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New Zealand Dream Destination for U.S. Travellers


New Zealand is Dream Destination for U.S. Travellers

Auckland, 22 June 2006 - Americans dream of seeing New Zealand – but in reality most only make it as far as Florida, according to a recent online Omnibus survey conducted nationwide for MasterCard Advisors Global Cardholder Services.

The survey of more than 1,100 U.S. adults on their ideal holiday destinations found that almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents said they dreamed of visiting New Zealand or Australia in the next 12 months. However, when it actually came to booking a holiday, few actually venture outside the country, with only one percent planning to head overseas during that period. By contrast, some 69% of those queried said they planned to visit Florida in the same period.

Hitting the beach and other warm-weather activities were the top choice of 29% of those questioned, easily out-polling other pastimes such as camping, visiting a spa or playing golf. The preference for sun and surf was shared across all ages, income levels, genders and regions, the survey found. Child-friendly destinations were the second choice (12%) of those surveyed, while historical/cultural destinations came in a close third (10%).

"While we weren't surprised that sun and beach vacations were the overall winner, we were intrigued to note that Florida was the No. 1 destination in every demographic, even with other sunny spots such as the Caribbean nearby," said Alice Droogan, vice president, Global Cardholder Services, MasterCard Advisors.

The survey of holiday preferences also revealed:
• Hawaii was the top dream vacation destination for Generation X (age 30-41) and Y (age 18-29) respondents (72% for each demographic group).
• Surprisingly, a greater number of women (9%) actually preferred camping than did men (7%), while men showed a preference for exotic locales (11% compared to 4% for women) and golf (4% of men, 1% of women).
• Some 45% of Generation X'ers and 49% of Generation Y'ers fantasize about going on an African safari.


- more -

A Top Concern For Travellers: Loss of Credit Card
Major worries among the would-be travellers polled were the loss of their credit cards or travel documents, and getting sick. Twenty-six percent of respondents were more concerned about losing their credit cards, travel documents (25%) or getting sick (24%) as compared with losing luggage (15%) or getting into an accident or otherwise damaging a rental car (10%).

Wherever travellers do decide to go, MasterCard Global ServiceTM is available day or night to alleviate their top concern. "If your MasterCard card is lost or stolen, you can cancel the card with one quick, toll-free call to MasterCard Global Service and also receive a temporary card within two business days almost anywhere in the world," explains Droogan. "If you are in need of a cash advance, MasterCard will also work with your card issuer to obtain one."

New Zealand cardholders who are travelling in the U.S. can contact their bank or call MasterCard Global Service at 1-800-MASTERCARD for assistance. The number to call in Australia is 1800-120-113, or they can call collect from anywhere 1-636 722 7111.

A complete list of the 80 toll-free numbers travelling cardholders can call to obtain emergency card-related services worldwide is available at www.mastercard.com. "People travelling should be relaxing and enjoying themselves, not worrying about travel issues," said Droogan. "By realizing that there may be travel and retail benefits on their MasterCard cards, people can save time and money, while having peace of mind to enjoy the vacation sights and spend time with friends and family."

Note to Editors: Survey Methodology
Ipsos Insight conducted the Travel Behaviors survey among a nationally representative sample of 1,134 adults across the country using its U.S. Express Online omnibus. The survey was conducted online between April 21st and April 25th, 2006. Each question was asked of all respondents. The demographics were broken down by gender, age, household income, region, children in household, marital status, education, employment status and race.

###

About MasterCard Advisors
MasterCard Advisors, LLC, an affiliate of MasterCard International, is a global professional services organization offering payments-related consulting, information and outsourcing. Through a worldwide network of expert consultants, MasterCard Advisors offers a depth and breadth of services and customized solutions for helping clients grow and create value from their cards and payments businesses. For more information about MasterCard Advisors, go to www.mastercardadvisors.com.

About MasterCard International
MasterCard International (NYSE:MA) advances global commerce by providing a critical link among financial institutions and millions of businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. Through the company’s roles as a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets secure, convenient and rewarding payment solutions, seamlessly processes more than 16 billion payments each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services that drive business growth for its banking customers and merchants. With more than one billion cards issued through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories, and is a partner to 25,000 of the world’s leading financial institutions. With more than 24 million acceptance locations worldwide, no payment card is more widely accepted than MasterCard. For more information go to www.mastercardinternational.com.

Ends

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