#068: Airbnb Trends

Airbnb is always changing. It’s gone from an obscure app to rent homes from mom and pop to sharing some of the most unique experiences you can find.

In celebration of our first Host Therapy event of 2019, we will be talking trends on Thursday at 7 PM.

Why? Airbnb knows what humans want, by seeing where they like to be. What they want to experience? They have all of that juicy data from connecting hosts and guests from all around the world. They know culture trends. They know customer behavior.

The all-embracing story is unique. Experiential. Historic…and CHEAP.

1) Cheaper:

What used to cost you $150 per night to get access to Southern California, can be had for $65-99 per night for a room.

This means a 3-day getaway can be stretched to a week-long trip. This trend is here to stay and allows more people to travel on a budget… and travel longer.

2) Split payments

You can now split payments with your group.

3) Nature retreats

What used to be people visiting cities, we’re seeing trends where people want to get away from the city. This is good. We used to be limited by the hottest locations. Now we’re gearing to “getaways” on a budget.

Growing up I never saw the Milky Way. You can’t see the natural spectacle anywhere in LA, but drive 3 hours away, and you won’t be able to count all the stars in Joshua Tree. It’s 3 hours from LA.

4) Historic

Puebla City 2 third for trending cities. Why? Likely because of its history. It is 2 hours from Mexico City, is Spanish-built and contains more than 350 churches.

5) Small:

When Airbnb started we started off doing houses and townhomes. These were in the 1000-1200 sf range.

Why? We had to offer more square footage and more beds per dollar spent.

Now we’re seeing interest in unique little homes. That give you an experience, you just can’t get in the city. Or at home.


6) Experiences:

Local experiences are also a driving factor for travelers increasingly popular activities .

  • Meditation (up 367%)

  • Hiking (up 655%)

This one gets me excited. These are the two things I try to do everyday.

7) Airbnb’s top-trending destinations for 2019:

Travelers are sidestepping major tourist cities in favor of smaller or lesser-known places. Less crowd. Something unique for instagram.

So much about an experience changes when you venture even just a little ways out of the major tourism hubs.

  1. Kaikoura, New Zealand - unique marine life:

    • Coastal town of Kaikoura heavily damaged by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2016, but has since seen a 295% increase in bookings and a 210% increase in searches after its rebuild

    • View seals and other marine life in the waters surrounding the historic whaling town.  

  2. Xiamen, China - historic, port city:

    • Xiamen, a port city in China with a 283% bump in bookings.

    • Xiamen is great for seafood lovers, according to Airbnb, with easy access to surrounding islands like Kulangsu, which is pedestrian-only and vehicle-free.

    • They are a port city established in 1843 which leads to a mixture of architectural styles.

  3. Puebla, Mexico:

    • Puebla region of Mexico is a two-hour drive from Mexico City and ranks third with a 240% year-over-year increase in searches and 206% increase in wish list additions.

    • Area is rebuilding after a 2017 earthquake where many physical attractions had to go through structural improvements. Puebla City is Spanish-built and contains more than 350 churches.

  4. Normandy, France:

    • Normandy, France, site of the D-Day landings and only a two-hour train journey from Paris.

  5. Great Smoky Mountains, U.S.:

    • Natural beauty.

Other emerging cities:
Below are the rest of the trending cities of 2019. This does not include the US trends, but nature and midwest is experiencing a resurgence as well.

  • Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

  • Accra, Ghana

  • Mozambique

  • Outer Hebrides, Scotland

  • Wakayama Prefecture, Japan

  • Catskill Mountains and the Hudson Valley, U.S.

  • Santa Catarina State, Brazil

  • Batumi, Georgia

  • Winnipeg, Canada

  • Pondicherry, India

  • Uzbekistan

  • Calabria, Italy

  • Andalucia, Spain

  • Taiwan

Airbnb ranked the destinations according to internal data showing year-on-year increases in bookings, searches, and additions to user “wish lists” made for 2019 as of October 2018, vs. those actions made for 2018 as of October 2017.

As you can see, we are seeing us shift towards unique travel destinations. The good news you don’t need a traditional spot.