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Take off: Overseas travel back on the priority list for almost half of New Zealanders

The new Consumer Snapshot from business management platform MYOB, surveyed 500 people nationwide about their travel plans over the next 12 months. While almost half are planning to do some international travel, more than a quarter (27%) won’t be taking a trip overseas, while 26% haven’t yet decided. 

When it comes to where their travels will take them, the majority of New Zealanders travelling overseas are planning a trip to Australia (58%), but a large proportion are also planning to head further-a-field and take an extended break. The most popular destinations after Australia include:

  • 38% are going to Europe

  • 16% are going to United States of America

  • 11% are going to the United Kingdom

  • 9% are going to Singapore.

The insights also revealed that most heading away are also planning for an extended break – more than a quarter (26%) will be travelling for over two weeks, and 15% are going away for over a month. Nearly a third of those heading away (29%) will be taking an 8–14-day trip.  

Head of Employee Services at MYOB, Felicity Brown, said the staged full reopening of our borders has given many Kiwis the confidence to travel again and take an extended holiday to visit all the places they have been dreaming of over the past two years.

“The pandemic has prevented many Kiwis from taking overseas holidays or visiting their family and friends, so it’s a really positive sign to see so many Kiwis eager to plan an overseas trip and get back to a sense of normality. After no international travel for two years, it’s likely many people will be hoping to use up some annual leave for their extended trip, but this will need to be managed carefully by small businesses who are already short staffed but can’t afford to have excessive leave owing to employees,” said Felicity.

The Snapshot also showed that for those not planning to travel overseas, two key reasons behind this decision were financial. Nearly two thirds (64%) of this group said they couldn’t afford it, while 30% said they’re being stricter with their budget now the cost of living has increased. Just over a third (36%) also said they’re nervous about possible travel disruption caused by COVID-19.

Domestic travel to receive a boost

While some New Zealanders are planning to holiday internationally, more are looking domestically for a taste of travel. Two thirds (66%) of New Zealanders are planning a domestic holiday within the next 12 months, and for this group, the top five regional destinations include:  

  • 28% said Queenstown

  • 22% said Auckland

  • 18% said Wellington

  • 16% said Canterbury

  • 13% said Bay of Plenty.

Domestic travel could also boost some much-needed spending in the regions, with Kiwis planning to spend, on average, $1,330 on their domestic holiday – not including the cost of flights or petrol to get to their destination. When MYOB last surveyed consumers on their travel intentions over the Christmas holiday period, the average intended spend on travel was $727.

The accommodation sector is likely to receive the biggest portion of this spending, with 54% of Kiwis saying they expect accommodation to take up the biggest percentage of their budget while they are on holiday, followed by food and dining (23%).

Despite the rapidly rising cost of living and increasing inflation, nearly half (49%) of those travelling within New Zealand said that their budget allocated for their upcoming holiday is about the same as their last holiday. However, nearly a quarter (24%) do expect to spend more, while 22% said they expect to spend less.

“Although local travel plans are increasing, consumers will be mindful of inflation and increased prices – and this is likely to impact on local spending, which we’re seeing in our research is playing out with lower estimated spending on tourism activities and entertainment. While some people may have been saving their holiday funds while in lockdown, it’s always a good idea to research the best deals or promotions on offer before heading off on holiday, and pre-booking experiences could be a way that consumers can get the most from their holiday, while still being kind to their wallets,” said Felicity.