Worldwide: Airbnb is forecasting a surge in popularity for lesser known and eco-conscious cities and countries in 2020 after releasing its ‘20 for 2020’ list of the 20 trending destinations to visit next year.
The list, based on internal booking data [the year-on-year growth in bookings] includes emerging tourist destinations that are benefiting from the rise in sustainable tourism as well as anticipation for large-scale events and competitions taking place locally.
Here are Airbnb’s 20 trending destinations for 2020:
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin: United States – 729 per cent YoY increase in bookings
Milwaukee is perched at the top of the trending list for 2020 as it prepares to host the Democratic National Convention next year. Wisconsin’s largest city sits on the shores of Lake Michigan and attracts families and travellers from all over the country with its 105-mile scenic bike lanes.
- Bilbao: Spain – 402 per cent YoY increase in bookings
Bilbao’s iconic Guggenheim Museum opened in 1997 and transformed the city into a cultural hub for tourists to visit from then on. Since then, it was named European City of the Year in 2018, while in 2020 it will welcome football fans as a venue for Euro 2020.
- Buri Ram: Thailand – 383 per cent YoY increase in bookings
The rural province of Buriram houses historic Khmer relics and the grand Phanom Rung complex. The area is also becoming a sporting hotspot after hosting its first-ever MotoGP event in 2018 at the Chang International Circuit, where it will return in March.
- Sunbury, Victoria: Australia – 356 per cent YoY increase in bookings
The suburb of Sunbury lies northwest of Melbourne and is known for its wildlife and wineries. In 2020, it will hope for an influx of tourists visiting from Melbourne, where the ICC T20 World Cup will be taking place.
- Romania – 298 per cent YoY increase in bookings
Romania is more off the beaten track than some of the other destinations on the list but its hills and rural villages led to the 2018 Environmental Performance Index ranking it 15th in the world for ecosystem vitality.
- Xi’an: China – 255 per cent YoY increase in bookings
Situated in China’s western Shaanxi province, Xi’an is largely recognised as the home of the country’s terracotta warriors while as a cultural melting pot, it has been nicknamed ‘China’s Outdoor Museum’. The city is set to launch a new offering of nighttime tours in 2020 as part of its tourism programme.
- Eugene, Oregon: United States – 213 per cent YoY increase in bookings
Eugene is home to some of the world’s best known multinational businesses and has recently developed a reputation as something of a culinary hub. Next summer, it will welcome athletes and spectators for the national track and field qualifying trials.
- Luxembourg – 167 per cent YoY increase in bookings
In 1994, the capital city of Luxembourg was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and its major attractions are its medieval castles, gorges and vineyards.
- Guadalajara: Mexico – 158 per cent YoY increase in bookings
While Mexico’s second largest city sometimes goes under the radar of tourists, its colonial architecture and array of festivals and museums make it worth visiting. The city’s government is also launching a new initiative to encourage citizens to walk and cycle more, rather than travel solely by car.
- Vanuatu – 140 per cent YoY increase in bookings
The archipelago nation of Vanuatu comprises over 80 islands around 2,000 miles east of Australia and is experiencing a surge in bookings for people seeking adventurous activities such as scuba diving and volcano hiking.
- Cali: Colombia – 137 per cent YoY increase in bookings
Colombia’s salsa hotspot brings together a wealth of cultures, ranging from indigenous to European and African, which enhances the city’s nightlife and energetic party vibe.
- Cape Canaveral, Florida: United States – 136 per cent YoY increase in bookings
Cape Canaveral’s Air Force Station is known around the world but it also offers a 72-mile beachfront and three significant protected areas [Canaveral National Seashore, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Sebastian Inlet State Park]. It will be propelled to the international stage again in 2020 as the launch site for NASA’s Mars Exploration Programme.
- Aberdeen: Scotland – 119 per cent YoY increase in bookings
Scotland’s Granite City has the juxtaposition of a striking landscape with coastal scenery and classical ruins and a selection of museums, galleries and fine dining restaurants. Aberdeen is also striving to dramatically reduce its carbon emissions.
- Courtenay, Vancouver: Canada – 114 per cent YoY increase in bookings
The small city in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island is a preferred destination for eco travellers and adventurers, particularly with the backdrop of launching initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Ubatuba: Brazil – 108 per cent YoY increase in bookings
Ubatuba is unequivocally the surfing capital of the state of Sao Paulo, namely for its 100+ beaches. As well as its idyllic coastline, it provides the opportunity for travellers to go on hiking trails through the rainforest nearby.
- Les Contamines-Montjoie: France – 108 per cent YoY increase in bookings
Nestled between the resorts of Chamonix and Megève at the base of Mont Blanc, this village is a favourite for experienced mountain climbers in the summer and skiers in the winter.
- Tokyo: Japan – 103 per cent YoY increase in bookings
Japan’s capital has been busy hosting games at this year’s Rugby World Cup and the eyes of the world will again be on Tokyo in 2020 when it hosts the Summer Olympic Games for the fourth time in its history. It is also investing in lower its carbon footprint and using renewable energy.
- Kerala: India – 95 per cent YoY increase in bookings
The state of Kerala offers a bit of everything, when it comes to beaches, lakes, mountains and waterfalls. It now runs a Responsible Tourism Programme that encourages tourism and promotes nature conservation.
- Malindi: Kenya – 88 per cent YoY increase in bookings
The Kenyan port town of Malindi is home to residents of diverse backgrounds, including Africans, Arabs and Europeans. Now, after Kenya’s pledge at the UN Climate Action Summit to plant two billion trees by 2021, the country is showing its commitment to increasing energy efficiency.
- Maastricht: The Netherlands – 55 per cent YoY increase in bookings
As well as having a rich Roman heritage, Maastricht offers a wide selection of museums and historic buildings for tourists to take in on their travels. In March 2020, it will play host to the famous TEFAF art fair.
The list is based on Airbnb data for bookings made for 2020 as of September 2019 compared to bookings made for 2019 as of September 2018.
For the list in full, visit the Airbnb website here.