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Kiwis are packing their ski gloves this winter


Date: 14 July 2011

Kiwis are packing their ski gloves this winter

The recent winter blast couldn’t have arrived soon enough, with New Zealanders keen to hit the slopes this winter, latest research shows.

According to the latest Fly Buys/Colmar Brunton Mood of the New Zealand Traveller Survey, released by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA), one in five Kiwis (19%) plan to go skiing or snowboarding this winter.

Fly Buys chief executive Lance Walker says the snow may have been delayed this season, but our eagerness to get up the mountain hasn’t waned.

“While seasoned pros are returning to the ski-fields this season, the poll found that just over 80,000 Kiwis will be giving skiing or snowboarding a go for the first time.

“When it comes to the fierce rivalry between skiing and snowboarding, skiing is still proving to be the most popular, favoured by almost twice the number of Kiwis - 11% of us are going skiing, 6% snowboarding and 2% are doing both,” he says.

TIA Chief Executive Tim Cossar says a strong ski season is just what is needed after a challenging few months in the South Island.

“It hasn’t been an easy time for South Island tourism, and a delayed start to the ski season hasn’t helped. But with the ski-fields starting to open and more snow forecast we’re hoping the South Island tourism industry receives a much-needed boost.

“South Island ski fields are a clear favourite with Kiwis. Coronet Peak, followed by Cardrona are voted the best places to ski or snowboard by mountain-goers. But for most of us the North Island fields are closer to our major population centres, so that’s where the majority of us will actually visit,” Mr Cossar says.

Despite people hunting out snow, two urban hotspots top the list of destinations to visit in winter. Wellington remains at number one, Auckland second and Queenstown third. Colmar Brunton

Chief Executive Harry Pappafloratos says these results aren’t surprising.

“These cities were the top three in March this year when we conducted our last survey, but what is surprising is that Rotorua has moved into 4thplace – up from 8th place in March. Rotorua has always been a hotspot for international tourists. It’s interesting to see Kiwis are heading there too,” he says.

When it comes to international travel, the poll found 43% of New Zealanders are planning an overseas trip in the next six months and Australia, US and UK are our top three international hot-spots respectively.

“Interestingly, Thailand has moved into 5thplace this time around, knocking Fiji out of the top five,” Mr Pappafloratos says.

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