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Disruptions, Bedbugs & Other Tourists Top NZers Gripe List

7th January 2014
Media release

Disruptions, Bedbugs and Other Tourists Top Kiwi Travellers’ Gripe List

Delays and inferior accommodation are the biggest irritations for New Zealanders when travelling according to Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI).

An SCTI-commissioned TNS survey, carried out in September 2013, quizzed 2,000 Kiwis on the things that exasperate them most when they travel.

Over a third of respondents cited delays in travel as their biggest annoyance (39%) with accommodation coming in second at 26% and ironically other tourists are the third biggest annoyance at 9%. Pleasingly for parents, only 7% said children were their biggest irritation.

Craig Morrison, SCTI CEO, says that given the level of preparation most people put into their travel itinerary, it’s understandable that they want it to live up to their expectations.

“For the majority of people an overseas trip has meant months – sometimes years – of saving and is highly anticipated. Disruptions because of bad weather or the hotel room being of lower quality than advertised, or quite dirty, can cause justifiable upset.”

This level of frustration means that 67% of people cite cover for missed connections as a reason for taking out travel insurance.

However cover for medical expenses still remains the most common reason to purchase travel insurance policies (92% of respondents)  and this correlates with SCTI data, which shows that from August 2012 to July 2013 medical claims accounted for 45% of all claims costs.

While some things are unavoidable, Morrison says there are measures travellers can take to minimise the risk of encountering the things that bug them the most.

“Everyone loves a bargain, but those booking cheap flights and cheap holidays may be more susceptible to unexpected travel interruptions and cancellations. Equally, if you can’t stand children, then avoid travelling during the school holidays.”

Morrison also suggests people conduct research online and take into account customer reviews of accommodation before booking.

That same type of research will pay off for those who want to take in popular tourist destinations without the crowds of other tourists.

“Check the opening times and try to arrive either early or late in the day. If you have some flexibility you could plan to make the visit mid-week rather than the weekend, when visitor numbers swell.

“Once you understand what a typical tourist will do you can then make plans to avoid as many of them as possible.

The survey also revealed some interesting regional insights; those that get most irate over travel delays are men from Tauranga (53%) and women from Dunedin (50%), while those who get the most annoyed over accommodation not being as expected are women from Hamilton  (33%) and men living outside the main cities (27%).

Other differences include:
•         Females are more likely to take out travel insurance (91%) than males (84%)
•         Those who are older (aged 50+) are more likely to take out travel insurance to cover the costs of missed connections and cancelled activities.
•         Wellingtonians are more likely to take out travel insurance (93%) than those residing in other parts of New Zealand.
•         Aucklanders under age 30 were least likely to take out travel insurance – just 55% would.

Ends

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