In good company with the likes of Tokyo, Japan and Bilbao, Spain, Courtenay has found its place as the only Canadian city on Airbnb’s 20 Destinations to Visit Next Year list.
The online accommodations company recently released the list of its top trending destinations for the new year, based on year-over-year growth in bookings.
Courtenay took the 14th spot, sandwiched between Aberdeen, Scotland at 13, and Ubatuba, Brazil at 15.
“This is great – so many people have heard of Courtenay through word of mouth, but now it’s being shown by one of the biggest voices in the world,” explained Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells.
“For people who live here, we know how great it is here – that’s why so many people move here. We have the west coast lifestyle with Mount Washington and the ocean so close by.”
Wells added he isn’t too surprised that Courtenay is the only Canadian city on the list, as he can attest firsthand that first impressions make a lasting impression.
“For myself, (my family) hadn’t spent anytime in Courtenay (prior to moving here). We went up to Mount Washington 16 years ago, our car broke down, and we decided to move here,” he added with a laugh.
According to Airbnb, the Valley’s city had a 141 per cent year-over-year increase in bookings. The company noted Courtenay is “the perfect starting point for outdoor adventurers. Surrounded by rolling mountains, alpine meadows and bohemian villages, this charming small city is another favourite with the eco-conscious traveler.”
While Airbnb noted their research shows that some of the top trending locales are cities and regions that are preparing for big events (such as the 2020 Mars Exploration Program launching from Cape Canaveral, FL), Wells explained year-round events such as Vancouver Island MusicFest puts the city on a global stage.
Within the City of Courtenay, vacation rentals are allowed as long as homeowners follow the proper business licencing procedures and follow code for secondary suites, explained Wells.
Similar to commercial hotels, vacation rentals within the city are required to collect and remit a hotel tax.
As for the city taking the top spot on the list? Milwaukee, Wis., which saw a 727 per cent growth in bookings year over year.
Other top-20 places include Luxembourg, Vanuatu, Eugene, Ore. and Malindi, Kenya.
To view the full list, go to https://bit.ly/35BImtj