Kiwi travel trends revealed
Research conducted by Singapore Airlines has delved into Kiwis’ travelling habits and found they love being catered to in the air, tend to travel to be with friends and families for major events like holidays and weddings, and are more likely to take advice from travel agents rather than social influencers when researching and booking holidays.
When it comes to the top three things Kiwis love about flying – binge watching can’t be beaten, with over half of those surveyed (56%) agreeing that watching television shows and movies is their favourite in-flight activity, followed closely by the glamour of flying to their destination (54%), and being attended to while in the air (51%).
Singapore Airlines General Manager New Zealand, Mr Kenny Teo, said the results reinforced the fact that Kiwis are savvy travellers who have travel in their DNA.
“It is not surprising that Kiwis enjoy being able to relax when in the air, whether that means being taken care of with a premium level of service, or having the opportunity to personalise their journey through the inflight entertainment system or pre-selecting their meals,” Mr Teo said.
“The results of the survey are encouraging for Singapore Airlines as we pride ourselves on delivering a consistently high level of service.
“Our inflight entertainment system KrisWorld provides customers with over 1,000 entertainment options, while our Book the Cook service is available for those travelling in Premium Economy, Business, First and Suites from Auckland and Wellington.
“Add to this, our international culinary panel of chefs are continuing to develop menus with ingredients that help promote wellbeing, we are proudly committed to providing our passengers with the most comfortable and enjoyable in-flight experience possible.”
Once seen as a way to ‘switch off’ from the rest of the world, air travel used to mean that travellers would have to wait until they landed at their destination to connect with friends and family, answer work emails or check their social media accounts. However, Kiwis admitted to enjoying the ability to connect to the in-flight WiFi, with only 40 per cent of those surveyed cite ‘being uncontactable for several hours while in the air’ as one of their favourite things about flying.
A large majority of New Zealanders are also making the most of travel information online, with almost three quarters of those surveyed (73%) using search engines. The large majority (70%) look to friends and family for guidance, and while one in two Kiwis (54%) stated that they still use travel agents, the research found that less than one fifth (17%) of those surveyed agreed that they look to social influencers as a main source of research when planning their travels.
“What this research shows us, is that word of mouth and recommendations from those we trust, plays a significant role in determining when, how and who you travel with,” Mr Teo said.
“While there is a significant reliance upon friends and family, travel agents still play an integral part in not only influencing, but also assisting Kiwis in booking their travel, which is why we continue to work closely with the travel trade in New Zealand to ensure our customers receive the best end-to-end experience possible.”
The research also found that three in five Kiwis (61%) book travel to attend important family and friend events like holidays, weddings or major birthdays, nearly half (46%) of those surveyed agreed that they book travel to explore different cities or cultures and 45 per cent said that a good deal was their motivation for booking a holiday.
“We know that Kiwis are increasingly considering Asia and Europe for their holidays and travelling to destinations like Hanoi, Phnom Phen, Istanbul and Frankfurt more frequently,” Mr Teo added.
“Our global network of more than 135 destinations across 37 countries and territories, provides Kiwis with a choice that will meet even the fussiest of travellers.”
 The research was conducted by Perceptive on behalf of Singapore Airlines. The survey engaged over 700 New Zealanders in October 2018, and data was weighted to the age, gender and region splits according to NZ Census statistics.