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Kiwis Ditch the Traditional White Christmas

19 DECEMBER 2016

Kiwis Ditch the Traditional White Christmas
Cheapflights data reveals New Zealanders are taking a month off to explore Asia

More than 300,000 New Zealanders are searching for a lengthy 28 day (on average) holiday this Christmas with over a third of travellers (45 per cent) headed to Asia, according to data from

Six of the top 10 destinations this period are in the region, including old favourite, Bali, alongside Delhi, Manila, Bangkok, Nadi and Mumbai, while neighbouring islands and northern hemisphere staples round out the list.

Nathan Graham, Regional Sales Manager at Cheapflights ANZ, said, “Asia is a clear winner for Kiwis. The number of searches to the region this December is up more than six per cent on the same time last year. Just a short and affordable flight away, it offers flexibility to make travel our own – either indulging in festivities or taking a welcome break from the extended family.”

DestinationAvg Return Airfares
North America$1,909
South America$2,668

This pilgrimage bucks the trend of last year, when almost one in five travellers chose to take off to Europe to experience a traditional white Christmas, compared to 14 per cent in 2016. Although London is still the fourth most desired destination this festive season, Manchester is the only other nearby city to get a mention, sitting in twentieth place.

The appeal of North America remains solid, with searches up two per cent this year and Los Angeles among the top picks for holiday destinations this December (ranking tenth).

Looking closer to home, in the last month recorded over 50,000 searches to destinations across Australia, while the top domestic hot spots are Christchurch (21 per cent), Auckland and Queenstown (both 18 per cent).

The research also shows that the dates New Zealanders are planning to depart on are right in the thick of celebrations. The week leading into Christmas (19 December) is the most popular time to fly out, however those heading to Europe are likely to leave a little earlier (week commencing 12 December).

While most airports will see an influx of fliers this month, it will be almost impossible to avoid crowds if departing via Auckland, with three in four travellers set to move through the hub.

To keep Kiwis in the holiday spirit during this busy period, has put together its top five X-Mas travel tips:

1. Be Flexible – Whether it’s with your travel dates, departure or destination airport, considering all your options could save you money as well as the stress of holiday crowds.
2. Visit Duty Free – We know four in five Kiwis already make duty free purchases before flying, so why not make the most of your airport wait to grab any last minute Christmas pressies. But make sure to check alcohol and liquids restrictions, as these vary between destinations.
3. Pack Hand Sanitiser – Take plenty of hand sanitiser to help fend off germs. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in an aircraft with a sickly seatmate – and no one wants to be coughing and spluttering on Christmas Day.
4. Non-Electronic Entertainment? Check! – Christmas crowds and potential travel delays mean you will likely be battling it out for a limited number of power outlets at the gate. If your technology dies, you’ll be glad to have a book, deck of cards or a few Sudoku puzzles to keep everyone entertained.
5. Check-In Online – Avoid a stressful transit and skip the lines by checking in online. More and more airports will also let you check-in your own luggage making that last minute dash even easier.

Founded in 1996, Cheapflights is a leading global flight comparison and deals publishing platform dedicated to taking the complexity out of finding the best value flights through the application of innovative, intuitive technologies: Smart search. Made simple. It is now a market leader in the UK, US, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand generating over NZ $4.5 billion (£2 billion) in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands in to numerous other territories. Over 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes. The 10 million strong opt-in subscribers to the Cheapflights newsletter received over 1.25 billion targeted emails during 2015, offering the best deals from over 120 travel businesses – for whom it has driven more than NZ $90 million (£40 million) in revenue this year. Together, the Cheapflights platforms generate enough bookings for its partners to fill a Boeing 747 every five minutes.

In 2011, Cheapflights became part of the privately-¬owned online travel search and inspiration network, Momondo Group.

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