Australians’ love for one Asian country has been made clear with a whopping eight out of the top 10 international destinations Aussies are searching for most on Airbnb being in Japan.
Data from the accommodation platform obtained exclusively by news.com.au shows from January 1 to September 15 Australian users were searching Japanese destinations the most for stays in November and December this year.
Taito City in Tokyo was the most popular international destinational, followed by Kyoto City in Kyoto, Shibuya City in Tokyo, and Shinjuku City in Tokyo.
Fifth on the list was Hong Kong, which reopened to international visitors in May, but Japan was back at number six and seven with Osaka and the popular ski destination of Sapporo in Hokkaido.
Taiwan’s capital city Taipei was eighth most popular, and the Japanese ski villages of Nozawaonsen and Hakuba in Nagano rounded out the top 10.
Airbnb Australia said eight out of 10 of the top trending destinations being from one country was a lot, but Australians love for Japan was unsurprising.
“Australians have always been enthusiastic travellers to Japan, enjoying the amazing skiing, food and culture that the country offers so it’s no surprise to see Japan feature so highly in the international searches for Australian travellers this summer – especially those looking to escape the heat,” Airbnb Australia and New Zealand manager Susan Wheeldon told news.com.au.
“With 8 out of 10 international travellers searching for holidays in Japan, it shows that not only do holiday-makers want to explore various regions within the country, but also that for those who are going skiing in Japan, the flight time, cost and comparable time zone for Aussie travellers are all ticking boxes.”
In April this year Japan removed all its Covid-related travel requirements for tourists, including the need for Covid testing and vaccination certificates.
It means this is the first summer holiday period for Australians in years that they are able to travel freely.
It’s not just Airbnb travellers that are looking to Japan this time of year.
Expedia’s latest trending data reveals Asian destinations have dominated the top 10 locations Aussies want to visit over the Christmas and New Year period, with Tokyo ranked eight on that list not far behind Denpasar in Indonesia, Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand, and Singapore.
Back at home, the Australian destinations most searched on Airbnb may come as a surprise.
Carrara on the Gold Coast was the most searched destination between January and September for stays in November and December this year.
Milton in Brisbane was second and Mascot in Sydney was third.
Those city stays were followed by Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast, Barunah Plains in Victoria’s Western District, and West Beach, a seaside suburb of Adelaide.
Next on the list was Docklands in Melbourne, Ballarat in regional Victoria, and Somers on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Liverpool in Greater Western Sydney came in at number 10.
Ms Wheeldon said the list was proof travel in Australia was now more dispersed.
“The economic benefits are being shared across more destinations like in areas such as Ballarat, enabling a valuable economic contribution to rural and regional areas,” she said.
“This dispersal is being driven by hosts on Airbnb and in turn creates economic opportunities for small communities where there are no hotels.”
A recent report from Oxford Economics, commissioned by Airbnb Australia, analysed this shift towards more travel beyond traditional holiday hotspots in Australia.
Oxford Economics Australia’s head of consulting Kristian Holding explained: “Domestic travellers have been crucial to the tourism sector’s resilience over the past three years as Aussie guests saw opportunities in domestic travel as a substitute for international holidays, with self-drive and regional trips increasing in popularity, which lead to a wider dispersion of tourism spend outside the traditional or ‘popular’ destinations in Australia.”
Michael Crosby, head of public policy at Airbnb in Australia and New Zealand, said they were seeing a particular trend in farm stays.
In the 12 months to March this year, the states with the highest share of money spent on non-urban Airbnb accommodation were Tasmania (52 per cent) and Western Australia (43 per cent), followed by New South Wales (37 per cent), South Australia (37 per cent), Victoria (35 per cent), Queensland (26 per cent) and the Northern Territory (21 per cent).