North Carolina's tourism industry has taken a big hit during the coronavirus pandemic. But vacation rental bookings have seen an increase.

Research compiled by the development organization Visit North Carolina shows that the state has experienced a nearly $7 billion loss in travel spending between March and August. That's an almost 60 percent decline compared to the same period last year.

In a presentation to the state Travel and Tourism Board, Visit NC research director Marlise Taylor said that local, state, and federal tax collections from travel spending are down 42 percent.

But Taylor says there is one bright spot. Short-term vacation rentals for places such as homes and cabins have increased, and bookings remain strong for the fall season.

According to the News & Record, realty companies are also reporting an uptick in sales of vacation properties, as people seek a place to get away with their families that can also be rented when not in use.

Taylor and other tourism officials said they're working on creative solutions for the industry to address the adverse travel conditions caused by the pandemic.

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you're experiencing.

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