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Roaming Kiwis: taking flight younger, going farther

Roaming Kiwis: taking flight younger, going farther and ticking off bucket list fast

Expedia ‘State of the Nation’ travel report reveals changing trends

• Kiwi kids taking flight sooner and more often than their parents

• City slickers vs country counterparts in the battle of the boarding pass

• Pacific Islands and Australia make way for North America on family hot spot lists today released its inaugural ‘State of the Nation’ report, delving deep into the behaviour of New Zealand travellers, stacking up urban versus rural Kiwis, putting family travel and bucket lists under the microscope.

The study, conducted among 1,004 Kiwis aged 18 and older who actively travel, found on average Kiwis have taken four holidays over the past two years; 81% took a domestic holiday and 57% have gone on an international holiday. More than a third (35%) of Kiwis have also reported taking a domestic holiday three to seven times each year with Wellingtonians taking the most local trips and the most international trips in the past two years.

“More than any generation before them, young New Zealanders are seizing every opportunity to see the world, explore new destinations, enrich themselves with cultural experiences and meet locals in different lands. They’re traveling more and spending more than ever,” said Georg Ruebensal, Managing Director Expedia Australia and New Zealand.

“We’ve noticed in our data that international air ticket prices have been declining by circa 10% over the last 3 years, driven by low cost carriers and increased competition. Combine this with the rise in mobile device use, there is now more flexibility and choice than ever when planning and booking travel. Our report shows younger travellers are really taking advantage of this.”

Generation gap

The study found the average age for a Kiwi adult to receive their first passport is 18 years old, eight years younger than those over 50 who were typically 26 when they received their first passport. Youngsters are getting their first passport on average at five years old, with a quarter of Kiwi kids ages two and under, already holding a passport.

By the time they are 10 years old close to half (47%) of all Kiwi kids have their first passport. In stark comparison, only 35% of their parents had their first passport by age 17.

City vs country

Geographic location appears to be losing relevance as travel becomes more accessible for Kiwis in all parts of the country thanks to increasing air, land and sea travel options coupled with greater booking choices.

When it comes to intent to travel overseas in the next 12 months, nearly 8 in 10 (79%) city residents say they have an international trip in their sights with rural residents not far behind at 73%.Travellers living in cities are more likely to try and outdo their family and friends when planning where to go on their next holiday (16% vs. 9%). They also put greater importance on being the first of their family and friends to visit a destination than regional Kiwis (24% vs 15%).

Those living in cities are slightly more influenced by the power of social media (22%) and ‘hot destinations’ (24%) than those outside cities (17% and 18%). Clearly the influence of overseas shopping has more impact on regional Kiwis as those residing in regional areas are more likely than city slickers to have paid extra baggage fees while on holiday due to excessive shopping (31% vs 25%).

Family holiday habits

Family holiday choices evolve significantly as children grow according to the report. Beach holidays continue to be the number one choice for families with babies or toddlers, while big city holidays are favoured by those with older kids (62%) and trips to developing countries are felt to be more appropriate when kids are in their teens.

Families with primary school kids are heading on theme park holidays followed by beach holidays and outdoor holidays. When the kids hit high school the top three holiday preferences change again with adventure and big city holidays ranking ahead of beach or theme park locales.

According to those surveyed Australia holds on to the number one international destination ranking for families with kids of all ages. This is consistent with the 50% increase in hotel demand for Australia, Expedia has seen.

According to the report, Pacific Islands and USA/Canada take out the remaining two spots in the top three list for families with young kids (12 years and under). USA/Canada rates as the top international destination for families with older kids (13+); a finding consistent with Expedia data showing a 22 percent increase in demand to this area. Whilst the UK rounds out the list at number three.

Domestically Rotorua, Taupo and Auckland are the favourite destinations for families with kids aged 12 years and under with preferences shifting to Queenstown, Auckland and Rotorua for families with kids aged 13 years and older as more activity-based destinations hold greater appeal.

The great Kiwi bucket list

Items are being ticked off Kiwi bucket lists with impressive speed as travel-related goals are being achieved.

The top three items Kiwis have completed on their bucket list include visiting a major theme park like Disneyland, taking in the view from an iconic building such as the Empire State Building or Eiffel Tower, and experiencing the past at a site of historical importance like the Western Wall or Gallipoli.

More than a quarter (26%) of Kiwis have seen snow at Christmas as part of their bucket list with Kiwis between 35 to 49 years old most likely to have experienced New Year’s Eve in another time zone.

The top bucket list items yet to be completed include a mix of luxury and budget travel options:

• Take a luxury cruise

• Visit the seven wonders of the world

• Travel like a VIP

• See the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

• Drive around New Zealand in a motorhome


© Scoop Media

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