When planning an upcoming vacation, do you consider the world’s most popular destinations or do you prefer to focus on places a bit more off the beaten path? While big cities in Europe and Asia continue to draw lots of tourists, lesser-known areas are becoming more and more enticing for travellers.
Airbnb just released its 19 destinations to visit in 2019 using data from users’ searches, bookings, and wish lists. The company notes that it is “once again forecasting growing interest in more off-the-beaten-path regions, cities and towns to explore.”
Topping their list is Kaikoura, New Zealand, which experienced a 295 percent increase in bookings and a 210 percent increase in searches on Airbnb.com year to year. The country, which is situated in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, has some very reasonable room rates—some as low as $42 per night.
Kaikoura is flourishing despite a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that caused some serious damage in the coastal town in 2016. The town is situated on a rocky peninsula, allowing visitors to enjoy both the ocean and mountains. Travellers can soak in the local wildlife, including sperm whales, dolphins, seals, and albatross. Kaikoura’s coastal waters also contain migrating species such as the rare Hector’s dolphins, humpback whales and orca.
A visitor can enjoy outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, kayaking and swimming. The Kaikoura website boasts about the town’s beautiful landscapes, spectacular marine life, and friendly hospitality. There are less than 4,000 residents in town, which has a strong Maori heritage.
Airbnb’s list includes one destination in Canada—Winnipeg. Highlights include The Forks, summer festivals and concerts, and the Museum for Human Rights.
Airbnb’s top destinations to visit in 2019:
- Kaikoura, New Zealand
- Xiamen, China
- Puebla, Mexico
- Normandy, France
- Great Smoky Mountains, United States
- Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
- Accra, Ghana
- Outer Hebrides, Scotland
- Wakayama Prefecture, Japan
- The Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley, United States
- Santa Catarina State, Brazil
- Batumi, Georgia
- Winnipeg, Canada
- Pondicherry, India
- Calabria, Italy
- Andalucía, Spain