Travel Intent Remains Strong Throughout New Zealand

tourism in lockdown

Insights from a survey of domestic travel intentions conducted during ‘lockdown 2.0’ (the recent Level 3/Level 2 raised alert level scenario) provide some positive signs for the travel sector.

Early indications from the long-running Visitor Insights Programme, conducted by research and strategy specialists Angus & Associates, show that Kiwis remain keen to travel. Almost half of survey respondents (45%) plan to travel somewhere within New Zealand before the end of 2020, with 28% intending to travel during September and October. Queenstown and the wider Canterbury region are the most popular destinations.

Overall, the insights indicate that more people are planning travel for leisure and other reasons - rather than to see friends and family – following the lockdown 2.0 period than was the case following the Level 4/Level 3 lockdown earlier in the year.

More people intend to stay in paid accommodation too, which will be good news for the travel sector. Angus & Associates Research Director Carolyn Parker said the positive survey results should be welcome news for the domestic tourism sector, particularly the regions.

“While the survey sample size was smaller given the shorter time-frame of the Level 3/Level 2 lockdown period compared to the previous Level 4/Level 3 lockdown period, it provides strong indicators for a continued interest in domestic travel,” Parker said.

Commercial accommodation providers should also be encouraged, she said, as the survey showed a significant lift in desire for staying in commercial accommodation - at 80%, up from 64% during the previous lockdown.

The survey found that travel intent remains strong throughout New Zealand, and among Auckland residents there was no discernible change in this future travel  intent.