Milwaukee is world’s top Airbnb travel destination for 2020

Local hosts expect thousands of guests during the DNC

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Between the Democratic National Convention and the Ryder Cup, 2020 is turning out to be a huge year for tourism in southeastern Wisconsin. And home sharing service Airbnb says it’s already feeling an impact.

Reporting a 729% year-over-year increase in Milwaukee bookings for 2020, the San Fransisco-based company ranked Milwaukee as no. 1 on its list of top 20 trending travel destinations for the upcoming year.

Airbnb said Wednesday in a news release that the ranking forecasts “growing interest in lesser known and eco-conscious cities and countries across the world” based on internal data.

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The list is comprised of mostly international cities such as Bilbao, Spain at no. 2; Guadalajara, Mexico at no. 9; Toko, Japan at no. 17; and Maastricht, Netherlands ranked last. Only two other U.S. cities made the cut: Eugene, Oregon and Cape Canaveral, Florida. The full list is available on Airbnb’s website.

Airbnb said some of its top trending destinations are, like Milwaukee, preparing for major events next year such as the 2020 Mars Exploration Program launching from Cape Canaveral and surf competitions in Ubatuba, Brazil.

In early September, Airbnb said it had already attracted more than 400 reservations during the days of the DNC, taking place July 13 to 16. The major political convention is expected to bring in more than 50,000 visitors and generate $200 million in total economic impact.

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The company said it has committed to hosting thousands of guests in Milwaukee for the DNC, but it also attributed the city’s increasing tourism to its many festivals, 1,400 acres of beaches and lakeside parks, and more than 105 miles of bike lanes.

Airbnb’s release did not make mention of the Ryder Cup, which is another major tourism coup for the state, set to take place Sept. 22 to 27 at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan County.

Tournament officials are expecting the event to have a $135 million economic impact on the region, bringing about 50,000 visitors to the course each day. In addition, the biennial men’s golf competition will be viewed by 500 million household around the world.

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