Airbnb has named the Outer Hebrides as one of the world’s top travel destinations to visit in 2019.
The islands have scooped a spot in the global league table of most “trending” destinations, alongside destinations in Canada, Ghana and New Zealand.
Airbnb reported bookings have soared by nearly 150% in a year, while searches for homes in the islands have leapt up by 170% over the last 12 months.
The booking site praised the “beautiful but rugged natural splendour” of the islands and lauded the Isle of Barra where planes land on the shore – one of the only commercial airports in the world that has a beach runway.
Airbnb said the 19 destinations it chose reflected a growing interest from travellers to explore more “off-the-beaten-path” regions, cities and towns.
In an article on their website they said: “We’ve found that most of our trending destinations are places where the increased ‘healthy,’ more sustainable and authentic tourism will benefit residents and travellers alike.”
Of the Outer Hebrides it said: “An island chain of many names off the west coast of Scotland, the beautiful but rugged natural splendour of this region may seem reminiscent of the 1995 film depicting a crucial moment in Scotland and England’s history, and the recent unofficial sequel on Netflix.
“Wildlife really is everywhere: red deer (outnumbering humans 30 to 1!), golden eagles, and in the surrounding waters otters, whales, dolphins and more.”
AIRBNB’S TOP 19 DESTINATIONS TO VISIT IN 2019
- Kaikoura, New Zealand
- Xiamen, China
- Puebla, Mexico
- Normandy, France
- Great Smoky Mountains, United States
- Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
- Accra, Ghana
- Outer Hebrides
- Wakayama Prefecture, Japan
- Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley, United States
- Santa Catarina State, Brazil
- Batumi, Georgia
- Winnipeg, Canada
- Pondicherry, India
- Uzbekistan Calabria, Italy
- Andalucia, Spain