This week, Expedia and its vacation-rental brand, Vrbo, released their trend reports for the coming year, and from international beach breaks to same-city stays, and bucket-list destinations to one-of-a-kind experiences and accommodations, there’s plenty to look forward to in 2020.
Expedia crunched the numbers and discovered that Americans were overwhelmingly drawn to a handful of countries this year – those with multiple cities in high demand for flights comprise the platform’s list of fastest-growing destinations for 2020. Spain and the Canary Islands topped the list, then Canada, Peru, Japan, and Italy. “When we looked at where travelers went in 2019, we saw that the biggest growth in demand was happening for destinations that aren’t the usual tourist hotspots,” Christie Hudson, head of public relations for Brand Expedia North America, said in a press release. “Instead of Venice or Rome, the top trending Italian destinations were in Sardinia and the Italian Riviera.”
Vrbo, on the other hand, looked at the average travel-demand growth to determine the fastest-growing destinations stateside, with interesting results. Less than 10 miles from Big Bend National Park, the ghost town of Terlingua, Texas, has seen a 75% bump over the past three years; meanwhile, over in the Ozarks, Bella Vista, Arkansas, has seen a 70% increase.
As for beach vacations, the fastest-growing destinations based on hotel demand are literally all over the map, from Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates to Borocay Island in the Philippines to Positano, Phuket, Tahiti, and Greece. Vrbo, on the other hand, sees Portugal drawing the most attention in the new year. The western side of the Iberian Peninsula dominated the list with three of American travelers’ top five international beaches – Lisbon, Porto, and Vila Nova de Gaia – with Chania, Greece, and Catania, Italy, filling in the gaps.
But really, the homeshare platform’s main draw is the unique accommodations, and Americans are responding to the clickbait in droves. Demand for houseboats, barns, treehouses, properties on wheels, and properties that float join the ranks of unusual accommodations travelers are booking, with Airstream trailers and RVs seeing a 30% bump.