Airbnb releases top anticipated travel trends for the year

Gen Z, adventures, time travel & conscious dining stand out

It’s been almost two months into a new decade and a variety of travel trends are emerging on Airbnb. From the rise of immersive trekking adventures to vegan-friendly food Experiences, travellers are seeking more unique, transformative and unforgettable experiences that they are willing to pay for.According to a recent survey commissioned by Airbnb, 58 percent of Indians prefer to spend their money on experiences over things, and 65 percent plan to increase their spending on experiences in 2020, particularly women and young adults (Gen Z, millennials). Coming of age generations are already expanding their purchasing power. Across Asia-Pacific, Generation Z guests (aged 24 and below) comprise the fastest-growing guest segment for Airbnb Experiences, with guest bookings in the region growing more than 3x year-over-year. Bali, Tokyo, Kyoto, Seoul and Sydney rank amongst the top five Airbnb Experiences hotspots for Gen Z travellers. But no matter how deep the pockets or wide the age gap, here are five travel trends that have risen to the top and look set to stay this year:

Nature Calls: 2020 is the Year of Adventure Travel, with trekking-based Experiences trending 1,795% in bookings
The yearning to get out of comfort zones and into the wilderness is bringing out the nature lover in travellers this year, with more travellers planning to take adventurous, outdoorsy trips. Bookings for Nature Experiences are up 103% YoY and is the top trending category globally among Gen Z (190%) and baby boomers (177%). Animal Experiences and Hiking Experiences are seeing significant growth as well, with 141% and 128% increase in bookings respectively.

For those looking for their next big journey, Kathmandu, Nepal and Marrakech, Morocco are home to the most Airbnb Adventures. More guests are booking unique listings that give them the opportunity to reconnect with Mother Nature. Igloos, such as this panorama bubble suite with gorgeous mountain views in Glarus Sud, Switzerland and this snow igloo in Pelkosenniemi, Finland, are up 83% in bookings YoY5.
In Asia-Pacific, adventure travel with Airbnb is on the rise:
● Kathmandu, Nepal is home to the most Airbnb Adventures, from a four-day
spirituality trek through the Himalayas, to a trek and homestay experience in scenic Ghale
● Guests are also flocking to Indonesia, which offers the most nature and adventure-related experiences. Ubud is home to the most nature, volcano and hiking Airbnb Experiences worldwide, where guests can explore rice paddies with local farmer Guru and camp overnight in the jungle with travel journalist Nalom. Denpasar’s soft sandy beaches and gentle waves make it a perfect spot for the most surfing Experiences worldwide.
● Australia’s wildlife and adventure experiences are especially popular among baby boomers, including this Great Ocean Road, Otways & 12 Apostles roadtrip in Melbourne, and Tasmanian Wilderness Adventure in Hobart.

Time Travel is “En Vogue”
As travellers explore new places in 2020, stepping into the shoes of locals from long ago is a favourite way to get to know a destination – and hosts are noticing. History Experiences have increased 271% in supply in the last year8; and bookings are up 116 percent globally in 2020,
with especially strong interest among Gen Z (up 176%) and millennials (up 118%).

Guests’ curiosity is not just piqued by learning about the past, but living in it, too. Homes on Airbnb featuring historic keywords in their titles (i.e. historic, era, WWI, etc.) have already been booked over 50,000 times this year! Japan and Korea are two growing hotspots for history enthusiasts. This Zen Garden, Zen Mind Experience in Kyoto offers guests an introspective exploration of the city’s gardens created hundreds of years ago, while the stunning Kyo-Machiya ryokan is one of many well-preserved traditional Japanese homes guests can stay in. In Seoul, guests can travel back in time to explore the oldest hanok (traditional Korean home) villages or embark on a unique history and architectural walk to explore multi-faceted Seongbuk-dong – home to both the city’s richest and poorest.

Getting Off the Grid: Disconnect to Reconnect
Rekindling connections with oneself is big in 2020 with many travellers slowing down and centring their minds and spirits while travelling. In fact, a considerable amount like to do it solo, single guest bookings are up 79% this year on Airbnb. Meditation Experiences are one of the ways travellers are reconnecting with themselves in 2020, with 106% growth in bookings YoY. Travellers are also unplugging from the demands of daily life by heading to the outskirts. Barns, such as this top wishlisted barn overlooking Melbourne’s beautiful Mornington Peninsula, are one of this year’s most trending listing types, up 81 percent YoY with guests.

Here are the top destinations that will help you unwind and recenter for the year ahead:
● Singaraja, Bali: Most hot spring Experiences
● Bangkok, Thailand: Most spa and sauna Experiences
● Los Angeles, US: Most sound healing Experiences
● Barcelona, Spain: Most yoga Experiences
● Helsinki, Finland: Most forest bathing Experiences

Long Weekends, Tiny Homes & Road Trips: Bite-Size Travel is Big
With sustainable travel in focus, more travellers are taking the minimalist approach when it comes to planning their getaways this year. 28% of people in India would most like to spend their money taking a trip within 100 miles of home. More guests are also exploring destinations by car, with searches for listings with free parking up 46 percent. The downsized lifestyle is also appealing to travellers around the globe, with miniature, simplistic and efficient spaces like shepherd’s huts and tiny homes trending up 112 percent and 85 percent from 2019 to 2020, respectively.

Conscious Dining: Vegan Experiences Up 579%, Baking Up 155%

As the world becomes more conscious about its dietary habits, food Experiences are becoming more plant-based, with experiences offering vegan options up 579 percent in 2019 compared to 2018.8 30% of people in India would most like to spend their money on food-related experiences. With the launch of Cooking Experiences last year, guests are also gravitating towards learning to make their own carb delicacies, with Experience including baking (up 155%), dumpling making (up 124%) and pasta (up 88%) surging in bookings this year4.
For the vegan, carb-loving traveller, India offers a scintillating variety of Cooking Experiences with everything from rotis and parathas to an introduction to three types of dosa, to pakora with a side of masala chai.

Overall, it’s no doubt food remains one of the biggest motivations in travel and connecting people to new places — Food and Drink Experiences remain the most booked category by foreign travellers to a new country.