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Majority of Kiwis keen to travel despite worry over cost and COVID - survey

Newshub logo Newshub 30/06/2022 Mike Kilpatrick
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With international borders largely open again the majority of Kiwis are keen to travel abroad - but many remain concerned about the cost and potential impact of doing so.

New research from Booking.com, which competes with the likes of Airbnb, Bookabach and Expedia to help New Zealanders book travel and accommodation, shows nearly four out of five in the country are ready to head overseas in the next 12 months.

More than half want to do so to reunite with family, but cost remains a huge issue for 71 percent of Aotearoa's post-pandemic travellers.

The insights came from the just-released APAC Travel Confidence Index, which provides a snapshot of how confident consumers feel about exploring the world again and their motivation to travel.

The commissioned research, which polled 11,000 travellers from 11 countries and territories including over 1000 from New Zealand between April and May 2022, showed that price concerns here were much higher than the average of just 47 percent across the rest of the region.

Kiwis were the fourth most likely to travel again over the next year, behind those in India, Vietnam and China.

In addition to cost, safety and convenience round out the top three considerations for those looking to book travel from Aotearoa.

Across the region, the desire to 'just get away' (46 percent) was the top motivation for travelling after two years of lockdowns in the rapidly evolving travel landscape. That was followed closely by a 'getaway to recharge mentally' for 36 percent of respondents.

That wasn't quite matched by those in Aotearoa, with 'rebooking a pre-COVID trip' behind visiting family and getting away as key drivers.

"It's truly been heart-warming and exciting to see travel in New Zealand returning with the easing of most border restrictions. This has reinvigorated not just consumers, but the travel industry overall," said Tracey Foxall, regional manager, Oceania at Booking.com.

"Our APAC Travel Confidence Index reflects how while travel intent remains strong, travel confidence remains nuanced and varied across Asia compared to New Zealand.

"It is a promising indication of the opportunities available for the industry to adapt and collaborate now to bolster the overall confidence of travellers, so we can truly make it easier for everyone to travel and experience the world again in a sustainable way," she said.

One of the more interesting findings may be the lack of planned corporate travel for Kiwis over the next year.

With the shift to remote working and virtual meetings impacting how we work, only 10 percent of those Kiwis surveyed indicated that work was a reason for them to book a trip.

That slower revitalisation in corporate versus leisure travel was only slightly higher, at just 13 percent across the region.

Uncertainty over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, unsurprisingly, remains a big issue.

According to the report, top concerns for Kiwis varied from the region with almost half concerned with the 'possibility of getting stuck because of frequently changing border regulations' (48 percent).

That was followed by close to half concerned by cost (47 percent) and a third worried at the prospect of 'having to cancel my booking at the last minute because of border restrictions' (35 percent).

However, unlike the Japanese and Korean respondents, more Kiwis understood the need to accept disruptions as part of the normality of travel starting again.

Meanwhile Kiwis are largely neutral or comfortable (82 percent) about reopening Aotearoa's border to the wider world, with the last of restrictions due to lift next month.

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