Kiwis ready to head away for summer break

Monday 10 December 2012, 3:13PM
By Tourism Industry Association New Zealand

New Zealand’s holiday hotspots will be humming over the Christmas and New Year holiday period, with close to half the population planning to head away for a break.

And another 13% haven’t yet decided if they’re going away so will be hoping they can make some last-minute bookings, according to the latest “AA Mood of the New Zealand Traveller” released by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) and conducted by Colmar Brunton.

Auckland looks to be the most popular destination but traditional summer holiday spots like Lake Taupo, Tauranga/Mount Maunganui, and Coromandel can also expect to see an influx of visitors.

In the South Island, Christchurch, Queenstown and Nelson top the popularity poll.

AA Tourism GM Marketing Rebecca Cherry says that while 38% of Kiwis are planning to stay at home, those who are heading away expect to stay away longer than last year.

“Survey respondents told us they expected to be away 7.9 nights, up from 7.4 nights in each of the last two Christmas-New Year periods. That increase may also partly explain why 21% of New Zealanders expect to spend more on their trips this year, compared to last year,” she says.

Colmar Brunton spokeswoman Ellen Parkhouse says family still comes first at this time of year, with just over 70% of those travelling expecting to holiday with relatives. 40% of us will be heading away with our partner and 23% will be spending their holidays with friends.

TIA Chief Executive Martin Snedden says most of those heading away on holiday will stay in a private home, bach or crib (70%). Motels and holiday parks each attract 16% of holidaymakers.

“However, the results show that 62% of those who need to book accommodation haven’t yet done so. While short booking patterns are a growing trend being noticed by tourism operators, people need to realise they may miss out on their preferred options if they leave it too late,” he says.

Other findings in the December “AA Mood of the New Zealand Traveller”:

  • Wellington continues to be the destination New Zealanders would most like to visit in the next six months, followed by Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and Nelson.
  • Online methods are New Zealanders’ favourite way to find and book accommodation. 61% like to book online via a third party website or book directly with the accommodation provider for their New Zealand holidays.
  • 69% would like to travel around New Zealand more in the next six months than they are currently planning to. Finances and work commitments are the main barriers to more travel.
  • Australia is New Zealanders’ favourite destination for an overseas holiday in the next six months.


To read the latest AA Mood of the New Zealand Traveller, please visit