How are New Zealanders planning to travel in the next 12 months? Here’s the data

Photo of a single suitcase made of fabric material and one passport in pocket.
Edited by Travel Weekly


    As Kiwis head off for the school holiday break, Nielsen, a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics, has released its latest insights into the travel plans of New Zealanders and the growing ad budgets being used to attract them.

    A massive 58 per cent of Kiwis planning to travel in the next 12 months say an Australian city is on their list, followed by 31 per cent looking to visit a Pacific Island location, including the Cook Islands, Fiji, or Samoa. For 24 per cent, a UK or European vacation is on the horizon.

    Curiously, of the Kiwis eyeing an Aussie adventure, around a quarter are ardent newspaper readers, showing
    a 9 per cent greater propensity than the rest of the travelling population to read four or more newspapers weekly.

    Nielsen Consumer & Media View found that 90 per cent of New Zealanders surveyed, translating to 3,750,000, plan to travel in the next 12 months, with the vast majority (3,307,000) preferring to stay in their own backyard.

    The most popular local locations are Queenstown, which received 30 per cent of the vote, followed by Canterbury and Christchurch at 21 per cent, and Auckland, which received 19 per cent.

    While the appeal of local travel remains strong, 40 per cent of New Zealanders (1,678,000) are looking abroad for their next trip, with most eyes gazing across The Tasman.

    When it comes to the reasons behind their personal travel, 82 per cent of Kiwis say it’s to “unwind and recharge, regardless of whether it’s domestic or international. However, of those planning to head overseas, 71 per cent say experiencing new cultures, traditions, and history is also a key reason for travelling.

    As Kiwis increasingly go digital, Helloworld Travel has cemented its place as the go-to site for New
    Zealanders booking travel online. For 54 per cent of those heading overseas and 47 per cent travelling domestically, it’s their first option.

    Meanwhile, an impressive 71 per cent of respondents, translating to 2,933,000 Kiwis, say they’re open to going on a cruise in the next year, with the majority attracted to destinations in the Pacific Islands, scenic NZ locations, Australia, the Caribbean, and various Greek and Mediterranean islands.

    In addition, Nielsen Ad Intel data also shows that overall, the total amount spent on advertising in
    travel-related categories in New Zealand from August 2022 to July 2023 was an astounding $216,273,000, (AUD $200,931,674) with Air New Zealand, Flight Centre, and Christchurch International topping the list of biggest advertisers.

    NZ advertising spend in the “Travel Agents” category alone increased sharply from $19 million (August 2021
    to July 2022) to $51.9 million (August 2022 to July 2023) – a whopping 173 per cent increase, year-on-year, with Flight Centre, Webjet, and House of Travel the top spenders in that category.

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