COVID-19 travel advisories impact vacation rentals


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Tables have turned in South Carolina as new travel advisories for northeastern states have vacationers canceling rental reservations.

Local rental agencies are receiving cancellations following the outbreak of cases this week.

Six states have reported outbreaks or issued travel warnings for residents visiting South Carolina. The advisory does not stop travel but calls for mandatory two-week quarantine upon returning to their state.

Myrtle Beach vacation rentals have been off the charts since May 1st. At least 1,000 positive cases have been reported statewide six out of the last eight days.

The upwards trend of cases has rental reservations beginning to fall through as of a couple of days ago.

“It’s like a business school class where they change the rules every day, every day we wake up and something new has changed,” Ryan Swaim, General Manager at Dunes Realty said.

Dunes Realty’s cancellation policy has not changed but instead made room for leeway. Guests calling to cancel are able to move reservations to another week this year.

“If their governor issues a 14-day quarantine when they return they have to stay at home from work for two weeks and a lot of them can’t do that,” Swaim said.

When a guest cancels the rental service, Swaim said right now their best bet is to cancel as quickly as possible and try to re-rent. Only a few homeowners are refunding the deposit or extending the deposit to another week next year.

“We have to look out for both sides here. We understand guests are hurting but our homeowners still have to pay their mortgage, taxes, insurance utilities, maintenance, their upkeep, and everything else,” Swaim said.

The rental company says the coming week, June 27 – July 4 is down compared to the rest of the summer in rentals. Reservations are still full for the next three weeks.

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