New Jersey business in summer 2020 is nothing like summers past for home-sharing marketplace Airbnb, due to hesitation and travel restrictions prompted by COVID-19. But that didn't stop the company from suspending or removing dozens of Garden State listings from the platform in a move meant to protect the public's health.

According to Alex Dagg, Airbnb's director of public policy for northeast U.S., travel trends have changed among those still looking to get away during the health emergency. The business, which allows residents to rent out their homes for short-term stays, has seen an uptick in more localized travel, and more interest in rural spots, rather than heavily populated areas.

"In Cape May, New Jersey, we're seeing a really big boost in our host income ... up 25% year over year," Dagg said.

In the month of June, hosts in rural areas of the U.S. earned more than $200 million — a 25% jump from the year prior.

On July 8, two-thirds of bookings were made for properties located "outside of cities," and approximately half of the nights booked were for travel to destinations within 300 miles."

"People are really choosing destinations that weren't necessarily so popular in the past," Dagg said.

On July 8, for the first time since March 3, Airbnb users worldwide booked more than a million nights' worth of future stays.

As part of a crackdown on so-called party houses in New Jersey, Airbnb announced Friday that 35 listings across the state have either been suspended or removed from the platform. The affected properties are located in 25 municipalities, including Atlantic City, Hoboken, Newark, Toms River and Woodbridge.

A house in Jackson booked through Airbnb ended up attracting approximately 700 people last Sunday night. Police said it took more than four hours to clear the property.

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