KL is one of the Top 50 destinations for 2020


  • Malaysia
  • Wednesday, 04 Mar 2020

First time in Kuala Lumpur? Try going on a walking tour around the colouful and vibrant Little India area. Photo: Tourism Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is one of the Top 50 destinations for 2020, joining the ranks of tourist cities like Tokyo, Bangkok, Paris and Los Angeles, according to global travel booking platform Airbnb. These destinations recorded the highest guest arrivals booked for the year on the travel platform.

In addition to that, the company also notes that more adventure and exploratory travel trends such as trekking are set to rise in popularity this year.

Here are some of the examples.

Call of the wild

Travellers are heeding the call of the wild, with adventure travel on the rise across Asia; trekking-based experiences are also trending by 1,795% in bookings.

More travellers are planning outdoor trips, with bookings for nature experiences up 103% year-on-year.

Animal experiences and hiking experiences are seeing significant growth as well, with a 141% and 128% increase in bookings respectively.

More guests are also booking unique accommodations that give them the opportunity to reconnect with Mother Nature, such as jungle cabins and homestays.

In Malaysia, nature trails are aplenty, and some experienced guides are now offering their services to adventure seekers via travel booking platforms.

Travel back in time

A walk around KL’s Central Market offers travellers a glimpse into the diverse history and culture of Malaysia. Photo: Tourism MalaysiaA walk around KL’s Central Market offers travellers a glimpse into the diverse history and culture of Malaysia. Photo: Tourism Malaysia

“Historical travel” is in vogue. Travellers are not just exploring new places this year, they want to step into the shoes of locals from a long time ago to get to know a destination better.

Bookings for such experiences have increased 116% globally in 2020, especially among the younger generations.

However, travellers are not just curious to learn about the past, they want to experience it too. Historical accommodations with keywords such as “historic”, “era”, “WWI” and others have already been booked over 50,0000 times on Airbnb this year.

Malaysia, with its cosmopolitan culture and colourful history, has a lot to offer such travellers. In Kuala Lumpur, check out walking tours around Petaling Street (Chinatown), Brickfields (Little India) and Kampung Baru to see some beautiful architecture with many temples, mosques, churches, wooden houses and other historical monuments spread across the city.

Disconnect to reconnect

Getting off the grid and disconnecting to reconnect is a big deal this year among travellers, with many slowing down to recentre themselves spiritually, mentally and physically during their holidays. Out of those who seek solitude and spirituality in their travels, many do it through solo travel experiences, as revealed in the rise of single guest bookings (up 79%) this year.

Popular among these solitary travellers are activities such as sports, nature and wellness, which are readily available almost everywhere in Malaysia.

Sports experiences now rank as one of the top five experience categories booked by travellers around the world, with bookings increasing 380% from last year.

In the Klang Valley, you can find many public parks (Taman Tugu Negara in KL and Taman Rimba Riang in Kota Damansara, Selangor) as well as indoor sports facilities that are open to the public.

Conscious dining

Food and drink experiences remain popular among travellers, as one of the biggest motivations in travel and in connecting people to new places.

This is still the most booked category on the Airbnb Experiences platform by foreign travellers to a new country.

Vegan-friendly food experiences have increased by 579% while baking experiences are up by 155% in 2019, compared to the previous year.

Malaysia, not surprisingly, offers many opportunities for such travellers, offering unique food trails as well as cooking experiences that cover the various local cuisines you can find here.

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