Forty million people can't be wrong. That's how many travelers Airbnb estimates used its service in 2015, and the hospitality company has taken their feedback to make a list of the world's 16 trendiest neighborhoods to visit. And guess what's on it? Oak Lawn.
The high-end neighborhood ranks No. 11, with a 260 percent growth in Airbnb visitors. It's one of only three U.S. neighborhoods to land on the list, joining Kaneohe on Oahu, Hawaii at No. 8 and Poncey-Highland in Atlanta, Georgia at No. 12.
"Airbnb travelers are more intrepid when it comes to trying new neighborhoods, and in doing so they set travel trends to areas little visited before," says Airbnb's head of hospitality, Chip Conley, in a release. "Not only does this boost business to local coffee shops and small businesses that haven’t benefited from tourism in the past, it also helps people to experience cities through a true local lens."
Chūō-ku in Osaka, Japan, claims the No. 1 spot, with a whopping 700 percent growth. Neighborhoods from France, Greece, Thailand, and Australia also populate the list, which was made after analyzing travel data first to regions, then countries, metros, and down to neighborhoods. The availability and level of art, food, outdoor experiences, and shopping also influenced the outcome.
The whole idea of Airbnb is to escape the traditional downtown districts and become immersed in communities and their people. Last year the company took that idea one step further by encouraging homebuyers to take their potential new neighborhoods for test runs before plunking down cash or signing any contracts.