Kiwis are eager to reunite with family as pandemic travel restrictions have finally eased, however the cost to do so may be standing in the way.
New research released from Booking.com indicates Kiwis are eager to reunite with family as pandemic travel restrictions have finally eased, however the cost to do so is an obstacle for many. After more than two years stuck on-shore, Kiwis are finally able to venture further afield following the easing of travel restrictions earlier this year. For more than half (53%) of New Zealander’s long-awaited family reunions are the driving force behind wanting to dust off the passport yet, it seems that from our far-flung corner of the Pacific, the price of travel will be a huge influence on plans.
For the majority of New Zealanders (71%) cost is the greatest consideration when it comes to post-pandemic travel, much higher than the average for almost half (47%), of all travellers in Asia-Pacific. The insights have been drawn from Booking.com’s inaugural 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 territories¹ including over 1000 from New Zealand between April and May 2022, combined with the company’s proprietary data and insights as a digital travel leader for the past 25 years, offers insights into the region’s travel confidence.
The desire to travel remains strong amongst Kiwi travellers overall, with cost, safety and convenience the top three considerations for those looking to book travel in the next year. In comparison, the top two considerations which ranked consistently high across all markets were ease of planning and booking travel, even as restrictions continue to ease around the region.
Across the region, the desire to “just get away” (46%) emerged as the top motivator to travel for APAC consumers after two years of lockdowns and a rapidly evolving travel landscape; followed closely by a “getaway to recharge mentally” for 36% of respondents. For Kiwis, the top three motivators for travel are visiting family (53%); getting away (47%) and rebooking a pre-covid trip (26%). While corporate travel is beginning to make a comeback, the shift to remote working and virtual meetings has perhaps brought about a shift in the way we work.
In New Zealand only one in ten (10%) indicated that work was a reason for them to book a trip indicating a slower revitalisation in corporate vs leisure travel. For the region, the response was only slightly higher at 13%. Unsurprisingly, uncertainty due to the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation continues to plague travellers. 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%), followed by close to half concerned by cost (47%) and a third worried at the prospect of ‘having to cancel my booking at the last minute because of border restrictions’ (35%).
When it comes to opening borders and welcoming international visitors to Kiwi shores, New Zealanders are largely (82%) comfortable or neutral about reopening to the wider world. In fact, confidence is high (79%) among Kiwis on the readiness to receive international visitors. www.booking.com