Byron Bay tops 2022 hostel list as Australians embrace stay-at-home vacations

Byron Bay tops another travel list – but this one has left many scratching their heads as the 2022 forecast is thrown out the window.

Byron Bay is once again proving incredibly popular with travelers – and New South Wales’ coastal paradise isn’t just awash with Aussie families and couples.

For the first time ever, Byron Bay has taken the top spot on global booking site Hostelworld for Australian hostel bookings in 2022.

Hostelworld data showed almost half of Australian backpackers were not interested in fleeing abroad next year, with 43% bookings on the hostel site for Australian accommodation.

But it’s not just Byron Bay that interests Australian backpackers.

Eleven of the 20 destinations booked by Australians for hostel trips in 2022 were domestic.

The data shocked Hostelworld, with less than 5% of Australians typically booking trips to Australia each year.

The global booking site had just under seven million bookings in 2019.

In 2019, before the pandemic, not a single Australian city was in Hostelworld’s top 20.

While the data would not have come as a shock in 2020 and 2021, where international border closures halted global travel, Australians continued the trend of staying home through 2022.

Byron Bay saw massive growth from 32nd place in 2019 to first place in 2022 and saw an 86% increase in bookings.

But there was still some interest overseas, with a hostel in London ranking fourth, a hostel in Amsterdam ranking sixth and Barcelona taking eighth place.

Before the pandemic, Australians booked hostels the most in Tokyo, London and Amsterdam.

Australia’s east coast will be teeming with domestic backpackers next year, with Airlie Beach and Cairns also taking second and third place respectively.

Both have seen huge jumps with Airlie Beach in Queensland’s Whitsundays ranking 295th on Hostelworld for trips due to take place in 2020 and Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, ranking 114th.

While domestic bookings featured more on Hostelworld – with just nine of the top 20 outside Australia, 57% of all bookings for 2022 were for international travel.

The rankings and growth trends compared bookings made over the past three months – between August 10 and November 10 for travel in 2022.

The 2022 trends were compared to normal pre-pandemic numbers, using the same booking window between August and November 2019, for trips that were scheduled to take place in 2020, regardless of canceled trips.

Hostelworld’s 20 most booked destinations for Australian travelers in 2022

1. Byron Bay, New South Wales

2. Airlie Beach, Queensland

3. Cairns, Queensland

4. London, UK

5. Surfers Paradise, Queensland

6. Amsterdam, Holland

7. Sydney, New South Wales

8. Barcelona, ​​Spain

9. Paris, France

10. Rome, Italy

11. Athens, Greece

12. Hobart, Tasmania

13. Queenstown, New Zealand

14. Alice Springs, Northern Territory

15. Budapest, Hungary

16. Noosa, Queensland

17. Blue Mountains, New South Wales

18. Coral Bay, Western Australia

19. Launceston, Tasmania

20. Honolulu, Hawaii

Linda G. Ibarra