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Kiwis reveal their billion dollar travel agendas

17 February 2014

Kiwis reveal their billion dollar travel agendas

Kiwis are revealing just how far they travel from home within their own country in a new survey that also explains what they think of the places they visit.

The AA Traveller Monitor is an ongoing survey of AA members focused on overnight travel within New Zealand. It looks at where people go, where they are from, where they stay and for how long, along with what they spend while away from home.

In the six months to December, New Zealanders were away from home for a combined 34.5 million nights during 16.4 million overnight trips spending more than $4.3 billion dollars.

Those surveyed have also ranked the places they visit in terms of their likelihood to recommend them to others.

AA Club Operations General Manager Peter Moxon says the survey was developed in conjunction with The Fresh Information Company led by information specialist Shane Vuletich.

“As part of the survey we asked people how likely they are to recommend places they’ve visited to others,” Mr Vuletich says.

“We use the results to create a Net Promoter Score which reveals the areas that are most likely to be championed by visitors.”

Mr Vuletich says the scoring system is already providing very consistent results from month to month.

“We’re just six months into the survey, but generally people seem to feel positively about most areas, with the holiday spots coming out on top.”

In the six months to 31 December 2013, Queenstown, Wanaka and Fiordland have achieved the highest Net Promoter Scores among New Zealand destinations, while Auckland and other larger centres are generally rated lower by travellers.

“The Net Promoter Score is a popular customer loyalty metric used by many businesses around the world. For a destination, a high Net Promoter Score is a good indication of repeat visitation and positive word-of-mouth promotion – both critical success factors when there is strong competition for the tourist dollar.”

The ranking seems to have no bearing on the number of people who visit Auckland, which has more than double the number of visitor nights of second placed RTO in terms of numbers – Wellington.

Between July and December there were 5.6 million domestic visitor nights in Auckland based on about 2.8 million individual domestic visits.

Peter Moxon says this helps to highlight the importance of domestic tourism to operators in the sector.

Statistics NZ reveals New Zealand welcomed 2.7 million international visitors in 2013, with less than 400,000 arriving in December, the busiest month of the year.

For December 2013, the AA Traveller Monitor shows the number of domestic overnight visits was 3.5 million with more than half a million visiting the Auckland region alone.

“The value of domestic tourism is often overlooked,” Mr Moxon says.

“Domestic tourism accounts for 60% of the entire sector in New Zealand and is the lifeblood of the industry. Without domestic tourism, operators tell us they wouldn’t be viable.”

Despite this, Mr Moxon says the government’s focus is on attracting international visitors to New Zealand.

“As a result, there hasn’t been a lot of focus on gathering useful data about more than half of New Zealand’s tourism activity. This is a critical information gap and the AA is in a strong position to be able to fill it.”

Mr Moxon says the peak for international tourism is between November and March, but domestic tourism continues throughout the year.

“With a little more co-ordination in the industry we should be aiming to strengthen the shoulders of the season and encourage a little more money to flow around.”

Mr Moxon says Kiwis already spend billions of dollars travelling around their country.

“More understanding of the details behind all that travel will create opportunities to encourage even more, particularly in the shoulders of the season.”

AA Traveller Monitor by the numbers:

• $4.38 billion – spend on domestic overnight trips from July to December 2013
• $903.4 million – spend on domestic overnight trips in December 2013
• $129 – average spend per night away from home in New Zealand
• 18.1 million – nights of private accommodation away from home*
• 3.36 million – nights of hotel accommodation*
• 4.89 million – nights of motel accommodation*
• 2.7 million – nights of holiday park accommodation*
• 1.26 million – the number of visitor nights Aucklanders spent in their own region*

*July through December 2013


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