As we welcome 2019, Airbnb is looking ahead to Malaysians’ travel planning for the new year. Based on a combination of Airbnb search, booking and wish list growth data*, Airbnb forecasts the growing interest in more off-the-beaten-path regions, cities and towns to explore.


Be it to visit Catskill Mountains to celebrate Woodstock’s 50 anniversary, or emerging locales such as Accra in Ghana or Calabria in Italy, Airbnb found that most of the trending destinations not only allow travellers experience the authentic side of a country, but also be part of the sustainable tourism ecosystem. Here are Airbnb’s 9 trending destinations in 2019 along with a sampling of listings for Malaysians to stay in and Experiences to try:

Kaikoura, New Zealand

295% YoY increase in bookings
210% YoY increase in searches

Heavily damaged by a 7.8 earthquake in 2016, this coastal town on the South Island is staging a marvelous 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.

Normandy, France

229% YoY increase in bookings
120% YoY increase in searches

History buffs may be inclined to witness Normandy’s commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings next year, making it the ideal time for them to visit -- perhaps with historian and host Johann as their guide. Only a two-hour train ride from Paris, locals and travelers can experience the region’s lush landscapes, architectural gems, and Route du Camembert, the trail named after the popular cheese.

Great Smoky Mountains, US

191% YoY increase in bookings
190% YoY increase in searches
Home to America’s most visited national park due to its central location, general ease in getting there, and affordability, the Smokies are calling. Two of the park’s most iconic trails (among the 800 miles of trails to choose from) are reopening after a wildfire two years ago. Nature-lovers can also revel in the varied plants and animals in the area as it’s part of UNESCO’s International Biosphere Reserve and be interested to know it’s also home to the biggest black bear population in the eastern U.S. -- prime surroundings for learning how to take photos with a pro. A year-round destination, the Smoky Mountains also have Pigeon Forge nearby, home to Dollywood, with its annual Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival that’s getting bigger and bigger every year.

Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

188% YoY increase in bookings
176% YoY growth in wish list inclusion

Given the value of the US dollar relative to the peso, the province of Buenos Aires will become more and more attractive to international guests next year. Not to be confused with the capital city of the same name, the province spans the Atlantic coast with its popular string of beaches and forests, the latter which you can tour in a restored Unimog, and towns like Tigre, characteristic of its Puerto de Frutos, or bustling craft market. Escape to the mountains in the city of Tandil, also named one of our most hospitable cities in the country -- measured by the number of superhosts with 5-star reviews -- for two years straight.

Accra, Ghana

163% YoY increase in bookings
120% YoY increase in searches

Ghana is emerging as a global African destination and a place for spiritual journeys and self-discovery and has seen a significant influx of international travelers to-date. With Makola Market offering its must-see colorful bazaar and the Labadi and Kokrobite beaches along the Gulf of Guinea boasting an exciting nightlife, there is no shortage of promised stimulation on this part of West Africa’s Atlantic coast.

Outer Hebrides, Scotland

147% YoY increase in bookings
170% YoY increase in searches

An island chain of many names off the west coast of Scotland, the beautiful but rugged natural splendor of this region may seem reminiscent of the 1995 film depicting a crucial moment in Scotland and England’s history, and the recent unofficial sequel on Netflix. Wildlife really is everywhere: red deer (outnumbering humans 30 to 1!), golden eagles, and in the surrounding waters otters, whales, dolphins and more. Even the Barra Airport is an attraction as it’s one of the only commercial airports in the world where the planes land on a beach, providing a spectacle often met with applause by travelers during takeoffs and landings.

Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley, US

100% YoY increase in bookings
130% YoY increase in searches

2019 marks the quintessential time to visit this region with the 50th anniversary of Woodstock coming up and many famous musicians and groups rumored to be performing. But don’t just come for the show: with its rich wildlife and hiking trails (host Brian will take you on a day hike and capture semi-pro photos of the experience), and ski resorts to book and mountains to snowboard, the Catskills provide the perfect backdrop for a laid-back, season-agnostic retreat. And along the Hudson River, aspiring second-career farmers and growers can find inspiration by visiting the area’s many vineyards, orchards and farms. Local farmer and Irish ex-pat Mike hosts farm visits perfect for the occasion.

Santa Catarina State, Brazil

100%+ YoY increase in bookings
140% YoY increase in wish list inclusion

With Florianópolis as the capital, this state is known for both its beaches and its mountains. And with bookings surging in cities such as Joinville (216%), Itajaí (166%), and Blumenau (134%), it’s apparent that travelers are seeking a side of history to accompany their panoramic mountain views. German influences are evident in Blumenau, home to a famed annual Oktoberfest parade and a Beer Museum exhibiting the city’s brewing history. Brewmaster and host Guilherme will take you behind the scenes of his brewery, Loop Craft Brewing, before a VIP tasting.

Bacalar, Mexico

160% YoY increase in searches
155% YoY increase in wish list inclusion

Bacalar, referred to by some as the “new Tulum”, is a magical town along Mexico’s Caribbean coastline, often associated with glittering blue water (perfect for paddleboarding, snorkeling, and sailing) and fewer crowds compared to its most touristed neighbor up north. A three-hour drive from Cancun International Airport, Bacalar caters to history buffs and cultural aficionados alike. The 270-year-old Fortress de San Felipe Bacalar was built to defend the town against pirate attacks. Stop there before or after perusing the many restaurants, artisan shops, and street art in the area.

Fancy an adventure to truly get away from the daily grind? Airbnb recommends “9-hours-away” trending destinations plan your reprieve for 2019

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.


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