The U.S. Midwest, Ryokans and Brazilian Beaches: Airbnb’s 2018 Travel Trends

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The U.S. Midwest, Ryokans and Brazilian Beaches: Airbnb’s 2018 Travel Trends

With 2017 drawing to a close, we’re looking ahead to what adventures await in the new year. Based on booking data for the first half of 2018, we’re forecasting the biggest year yet for Airbnb with more homes, Experiences and intriguing destinations to explore.

Our travel forecast includes more nature retreats, beach time and cozy live shows for Airbnb guests.

  • Trending destinations include booming U.S. Midwestern cities (Indianapolis, IN), the Brazilian coastline (Matinhos, Brazil), mountain retreats (Fernie, BC) and bustling beach towns (Bournemouth, UK)
  • Guests are booking more non-traditional homes, with nature lodges (700% growth), ryokans (600%) and yurts (155%) seeing the most growth
  • Food Experiences are most popular, with 29% of bookings in the food and drink category, but music-related Experiences are expected to gain

Most Popular Cities*

Cities like Paris, New York and London are mainstays on the list of most-booked cities. And, smaller, popular vacation spots like Lisbon and Miami have also made their way onto the list of most-booked global cities for Airbnb travelers.

  1. Tokyo
  2. Paris
  3. Osaka
  4. New York City
  5. London
  6. Rome
  7. Orlando
  8. Miami
  9. Sydney
  10. Lisbon

*Booking data refers to market areas for each destination, not restricted to city limits

Trending Homes   

Beyond the standard urban apartment, non-traditional homes are seeing the largest increases over last year. Nature lodges and ryokans, traditional Japanese inns, are surging the most in bookings, showing that travelers are increasingly drawn to homes that are rustic and unique, rather than simply comfortable.

  • Nature lodge – 700%
  • Ryokan – 600%
  • Yurt – 155%
  • RV/camper van – 133%

Trending Destination Highlights

Indicative of the excitement for the 2018 Winter Games, 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, we’ve noticed a few trends across our trending destinations:

  • In the United States, midwestern cities like Indianapolis, IN (256%) and Columbus, OH (254%) are seeing some of the strongest growth, driven by booming downtown districts humming with new restaurants, nightlife and local arts. Other high-growth destinations include towns offering ample nature lodging in close proximity to popular national parks, such as Whitefish, MT (242%).
  • 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%), as well as Fernie (179%) and Kelowna (170%) – both mountain towns that feature an extensive range of year-round outdoor activities, from cross-country skiing to fly fishing and wine tasting.
  • In South America, more travelers are flocking to the countless oceanside communities along Brazil’s expansive 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%), Guarapari (205%) and Ubatuba (181%) are drawing travelers to endless miles of beaches and less of the urban bustle.
  • In Asia, trending big cities like Guangzhou (190%) are consistent with high growth overall in China, one of our 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%) and Da Nang (255%), which blend gleaming waterfronts and centuries-old architecture with cosmopolitan amenities.
  • In Europe, we’re seeing the highest spikes in Mediterranean enclaves, led by the Cyprian towns of Paphos (234%) and Gazimagusa (234%), popular for ancient ruins and sparkling rock beaches. Bournemouth (353%), a seaside resort along England’s southern coast, is also seeing the second-highest spike in bookings since last year. An unusually warm microclimate, dramatic seascapes, and a buzzing nightlife of clubs and casinos make Bournemouth a tempting destination this year.

Trending Destinations

  • Gangneung, Korea – 2175%
  • Bournemouth, UK – 353%
  • Edmonton, Canada – 284%
  • Indianapolis, IN – 256%
  • Da Nang, Vietnam  – 255%
  • Columbus, OH – 254%
  • Gazimagusa, Cyprus – 234%
  • Bilbao, Spain – 234%
  • Hanoi, Vietnam – 212%
  • Matinhos, Brazil – 209%
  • Cardiff, UK – 206%
  • Guarapari, Brazil – 205%
  • Minneapolis, MN – 193%
  • Oita, Japan – 190%
  • Dunedin, New Zealand – 185%
  • Mar del Plata, Argentina – 181%
  • Fernie, Canada – 179%
  • Zagreb, Croatia – 175%
  • Mykonos, Greece – 173%
  • Mazatlan, Mexico – 169%

Most Popular Experiences

Food and drink remains our most popular Experiences category, accounting for 29% of total Experience bookings. Local culinary workshops, craft food and cocktail tastings, and home-cooked dinners are the biggest draw for Experience guests, but nature (9%) and music (9%) are driving some of the popular Experiences by bookings in 2018. We’re predicting that demand for both under the radar outdoor excursions and live concerts will grow into next year.

  • Lisbon’s Best Flavors (Lisbon)
  • Secret Concert in a Treehouse! (London)
  • Raise a Glass to Prohibition (New York)
  • Brixton Hidden Jazz Club (London)
  • Hollywood Sign Walk to the Top (Los Angeles)

Questions, comments, or other inquiries can be directed to press@airbnb.com.