A new Timaru travel service has been set up to meet the growing demand by locals for international luxury cruises.
House of Travel has merged Simon Hocking House of Travel with Kemp House of Travel in a new business rebranded House of Travel Timaru to offer residents one comprehensive travel resource.
The new Timaru business will be led by retail manager Darryl Sandri who says he hopes to continue to foster locals love of international travel and in particular cruises.
Sandri says this new trend is due to the frequency with which Kiwis have begun to see more of these ships entering New Zealand ports.
“Once upon a time we used to see these sorts of travelling palaces on TV and shows and they didn’t seem real but now we’re having up to 85 a year visit New Zealand and Kiwis have obviously been taken with them,” he says.
In addition to bringing thousands of tourist dollars to the local economy ships like The Marina and The Seabourn Odyssey which visit Timaru several times a year also take locals as outbound passengers on long haul cruises.
Sandri says increasingly it is couples with young families who want to embark on a cruise, citing the fact they want to ‘unpack once’ and enjoy the rest of their trip.
“Cruises really are fantastic and there truly is one to appeal to each market segment. There are cruises for the oldies who want to be looked after and pampered and then for the younger ones with families, who can take advantages of the kids club and not have to lug suitcases around when they visit new countries,” he says.
Sandri says outside of the internet (which we tend to use for research) the other big difference in the way Kiwis see the world is that we’re opting for quality experiences.
“Kiwis used to put off travel, they’d save until they’d retired and then start heading off-shore for their big once in a lifetime trip. But increasingly with travel becoming more affordable, they are simply opting to go as soon as they have the funds. It’s certainly true of what we’re seeing in Timaru,” says Sandri.