Airbnb’s top trending destinations for 2020 revolve around eco-friendliness

Airbnb has released its list of trending travel destinations for 2020, and it features locations all over the world from China to India, Scotland to The Netherlands.

The list, which has been compiled using Airbnb’s data, analyses year-on-year bookings to predict the best destinations to visit in 2020. Some destinations, such as Tokyo in Japan, and cities in Canada, Thailand and Mexico may come as no surprise, but the list also features some unexpected surprises, including Aberdeen in Scotland.

The list also reveals how much each destination is up percentage-wise in search terms, with the number one spot boasting an eye watering 729 per cent increase in interest.

The top 20 are as follows:

20. Maastricht, The Netherlands – bookings up 55 per cent

While Amsterdam is the best-known Dutch city, The Netherlands has a lot more to offer, including the historically rich Maastricht. In 2020, the city will host the TEFAF Maastricht art fair, making it a popular destination for the year.

19. Malindi, Kenya – bookings up 88 per cent

Described by Airbnb as a ‘multicultural melting pot of African, Arab and European residents,’ Malindi is home to Swahili architecture, diverse aquatic wildlife, and natural wonders like the Marafa Depression. It’s also taking strides to become more eco-friendly, with Kenya promising to plant two billion trees by 2021.

18. Kerala, India – bookings up 95 per cent

A beautiful slice of calm in a busy, bustling country, Kerala boasts palm-lined beaches, impressive waterfalls, and many coffee plantations. It has a state run Responsible Tourism program, making it another eco-friendly choice.


17. Tokyo, Japan  – bookings up 103 per cent

Already an increasingly popular destination, Tokyo is set to take centre stage come 2020, when it hosts the Summer Olympics in July and August. Japan is determined to make the occasion as eco-friendly as possible, using renewable energy and low-energy vehicles.

16.  Les Contamines-Montjoie, France – bookings up 108 per cent

Nestled between the well-known resorts of Chamonix and Megève, this winter ski destination is picture perfect, and is also ideal for mountain climbing come summertime.

15.  Ubatuba, Brazil  – bookings up 108 per cent

The surfing capital of São Paulo has an incredible 100 beaches to choose from, and hosts surfing competitions year round. The hiking trails and lush green surrounding the Atlantic rainforest also add to its appeal.

14.  Courtenay, Canada – bookings up 114 per cent

A destination which is committed to becoming more eco-conscious in its plight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Courtenay is ‘the perfect starting point for outdoor adventurers,’ according to Airbnb.


13. Aberdeen, Scotland – bookings up 119 per cent

The third largest city in Scotland, Aberdeen is full to the brim with fine dining, galleries, and coastal scenery. It also plans to drastically reduce carbon emissions in the coming years, making it another eco-hub on the list.

12. Cape Canaveral, US – bookings up 136 per cent

Located in Florida, Cape Canaveral, which boasts 72 miles of beachfront and protected wildlife areas, will take centre stage in 2020. The cape is set to be the launch site of NASA’s Mars 2020 Exploration Program, which will be watched worldwide.

11. ​Cali, Colombia – bookings up 137 per cent

Named the ‘salsa capital’ by Airbnb, Cali is the place to go for a party life atmosphere full of fun, vibrancy, and music.

10. Vanuatu – bookings up 140 per cent

Located 2000 miles east of Australia, remote archipelago nation Vanuatu is a tropical paradise, with beautiful beaches, impressive wildlife, and a never-ending list of activities including scuba diving on offer.


9. Guadalajara, Mexico – bookings up 158 per cent

The lesser known second city of Guadalajara has plenty to offer the curious traveller, from its historic architecture in hipster neighbourhood Chapultepec, to festivals, museums, and nature aplenty.

8. Luxembourg – bookings up 167 per cent

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, Luxembourg is full of history and natural beauty, with ‘medieval castles, rocky gorges, charming villages and superb vineyards’ galore, according to Airbnb.

7. Eugene, US – bookings up 213 per cent

While many will most recognise Portland in Oregon, Eugene is rising up in the ranks, thanks to its natural beauty, culinary offerings, and eco credentials.


6. Xi’an, China – bookings up 255 per cent

Best known as the home of the terracotta warriors, Xi’an is full of rich history. In 2020, the city is introducing a new tourism program that will introduce 30 night time tour routes that highlight night time markets and performances.

5. Romania  – bookings up 298 per cent

Romania is known for being an affordable European holiday, but it is also one of the most beautiful. It has some of the most impressive virgin forests, and impressively ranks 15th globally when it comes to ecosystem vitality, according to the 2018 Environmental Performance Index. 

4. Sunbury, Australia – bookings up 356 per cent

While Australian destinations such as Byron Bay garner the majority of attention, Sunbury is going to be hot in 2020 as it hosts the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup. Sporting fans will recognise the suburb as the birthplace of The Ashes.


3. ​Buriram, Thailand – bookings up 383 per cent

Not only is Buriram big in the world of motor racing, it is also known for its impressive ancient ruins, including its best known monument: the Phanom Rung complex.

2. Bilbao, Spain – bookings up 402 per cent

As one of the host cities for football competition EURO 2020, it is no surprise that Bilbao is up there in the list. The culturally rich destination features the ever-popular Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum, which helped it to win the European City of the Year in 2018.

1. Milwaukee, US – bookings up 729 per cent

Milwaukee is the host of next year’s Democratic National Convention, which perhaps explains why its search numbers have gone through the roof. However, the city has a lot to offer, sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan and boasting brilliant culinary options and cultural experiences.