As we approach the year’s end, we’re already looking ahead to our travel planning for the new year. Based on a combination of Airbnb search, booking and wish list growth data*, Airbnb is once again forecasting growing interest in more off the beaten path regions, cities and towns to explore in 2019.
We’ve found that most of our trending destinations for 2019 are places where the increased “healthy,” more sustainable and authentic tourism will benefit residents and travellers alike, none more than in the top-trending destination on Airbnb’s global list of 19 destinations to visit in 2019, Kaikoura, New Zealand.
295% YoY increase in bookings
210% YoY increase in searches
Heavily damaged by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2016, this coastal town in the South Island is staging a marvellous comeback with the strongest increase in both bookings and search on our list. With train and other transportation services coming back online, avid whale and seal watchers will find it easier and easier to experience the town’s notable sperm whale population and historic whaling past.
“We are absolutely thrilled to learn that Kaikoura has topped Airbnb’s global trending destinations list for 2019. After a challenging two years and working hard to ensure our reputation as New Zealand’s premier marine destination remains high in the minds of prospective visitors, to emerge as the top trending visitor destination in 2019 is a wonderful accolade for the community. To be included on such a prestigious list of emerging visitor destinations in the world is humbling and very much appreciated.”
Glenn Ormsby, General Manager Destination Kaikoura
Off the beaten path: 2019 Trends in Australia and New Zealand
While globally the trending destinations range from a vehicle-free island off the coast of southeastern China’s Xiamen, to emerging locales like Accra in Ghana, off the beaten path destinations outside the major cities in Australia and New Zealand are also proving to be popular in 2019.
Here are Airbnb’s top 10 trending destinations in Australia and New Zealand for 2019**:
Wagga Wagga (289%)
Tamborine Mountain (205%)
Mount Gambier (202%)
Palmerston North (174%)
Lower Hutt (137%)
Horse Yoga to Carb-Loading: Airbnb Predicts What People Will be Doing in 2019
From meditating with animals to carb-binging, adventurers continue to seek locally-led opportunities to explore unique worlds through shared hobbies, skills or expertise. Based on Airbnb Experience bookings and keyword search data for the last year^ our forecast shows these are some of the activities travellers are looking for in 2019.
- Goat Yoga is out, Horse Yoga is in: Goat Yoga was all the craze in 2018, but with horse riding surging in year-over-year bookings by 319 percent, a new form of yoga may be here to stay.
- Mindful movement: Meditation (367% YoY increase) and hiking (655% YoY increase) activities are among the most trending Experiences based on bookings this year over last.
- Wine o’clock: Wine tastings are among Airbnb’s fastest-growing Experiences, with some of the most popular increasing bookings up to 700 percent in late 2018.
- Cutting carbs is so 2016: Resolutions beware! Pizza and Pasta still lead as the most booked food Experiences among travellers with bookings up 240 percent from last year.
- Love it or hate it, tie-dye is back: Don’t call it a comeback! Indigo and Tie-dye Experiences suggest the old school fad has officially gone from not to hot with bookings up 175 percent.
- In with the old (out with the new?): With the crazy rise of historical podcasts, TV shows and documentaries in 2018, global bookings of history-based Airbnb Experiences are growing 3x faster than food and drink and are predicted to be the most booked Experience category in 2019.
*Based on internal Airbnb data for bookings made for 2019 as of October 2018 vs. bookings made for 2018 as of October 2017; searches in October – November 2018 vs. October – November 2017; and wish list inclusion in November 2018 vs. November 2017.
**Based on internal Airbnb data for bookings made in 2017 vs. 2018.
^Based on internal Airbnb data for bookings and keyword searches in 2017 vs. 2018.
Cover photo: Kahutara PurePod, Kaikoura
The Airbnb Press Room is aimed at journalists. All Homes and Experiences referenced on the Airbnb Press Room are intended purely to inspire and illustrate. Airbnb does not recommend or endorse specific Home or Experience listings on the Airbnb platform.