Regional towns dominate Airbnb’s list of most in-demand locations for 2018, with not one major city making the top ten.
New data from the short stay platform found a dramatic increase in demand for accommodation in regional areas compared to cities, with Wagga Wagga the most sought after when comparing bookings made in 2018 to the previous year.
Airbnb country manage Sam McDonagh said the appetite for stays in smaller, more isolated Australian towns was driven in part by a greater range of accommodation.
“Looking at the data, what we are really seeing is that more than half the bookings made in Australia this year were made in regional areas. It’s a growing trend, and it shows people are looking to stay outside city areas now,” he said.
“Looking at Wagga Wagga in isolation, they’ve got Charles Sturt University down there, there’s a big hospital, there’s the Botanic Gardens and there’s the art gallery.
“For people who have always been interested in Wagga Wagga, but have never actually considered travelling there before, they can now, because there are simply more accommodation options.”
McDonagh said the surge may also be driven by the efforts of those areas to attract visitors in tough economic times.
“Consider the drought-stricken times we have had in NSW, as local communities host events and attract people, these events naturally attract guests, too.”
Another trend identified by Airbnb was guests searching out listings based on aesthetics rather than location and ‘wish-listing’ them, then going on to travel to destinations they wouldn’t otherwise have considered.
“They want to go there to stay in a certain Airbnb, and in some cases, the location is almost secondary,” said McDonagh.
Airbnb’s top 10 trending destinations in Australia for 2018 are:
Wagga Wagga (289 percent increase in bookings year-on-year)
Blackheath (281 percent)
Toowoomba (229 percent)
Tamborine Mountain (205 percent)
Mount Gambier (202 percent)
Corowa (175 percent)
Bridport (173 percent)
Jindabyne (166 percent)
Strahan (163 percent)
Mudgee (158 percent)