Hospitality Business Magazine

Overseas Travel Trends 2016: Where Are Kiwis Travelling This Year?

Trivago storyNew Zealanders aren’t as interested in travelling to major international hubs as they once were. The Cook Islands are replacing Fiji as the Pacific Island hotspot; Sydney and Melbourne remain the most popular cities while some Aussie destinations wane in interest; and although interest in New York and LA has declined due to a rise in the US dollar, other North American cities are considered desirable holiday spots for 2016.

Hotel search has the insider knowledge to where New Zealanders plan to travel throughout the New Year, analysing both travel interest and destination search trends to show the most sought-for hotspots of 2016. That’s not to mention which destinations have grown or waned in popularity over the last three years. The Cook Islands become the new Fiji of the Pacific, with the highest YOY rise of any destination. Although Fiji has been a sought-after destination over the last three years with Nadi and Denarau Island both featuring among the top 30, Rarotonga in the Cook Islands has far outdone the usual favourite. The destination has increased in growth by 163%, more than any other hotspot for kiwis, and has moved from 16th place back in 2014 to 12th place in 2015. It now sits within the top ten in 8th place this year.

Australia’s two largest cities are still among the most popular for New Zealanders, with both Sydney and Melbourne holding the top two spots as the most searched destinations for three years in a row. Australia has five destinations in the top 30, with the Gold Coast in particular increasing again since 2015, a rise in searches of 141%. Other Australian destinations have been decreasing in interest over the last three years. Brisbane has dropped from 19th to 20th place when comparing travel interest this year to last year; Adelaide has moved from 22nd position in 2014 to 30th in 2015; and Perth no longer features among the 30 most searched for destinations, a shift from holding the 25th spot back in 2014.

Kiwis move their interest away from New York and LA toward other American cities. Although New York and LA have remained among the most popular destinations for three years running and are still increasing in interest (14% and 26%), other US destinations are far outdoing the big Apple in searches. Honolulu for example is a destination that has grown in searches by 74% since 2014, Las Vegas has increased by 51% year on year and Anaheim in California (home to the Disneyland Resort) has become a popular choice for 2016 compared to last year, rising from 18th to 13th spot in the list since 2013. New Zealand searches have also increased by 65% compared to last year.

Visits to major international hubs no longer a holiday priority for New Zealanders. Of the popular major international cities, travel interest to Dubai isn’t as popular as it was three years ago, with the destination moving from 9th place in 2014 to 7th place this year among the top 30 most searched-for destinations for 2016. A similar trend has followed for both Singapore and Hong Kong, with Singapore dropping three places down the list since last year, and Hong Kong moving eight spots down the top 30.

European destinations plateau except for London and Amsterdam, which are on the rise. The majority of European cities have plateaued in popularity over recent years. Barcelona dropped three places since 2014, Paris has gone down five places and Rome moved down one position since 2013. London and Amsterdam however have moved up the ranks over the last three years. London has increased the most, moving from 10th place in 2014 to 5th place currently for the year. Amsterdam has gone from 27th to 22nd position in the space of three years.