News / Edmonton

Edmonton predicted to be third most 'trending' Airbnb destination in 2018

Whether it's the mountains, the Ice District, or the food scene, people are coming here

Brace yourself, Edmonton—the hordes are coming, and they want to rent out your condo.

According to new numbers from vacation rental behemoth Airbnb, Alberta’s capital is expected to be the third biggest "trending" destination in the world next year.

Meaning, bookings for the first half of 2018 are up a whopping 284 per cent over last year.

In a press release, the company chalks up the city's newfound popularity to a growing interest in destinations "within driving distance of the Canadian Rockies," since Fernie and Kelowna are also seeing increases.

Also this week, Travel and Leisure magazine put Edmonton among The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2018.

Edmonton Tourism spokesperson Renee Williams said the acknowledgement is “huge” coming from a magazine with close to one million print readers plus an online audience.

“I think people are going to look at Edmonton and maybe not have heard of the destination before, and be really quite curious,” Williams said.

Toronto is the only other Canadian city on the list.

The piece, written by Kathryn O’Shea-Evans, calls Edmonton “Canada’s token middle child.”

The author’s recommendations focus on the city’s culinary prowess and specifically chef Scott Downey’s restaurant Butternut Tree, which focuses on Indigenous foods.

“I think that over the last year, our culinary scene has just grown crazy amounts. And it was incredible before, but I think we’re getting a lot of attention on it now,” Williams said.

The Travel and Leisure piece also mentions the new 419,000-square-foot Royal Alberta Museum, which is set to open in early 2018, as well as downtown’s Crash Hotel near the Ice District for a taste of Edmonton’s “indie side.”

With files from Kevin Maimann

More on Metronews.ca