2009
- Lastly, the later date of Memorial Day contributes to higher expectations, as historically a later date usually is indicative of greater travel numbers for the Memorial Day holiday
We here at Everything Outer Banks are encouraged by the early summer season positive news and look forward to serving all of our guests this season! Give Outer Banks Blue a call today if you haven't already made your summer vacation plans! The Outer Banks is open for business and ready to serve you and your family!
All the best from the beach!