January International Travel Booming as Kiwis Seek Never-Ending Summer

Kiwis are determined to keep that summer holiday feeling alive, with many already booking international trips in the new year, according to a leading local travel agency.

House of Travel commercial director Brent Thomas says after a third record year of bookings, 2015 has started strong with the agency’s bookings to Bali up 50% and Fiji up 15% before January comes to a close.

“More New Zealanders appear to be making travel a priority for 2015. A lot of people are coming back from their traditional summer break and booking their international travel to destinations such as Bali, Australia, Fiji or LA more or less straight away,” says Thomas.

“We are seeing double-digit growth already, and if that continues, House of Travel alone will fill an additional 70 jumbo jets this year with passengers going on their dream holidays.”

Some resorts in popular South Pacific hot spots are already close to selling out for the winter schools holidays, adds Thomas, which means those wanting to plan family travel to their favourite getaways may miss out if they delay booking for much longer.

The strong start to the year was not unexpected, as Thomas says 2014 was a bumper year for travel in New Zealand, with bookings to all destinations up a significant 7% across the entire industry.

“That means over 100,000 additional people took trips to international destinations last year, which is the equivalent of nearly one extra jumbo jet leaving each and every day from Kiwi shores,” he says.

Hot spots such as Fiji, Bali and North America all saw significant increases in popularity, with Bali up a massive 50% compared to the previous year, according to travel industry figures.

Perennial Pacific favourite Fiji had also seen an increase of 18% in travellers, while North America - including destinations such as Los Angeles, Hawaii and San Francisco - was up 17% across the entire market.

“These are all very significant increases, and show Kiwis are determined to make sure they get their fair share of the warm weather after some disappointing summers up until now.”

Thomas says House of Travel’s third year in a row of record sales proves that New Zealanders’ love affair with international travel isn’t going anywhere soon. “Whether it’s a five-day break in the Pacific Islands or a two-week adventure to Thailand, Kiwis are travelling in greater numbers than ever before.”

For more information, see www.houseoftravel.co.nz.

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