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Kiwis Intrepid As Ever When It Comes To Wanderlust

Kiwis Intrepid As Ever When It Comes To Wanderlust

Overseas holidays and spending on the rise

Auckland, New Zealand – February 18, 2014 – More New Zealanders are travelling abroad on holidays, and are spending more on them, according to the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Travel. The biannual study found that nearly half (49 per cent) of Kiwi’s holidayed overseas in 2013 (up 3 per cent from 2012), spending on average $3,479 per trip (up 11 per cent YOY).

Looking ahead, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) intend to travel overseas more in 2014, with a further 49 per cent intending to maintain the level of international travel they undertook last year. Staying closer to home, 32 per cent of Kiwis are looking to do more domestic travel in 2014, with 56 per cent maintaining their current level.

“Kiwis are known for being globe-trotters, and with almost half of us making a holiday trip overseas at least once in the last year, these latest findings suggest that it’s a reputation well-deserved.

“With the strong Kiwi dollar and growing optimism around the economy and personal prospects, New Zealanders are feeling more able to scratch that intrepid itch,” said MasterCard New Zealand Country Manager, Peter Chisnall.

Breaking down our international holiday budgets, the bulk of our money goes on getting to the destination (39 per cent) and accommodation there (20 per cent), followed by eating out (13 per cent), shopping (13 per cent), recreational services (9 per cent) and local transport (6 per cent).

Credit cards remain the most preferred mode of payment to cover our transport costs (57 per cent), accommodation (55 per cent) and shopping (42 per cent), due to their convenience, the peace of mind provided under the zero liability policy and wide acceptance when paying for big ticket items. Cash was the preferred option when it comes to paying for eating out (51 per cent), recreational services (42 per cent) and local transport costs (75 per cent).

For their lodgings whilst away, Kiwis were most likely to stay in mid-range (40 per cent) or economy (15 per cent) hotels, or to grab a spare bed or couch with friends and relatives (35 per cent) abroad.

“New Zealander’s are savvy travellers. Given our position at the bottom of the South Pacific, transport to international destinations naturally takes up a significant proportion of travel budgets. However, the results suggest that a significant portion of Kiwis are balancing costs by opting to stay with friends and relatives or in cheaper hotels in order to make the most of their budgets, and their holidays,” said Mr Chisnall.

“When paying for travel, it is good to see that credit cards are being utilised for big ticket items, as this provides travellers with added safeguards against fraud and unauthorised charges, wide-spread acceptance at more than 35 million locations and the benefit of not having to carry around large amounts of cash.”

The research also highlighted that of those who haven’t travelled overseas in the past year, and don’t intend to do so in the next 12 months, a lack of disposable income was the greatest barrier (84 per cent), followed by increases in household expenditure (52 per cent) and the need pay off debt (30 per cent).

“While the pressure is coming off some household budgets as the economy improves, budgets remain tight for a great deal of Kiwis, making domestic holidays a more attractive option for many in 2014. The great thing for New Zealander’s however is that we have some of the most beautiful destinations on earth in our own backyard, making domestic travel a very appealing proposition,” Chisnall added.

According to the research, Australia remains the top destination for Kiwis looking to take an international holiday, with 58 per cent intending to head across the ditch this year buoyed in part by the strong New Zealand dollar and proximity to our shores. This was followed by other long standing favourites USA (36 per cent), the UK (24 per cent) and Canada (23 per cent).

The Asia Pacific region continues to rise in the ranks of holiday destinations, with 59 per cent of New Zealanders heading overseas in 2014 planning for holidays across the region, including Fiji (17 per cent), Hong Kong (15 per cent), Japan (14 per cent) and Thailand (13 per cent) in 2014 – up 8 per cent from the previous year.

Top 10 intended overseas holiday destinations for 2014

Australia: 58 per cent
USA: 36 per cent
UK: 24 per cent
Canada: 23 per cent
France: 18 per cent
Fiji: 17 per cent
Hong Kong: 15 per cent
Japan: 14 per cent
Thailand: 13 per cent
Italy: 13 per cent


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