Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Despite warnings from health professionals and political leaders, vacation rentals in Myrtle Beach reportedly hit record levels over Thanksgiving weekend as the coronavirus pandemic continues to tally more than 1,000 cases daily in South Carolina.

Over Nov. 21-27, more than 65% of Myrtle Beach vacation rental properties were booked, according to a report from Coastal Carolina University in The State. That’s more than 20 percentage points higher than the same period for 2019.

Both Myrtle Beach and Charleston were mentioned on Tripadvisor’s list of top 2020 Thanksgiving destinations based on year-over-year hotel interest. Myrtle Beach ranked eighth in the index, Charleston came in ninth.

Visitor information for Charleston International Airport is not yet available from TSA, but spokesman Spencer Pryor said the airport expected Thanksgiving air travel to continue be around 50% of 2019’s levels. During November 2019, 412,213 passengers deplaned in Charleston, and airport officials expect monthlong passenger counts to be at about 40% of 2019 levels.

Travel-related transmission may just be getting started, with South Carolina COVID-19 cases continuing to mount by the thousands. Myrtle Beach-area rentals are 51.2% booked, up nearly 10% from 2019, according to Coastal Carolina.