The Cape Fear region is expected to see an increase in travelers this summer

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —Travel and tourism is making a major comeback, after taking a major hit during the pandemic.

AAA predicts 60% more travelers than last year, still 14% below pre-pandemic levels.

With restrictions now loosened across the state, North Carolinians are beginning to book their summer season trips.

Tiffany Wright, a spokesperson with AAA Carolinas, says many vacationers will be taking road trips this summer season, and at the top of the list for many is the beach.

“We already saw that, that beach destinations were still popular, so the beach destinations were those travel destinations that were bouncing back the quickest, and it’s only going to going to get even more demand, as we head into the summer months,” Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson.

She said because of its close proximity to the beach, Wilmington, and other towns and cities in the Cape Fear region are expected to be a possible hotspot for tourists.

“For the most part, you know, places like Wilmington, they’re going to be in for a big treat, because you’re going to see a bunch of tourists, you’re going to see a lot of people that are taking road trips, to get out there, and its great because it’s a great place, and it’s a travel destination year round,” said Wright.

She also says despite gas prices being up, this will not impact the increase in travelers.

“They’ll be flocking to our beaches all throughout the Carolinas,” said Wright. The only bad thing, if I could say anything bad would be that they’re going to be doing so with probably some of the highest gas prices they’ve seen in quite some time, but that’s not going to stop people.”

AAA  is encouraging travelers to book their trips now because it is already seeing a rush of people booking summer trips and cruises.

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