The latest search data from Hotels.com has revealed Kiwis’ are staying close to home this Easter, with a whopping 167% increase in searches for domestic destinations, out of the top 20 most searched-for destinations. Only six out of the top 20 most searched-for destinations are international, reflecting changing Kiwi travel tastes away from international locations.
While Honolulu overtook Napier and Auckland to become the number one destination in 2018, searches for Wellington surged 159% to take out second place. Auckland and Queenstown followed suit, with search increases of 34% and 103%, but it was Dunedin which had the most outstanding increase in searches, rising an immense 583% to take out fifth place.
According to David Spasovic, Hotels.com Marketing Manager for Australia and New Zealand, affordability and ease of access is one of the big factors behind the huge increase in domestic travel. “While the amazing beaches and beautiful scenery of Honolulu have taken out the number one position, domestic destinations have dominated the top searches for Easter getaways this year. Last year, nearly half of the top 20 searches were for international locations; this year, it’s less than a third. The close proximity and easy access to New Zealand’s best destinations has made it so easy for Kiwis to explore their homeland this Easter, and we’re expecting this to continue throughout the year, as a killer snow season brings travellers from around the country for a ski break.”
With domestic destinations taking out places two to seven, internationally, Sydney took out the eighth spot, with a 20% increase in searches. Singapore came out ninth, with the biggest search drop of -16% causing it to lose its fifth spot. Las Vegas, Melbourne and Hong Kong rounded out the international list, taking out 11th, 12th and 13th spots respectively. Interestingly, a number of the most searched-for destinations from 2017 didn’t make the cut for 2018 at all with Napier, New York, Phuket, Bali and London, having all been overtaken by local destinations.
“It’s great to see New Zealanders are making the most of the incredible holiday destinations in their own backyard this Easter. New Zealand has so much to offer those looking for a long weekend getaway, from Wellington’s iconic red Cable Car, to the Waitakere Ranges for rainforests and waterfalls, even to Arrowtown’s upcoming Autumn Festival over Easter” David added.
Kiwis looking to bag a last-minute Easter deal need to look no further than Hotels.com’s latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) which revealed the most affordable accommodation both in New Zealand and internationally. Kiwis looking to book a last-minute trip within New Zealand will be pleased to hear that accommodation prices in Christchurch and Wellington were down 3% each for Kiwi travellers, and in Ohakune, they were down 12%.