What better way to escape the confines of the coronavirus pandemic than with the vast expanse of the internet?
While Americans—barred from leaving their homes—trudge back and forth from TV room to refrigerator, they can still dream of one day traveling farther. Down the block to the local park would be a start, but with the innumerable possibilities of online search engines, imaginations take flight—soaring above and beyond our lowly borders to such foreign lands as Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas, and New York.
Booking.com, “The World’s #1 Choice for Booking Accommodations,” has shone in this moment of unlimited free time and raging cabin fever. The website offers a feature that involves clicking a heart icon present on every property’s listing, which adds it to the clicker’s “wish list.” And in an email to Fast Company, the company revealed that in March and April, “millions of travel wish lists” were created that selected properties “across over 100,000 different destinations.”
Of Americans’ wish lists, 51% are for domestic trips, up from 33% this time last year. And the top five U.S. destinations are:
- Orlando, Florida
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- Miami Beach, Florida
- New York, New York
- Las Vegas, Nevada
It’s unsurprising that beach destinations top the list as most of us huddle indoors, vitamin D-deficient and forgetting the feeling of sunshine on our back. The most overeager of us are already beginning to crowd beaches, even before it has been deemed safe. And the glitz, glamour, and gambling of Las Vegas are big draws, as always.
But it seems New York, which has been hard hit and has become the coronavirus epicenter in the United States, has not lost its shine for Americans. People would still visit! According to Booking.com, “Endorsements left for these destinations by past American travelers on Booking.com suggests that their shared appeal lies in restaurants, entertainment and shopping”—although there’s a chance that after the pandemic subsides, New York will look a lot different. As restaurants and retailers remain shuttered for months on end, the percentage that will never reopen is likely to increase, transforming the city’s streets and neighborhoods as we know them.
Even so, this news represents hope that New York will pick up and carry on after the pandemic, as it has for hundreds of years. And so will Americans—to places as far away as Cancún, Paris, and Rome, according to their Booking.com international wish lists.