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In the post-pandemic context, people are more comfortable travelling domestically than internationally. Adapting to this shift, Airbnb is launching 'Go Near', an initiative that involves partnering with local governments and tourism agencies to encourage people to adventure close to home. We explore the insights behind this and why travellers are looking local.

Airbnb has partnered with destinations around the world to meet new demands of post-COVID-19 travelers and to support local businesses. This comes after the pandemic has slowed the economy and caused financial struggles for small and local businesses. Go Near is being launched off the back of a  survey showing that nearly half of Americans want to travel somewhere within a day's drive of their home. Airbnb will provide data and insights to travel organizations, which can use the Airbnb platform to connect with users and market their experiences. “Together, we know we can help destinations embrace and benefit from a safe and responsible return of travel,” reads the Airbnb website.

Nearly half of Americans want to travel somewhere within a day's drive of their home
Engin Akyurt (2020 ©
Americans are eager to go traveling soon after lockdown eases: in late April 2020, 72% were already making plans for their next trip. But trepidation around COVID-19 – as well as uncertainty about flight prices – has made local travel more appealing for many. Indeed, from February to May 2020, Airbnb has seen an increase in the percentage of reservations made within 200 miles from one-third of all bookings to more than half. This is also manifesting in an increased demand for nearby holiday destinations to celebrate the Fourth of July. And it seems travelers are still feeling the economic brunt of the pandemic; 20% of searches made in June for July trips fell in the range of $50 to $100 per night.

With travel preferences shifting from plane to car, brands have the opportunity to tend to people’s evolving preferences, such as teaming up with local National Parks and partnering with travel agencies to provide localized vacation options.

Hannah Houston is a Data Behavioural Analyst at Canvas8 and holds a BSc in Criminology. She loves learning languages whether that be coding, foreign or body language and is passionate about human behaviour. Outside of work you can find her walking or stroking a dog.


24 Jun 20
2 min read

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