Airbnb Defines Travel Trends For 2021

Staycations and nearby stays continue to define travel trends in 2021; India will see a new wave of domestic, regenerative travel

Travel is seeing a comeback, but in a new normal, new trends continue to define consumer preferences. 

From taking life to the road, to consciously and safely reconnecting with the places and people that matter most, Airbnb and travelers predict what travel will look like in 2021.

The year of the staycation

Guests are seeking unique travel experiences by staying in one-of-a-kind accommodations on Airbnb, but are preferring to be close to home or in their home cities. The staycation trend resonates with travellers, pointing to the perennial human need for new experiences, either for short stays or for stays that are a month or more. With access to quiet nooks in busy cities, close to parks and gardens, immersive natural surroundings and wide-open spaces, travellers are looking for respite from the everyday in accommodations such as condominiums, farm stays, villas, and cottages in places such as:

  • Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • Mangalore, Karnataka,
  • Pune, Maharashtra
  • Guwahati, Assam
  • Hyderabad, Telengana

Nearby stays, close to metro to see a rise

According to Airbnb search data, guests continue to search for nearby stays that are a drive away from metro cities, to explore a slower pace of life for holidays or for inspiration. Travellers are searching for destinations such as Gokarna, Shimla, Mussoorie,  Kasauli and Alibag where they can spend time with family and friends. Guests are increasingly looking at rediscovering the magic in their own backyards. Established destinations as well as hidden gems near metros are seeing interest from travellers fleeing urban life, enlivening local communities on city outskirts.Top spots for nearby stays include:

  • Gokarna, Karnataka
  • Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
  • Mussoorie, Uttrakhand
  • Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh
  • Alibag, Maharashtra

Regenerative travel bringing travellers closer to communities

A key trend Airbnb is noting is that as travel picks up again, consumers may prefer immersive and regenerative travel at the heart of communities. Sustainable travel choices that are closer to remote communities and nature not only provide a boost to these communities and their members – redistributing the economic impact of travel – but are accessible and affordable and are a transformative choice contributing to unique and individual travel experiences. 

In 2021, living remotely will continue to define travel preferences with the rise with travellers aching for more access to open spaces, fresh air, and wildlife. Destinations that are highly searched for on Airbnb, by both inbound and domestic travellers are:

  • Karjat, Maharashtra
  • Panchgani, Maharashtra
  • Manali, Himachal Pradesh
  • Mangalore, Karnataka
  • Mukteshwar, Uttrakhand

Many travellers may intend to work remotely in a room with a view in 2021. Entrepreneurs may explore new hubs closer to their businesses or customers. Airbnb has documented stays by entrepreneurs looking for a hub to inspire creativity, digital nomads who aspire to work from anywhere for longer periods of time, and creatives discovering their newest masterpiece. Authors, musicians, artists, and athletes alike are increasingly looking for stays with private spaces and retreating to suburban or rural areas from big cities. 

With India’s much-loved festival season around the corner, guests are either looking at travelling to their hometowns or spending time together as family. 

India continues to be travel hotspot, globally

With discretionary outbound travel on a slow uptick currently, there are reasons to predict that travel in 2021 will bounce back in India, on both domestic and inbound sectors. Airbnb search data suggests India remains a hotly searched-for destination globally, with the following cities and towns featuring on the most searched-for list. 

  • Gokarna, Karnataka
  • Kasol, Himachal Pradesh
  • Mangalore, Karnataka
  • Karjat, Maharashtra
  • Panchgani, Maharashtra
  • Igatpuri, Maharashtra
  • Alibag, Maharashtra
  • Haridwar, Uttarakhand

Outbound, Indians are continuing to prize locations such as Toronto and London.

Commenting on these trends, Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager – Airbnb India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, said:

“As we come closer to 2021, transparency, trust and safety will be more critical than ever before, and will continue to set the benchmark for traveller expectations. Trends such as travelling closer to cities and working from anywhere will continue to see interest.  Importantly, this means that travel benefits more and more local communities economically, rather than being concentrated in tourist hotspots. We truly look forward to a future of travel that is inclusive, sustainable and regenerative.”

In 2021, travel will continue to be more about living, working and connecting safely away from home.