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Webjet reveals travel trends decided by New Zealand

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Over this summer period, thousands of Kiwis are expected to hit the skies, roads and seas, with the surge in travel and bookings defining some of the hottest trends for the year ahead.

For those already planning their next holiday, Webjet Country Manager, David Galt, shares a round up of the top Travel Trends, revealing where’s hot...and where’s not, where we’re flying first class (you’ll be surprised) and who’s touring in 2019.

1. Webjet’s Hot List

Colombo - The capital of Sri Lanka has taken the top spot, with searches up 62% going into 2019. A boom in accommodation options combined with island adventures, wildlife and spectacular beaches is helping drive multi stop trips across Sri Lanka, the Maldives and India. This destination is proving particularly popular with 25 - 44 year old’s who are seeking out ‘luxe-adventure’ trips.

Bali - This exotic Indonesian island continues to grow in popularity as searches for trips in 2019 have more than tripled in recent months. This is set to continue with new daily direct routes from Auckland announced by Emirates earlier this year. The trend for ‘girls trips’ have also soared, with 69% of searches made by female customers seeking laid-back luxury at more affordable prices.

Tokyo - This cosmopolitan hub is attracting younger travelers, with 18-34 year old’s searching for flights between Jan and April this year; this is up 35% year-on-year. Despite the warmer weather closer to home, visitors are keen to experience the winter illuminations, Hatsumode celebration for Japanese New Year and the picture-perfect Cherry Blossom season.

Edinburgh - It’s fairytale castle, famous whiskey and proximity to London have made this a key destination for 2019, particularly for over 55s. Searches are up by 28% and savvy travelers can often get a better deal if they’re prepared to make the train trip from Edinburgh to reach London. With a royal baby on the way, we’re expecting UK fever to peak this year.

North America - With new routes unveiled to Chicago and Miami from New Zealand, the USA is set to be a key go-to destination for Kiwi travelers this year. With so much variety on offer, we’re expecting a surge in longer trips with more complex itineraries as people head off to experience the American dream, making their away across 52 untapped states.

2. Where’s Not: Honolulu, Phuket and New York

Searches for these destinations have softened over the past 12 months and this is expected to continue. With rival destinations offering more bang for your buck - such as Bali, Los Angeles and Apia Samoa - more travelers are choosing to swap the more famous sights for the road less travelled.

3. Who’s flying First?

With airlines changing how we can now book seats, luggage, leg room, in-flight meals and entertainment, there has been a shift in how we holiday.

Royal treatment - Webjet experienced a 31% increase year-on-year in Business and Premium Economy searches to London as it seems passengers want a little royal treatment when travelling to the UK. We’re anticipating this will continue into the new year as the NZ dollar holds its 15-month high against the British pound which has been bashed by Brexit. Not to mention there’s also a Royal baby on the way!

4. The staycation - is it here to stay?

Kiwi holiday makers have always loved to explore their own backyard, however as more international routes are announced, searches for staycations are declining for the first time.

Despite this, certain destinations buck the trend, with searches for Westport, Wellington and Christchurch all on the up, as almost a third of holiday makers (32%) search for weekend staycations in 2019.

5. Who’s touring in 2019

Tours have opened up to new audiences in recent years, offering more luxury, more destinations and more authentic experiences. We’ve seen an uplift in bookings with older audiences (+55) as travelers seek more complex itineraries which immerse them in the local culture. These holiday makers want to enjoy everything from local cuisine and history to landmarks and sightseeing so it’s no surprise that the top trending destinations that New Zealander’s are booking for this year are:

1. Vietnam

2. Egypt

3. China

Overall 2019 is set to be a year of firsts for many New Zealanders as new routes, new hotels and new modes of travel continue to open up. We’re expecting people to travel further for longer as airlines offer competitive pricing and great deals year-round, making destinations such as the US, Indonesia, China and Europe closer than ever before.

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