As 2017 nears its end, Airbnb has released some predictions for where travelers will be booking in 2018.
Based on booking data for the first half of 2018, Airbnb expects significant growth in U.S. Midwestern cities (Indianapolis, Ind.), the Brazilian coastline (Matinhos, Brazil), mountain destinations (Fernie, BC) and British beach towns (Bournemouth, UK).
While cities like Paris, New York and London are always popular for booking, vacation spots like Lisbon and Miami have also made their way onto the list of most-booked global cities for Airbnb travelers.
The top destinations in 2018 are poised to be:
- New York City
With the 2018 Winter Games looming, Gangneung, Korea tops the list of trending destinations based on booking increases over last year. By analyzing destinations that have doubled, tripled or more in bookings compared to 2017, Airbnb noticed a few trends across trending destinations:
In the United States, midwestern cities like Indianapolis, Ind. (256 percent) and Columbus, Ohio (254 percent) are seeing some of the strongest growth, driven by booming downtown districts. Other high-growth destinations include towns close to popular national parks, such as Whitefish, Mt. (242 percent).
In North America, destinations within driving distance of the Canadian Rockies are attracting a growing number of guests. Those include the urban hub of Edmonton (284 percent), as well as the mountain towns of Fernie (179 percent) and Kelowna (170 percent).
In South America, travelers are booking stays at oceanside communities along Brazil’s coastline, with at least a dozen Brazilian beach towns doubling in bookings or more. Beyond the big cities of Rio and São Paulo, destinations like Matinhos (209 percent), Guarapari (205 percent) and Ubatuba (181 percent) are attracting visitors away from the urban sprawl.
In Asia, trending big cities like Guangzhou (190 percent) are consistent with high growth overall in China, one of Airbnb's fastest-growing countries. Neighboring Vietnam, a fast-growing vacation destination for both regional and global travelers, is seeing booking surges in the cities of Hanoi (212 percent) and Da Nang (255 percent).
In Europe, Airbnb is seeing the highest spikes in Mediterranean enclaves, led by the Cyprian towns of Paphos (234 percent) and Gazimagusa (234 percent). Bournemouth (353 percent), a seaside resort along England’s southern coast, is also seeing the second-highest spike in bookings since last year. An unusually warm microclimate makes Bournemouth a tempting destination this year.
The top growing destinations on Airbnb, year-over-year, are:
- Gangneung, Korea – 2175 percent
- Bournemouth, UK – 353 percent
- Edmonton, Canada – 284 percent
- Indianapolis, Ind. – 256 percent
- Da Nang, Vietnam – 255 percent
- Columbus, Ohio – 254 percent
- Gazimagusa, Cyprus – 234 percent
- Bilbao, Spain – 234 percent
- Hanoi, Vietnam – 212 percent
- Matinhos, Brazil – 209 percent
- Cardiff, UK – 206 percent
- Guarapari, Brazil – 205 percent
- Minneapolis, Minn. – 193 percent
- Oita, Japan – 190 percent
- Dunedin, New Zealand – 185 percent
- Mar del Plata, Argentina – 181 percent
- Fernie, Canada – 179 percent
- Zagreb, Croatia – 175 percent
- Mykonos, Greece – 173 percent
- Mazatlan, Mexico – 169 percent
What This Means for Hoteliers
Airbnb's numbers, of course, offer a solid indication of where people want to travel, and where developers should look to build their next properties. Earlier this year, Airbnb co-founder and chief strategy officer Nathan Blecharczyk argued that home-sharing could bring tourism to small communities with little effort, ending the traditional Catch-22 that can delay development. (A community sees visitor demand but has no infrastructure. By the time the infrastructure is in place, the demand has faded if not outright disappeared.)
Home-sharing, he said, can cater to current demand, and revenue gained from that demand can be funelled into future development projects. “When there is demand, supply grows,” he said, noting that short-term events (like the recent solar eclipse) can help bring visitors to neighborhoods they might not otherwise visit.
“Tourism is only growing,” he said. “Airbnb can be part of the solution. We can increase the surface area into new neighborhoods or destinations where there isn’t infrastructure or investment. They may not have any hotels, but they have 35 Airbnb rooms.”
Governments, he added, are “eager” to work with the company to promote new destinations. “They want the tourism.”