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Top travel destinations 2019: The highest trending destinations for the new year, according to Airbnb

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 06/12/2018 Rosie Fitzmaurice

Airbnb has revealed a list of 19 top trending destinations to travel to in 2019, based on where searches and bookings have surged on the accommodation booking site over the last year.

So if you're already planning your next holiday in the new year, and want to be ahead of the curve, you might want to try one of these more under-the-radar cities and countries...

Kaikoura, New Zealand

Kaikoura, a popular whale watching spot on New Zealand's South Island, was badly damaged in a 2016 earthquake, but now that transport links to the coastal town are back up and running, it's back on travellers the radar for 2019, Airbnb reports. It saw the largest increase in both booking and searches of all the trending destinations on this list.

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Kaikoura, New Zealand (Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash)

Xiamen, China

Xiamen is a port city on China's southeastern coast, home to Kulangsu (or Gulangyu), a vehicle-free island known for its seafood restaurants.

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Xiamen, China (Courtesy of Airbnb)

Puebla, Mexico

With a thriving local art scene and located just a two-hour drive from Mexico City, Puebla is home of the "mole poblano," a savoury chocolate sauce

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Puebla, Mexico (Courtesy of Airbnb)

Normandy, France

Just a two-hour train ride from Paris, picturesque Normandy has miles of sandy beaches which are steeped in history

a group of people walking in front of Mont Saint-Michel: discover-feed-normandy-folliot-150303-0076-ret.jpg © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited discover-feed-normandy-folliot-150303-0076-ret.jpg
Normandy, France (Courtesy of Airbnb)

Great Smoky Mountains, US

The Great Smoky Mountains, or the "Smokies" as they are known, is a mountain range along the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in the US. Here you'll find America's most visited national park where two of the most popular walking trails, which were damaged in a wildfire in 2016, have just reopened.

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Great Smoky Mountains, USA (Courtesy of Airbnb)

Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

Buenos Aires Province is the largest and most populous of Argentina's provinces. You'll find beaches and forests along the Atlantic coast, as well as towns like Tigre and Tandil, the latter of which Airbnb says is one of Argentina's "most hospitable cities," based on the number of "superhosts" it has with five star reviews.

a group of people walking down a street: discover-feed-buenos-aires-farias-140617-0045.jpg © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited discover-feed-buenos-aires-farias-140617-0045.jpg
Buenos Aries Province, Argentina (Courtesy of Airbnb)

Accra, Ghana

Accra, the capital of Ghana, is home to popular attractions like the famous Makola market and some stunning beaches along the Gulf of Guinea which are also known for their buzzing nightlife

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Accra, Ghana (Courtesy of Airbnb)

Mozambique

With its endless coastline and abundant nearby islands and archipelagos, Mozambique is an African beach getaway that's growing in popularity

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Mozambique (Photo by Rohan Reddy on Unsplash)

Outer Hebrides, Scotland

The Outer Hebrides are a group of islands off the west coast of Scotland, where wildlife, like red deer, roam free

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Outer Hebrides, Scotland (Courtesy of Airbnb)

Wakayama Prefecture, Japan

The Wakayama Prefecture in Japan is located south of Osaka. Here the star attraction is Koyasan, considered the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism, where travellers can stay in 52 of the temples offering lodgings.

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Wakayama Prefecture, Japan (Photo by Tom Vining on Unsplash)

Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley, US

The Catskill Mountains and the Hudson Valley lie a couple hours north of New York City, and are home to plenty of popular hiking trails and wineries.

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Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley (Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash)

Santa Catarina State, Brazil

Santa Catarina State in southern Brazil is home to the party city of Florianópolis (its capital), as well as other cities like Joinville, Itajaí and Blumenau, where Airbnb reports bookings have surged in the last year

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Santa Catarina, Brazil (Courtesy of Airbnb)

Batumi, Georgia

Batumi, a Black sea resort and port city in Georgia, counts an old town and lively promenade among its popular attractions.

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Batumi, Georgia (Courtesy of Airbnb)

Winnipeg, Canada

Winnipeg is the capital of the Canadian province of Manitoba. The city's main tourist attraction is The Forks, where historic warehouses have been converted into a bustling hub of shops and restaurants.

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Winnipeg, Canada (Courtesy of Airbnb)

Pondicherry, India

Pondicherry, now officially known as "Puducherry," is a former French colony located on India's southeastern coast, a few hours' drive from Chennai.

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Pondicherry, India (Courtesy of Airbnb)

Uzbekistan

Samarkand, a UNESCO world heritage site, is probably Uzbekistan's most famous city. With improved transportation infrastructure and a simplified visa process, Uzbekistan is becoming a more attractive destination among travellers to explore Islamic architecture. Airbnb reports the country had the fastest year-on-year growth in bookings of all the destinations on this list: October 2018 saw more than five times the number of bookings compared to the same time last year.

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Uzbekistan (Courtesy of Airbnb)

Calabria, Italy

Calabria, in southwest Italy, is home to extensive coastline, mountains and medieval villages, yet it's among the country's least visited regions. It's easily accessible too, located a 45-minute drive from Lamezia Terme airport or a four-hour drive from Naples or Bari airports.

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Calabria, Italy (Courtesy of Airbnb)

Andalucia, Spain

Spain's southern Andalusian region is home to the stunning cities of Granada, Córdoba and Seville, where travellers can enjoy fantastic local food and historical architecture.

a castle like building with Alhambra in the background: willian-justen-de-vasconcellos-499722-unsplash-0.jpg © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited willian-justen-de-vasconcellos-499722-unsplash-0.jpg
The Alhambra, Granada (Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos on Unsplash)

Taiwan

Finally, Taiwan also made Airbnb's list of trending destinations. While Taipei is still the main draw for tourists, smaller towns, such as Daxi and Yujing, are increasingly appearing on wish lists this year compared to last, according to the site.

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Taiwan (Courtesy of Airbnb)
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