As Edmontonians get ready to ring in the new year, it appears their city can expect many more visitors in 2018, according to a projection by online accommodations giant Airbnb.
The San Francisco-based company says its current online booking data suggests Alberta’s capital is seeing the biggest spike in its accommodations bookings for 2018 among Canadian destinations. Not only that, but with Edmonton Airbnb bookings up 284 per cent, the company says the city is its third-highest trending destination worldwide, behind only Gangneung, South Korea and Bournemouth, United Kingdom. Gangneung has seen interest increase by 2,175 per cent as people make plans to attend the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
“In North America, destinations within driving distance of the Canadian Rockies are attracting a growing number of guests,” Airbnb said in a news release earlier this month. “Those include the urban hub of Edmonton (284%), as well as Fernie (179%) and Kelowna (170%) — both mountain towns that feature an extensive range of year-round outdoor activities, from cross-country skiing to fly fishing and wine tasting.”
Just last week, the Conference Board of Canada said Edmonton saw a 3.5 per cent increase in total overnight stays this year, indicating the Edmonton Oilers’ resurgence could be one of the reasons for that increase.
“Edmonton has always relied on a lot of sporting events, and I think this year is no exception,” Conference Board of Canada associate director Greg Hermus said at the time. “So we are looking at that contributing, as well as the free admission to national parks.”
Hermus said Edmonton’s tourism industry could benefit from a number of things in 2018: the new Royal Alberta Museum is scheduled to open, the Canadian volleyball championships will be in Alberta’s capital and Red Bull Crashed Ice event is returning to the city.
Below is a list of Airbnb’s top 10 trending destinations for 2018:
- Gangneung, South Korea – 2175 per cent
- Bournemouth, United Kingdom – 353 per cent
- Edmonton, Alta. – 284 per cent
- Indianapolis, Ind. – 256 per cent
- Da Nang, Vietnam – 255 per cent
- Columbus, Ohio – 254 per cent
- Gazimagusa, Cyprus – 234 per cent
- Bilbao, Spain – 234 per cent
- Hanoi, Vietnam – 212 per cent
- Matinhos, Brazil – 209 per cent
-With files from 630 CHED’s Kyle Morris