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Kiwis found wings for April travel

23 May 2014

Kiwis found wings for April travel

A lingering summer combined with back-to-back public holidays contributed to April becoming one the busiest months for domestic travel in New Zealand.

New data from the latest AA Traveller Monitor, an ongoing monthly survey of AA Members focused on better understanding domestic overnight travel, reveals that April is the third busiest month for both holidays and visiting friends and family (VFR) behind December and January.

The combination of public holidays associated with Easter and Anzac Day created two short working weeks which enabled people to take a nine day break using just three annual leave days.

The AA Traveller Monitor survey was developed in conjunction with The Fresh Information Company and has processed more than 31,000 survey responses since the first round in July last year.

It shows that more than 2.6 million visitor nights were used for the purposes of holiday during April compared with 3.2 million in December and 5.2 million in January.

Visiting friends and family was also high on the list of activity with 3.2 million visitor nights in April. In December there were 4.3 million visitor nights and 4.8 million in January.

AA Communications Manager Liam Baldwin says a deluge of rain in some parts of the country just as Easter began appears to have had little impact on travel plans.

“It’s likely people planned on taking the time off between Easter and Anzac Day, but they got extremely lucky with the weather.

This is great news for tourism operators because it shows that Kiwis are willing to travel in New Zealand outside of the summer peak, especially if everything lines up well for them.”

Nearly $800 million dollars was spent on overnight domestic travel in April, which is up on both February and March, but down on December and 23% lower than the January peak of $1.023 billion.

Mr Baldwin says motel operators were among the biggest beneficiaries in April with the AA Traveller Monitor survey revealing a million visitor nights during the month, compared with 855,000 in December and 999,700 in January.

“This is a change from the warmer months when holiday parks dominated accommodation choices outside of private accommodation with more than two million visitor nights in December and January combined.”

The most popular places for New Zealanders to visit during April for holidays or VFR were similar to summer options, but there were a few differences.

Auckland, Northland and the Coromandel Peninsula dominated the top three spots but in April the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions pushed down Canterbury and Nelson.

The regions that provided the most travellers in April were Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury and Waikato.

The New Zealand Automobile Association is an incorporated society with more than one million members. It represents the interests of road users who collectively pay more than $2 billion in taxes each year through fuels excise, road user charges and GST.


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