15

Dec 2014

More Kiwis Travelling Overseas for ‘White Christmas’

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MEDIA RELEASE

House of Travel figures for the Christmas and New Year period show bookings are up 18% for destinations that might offer the chance of a ‘white Christmas’.

Snow-christmasThe temptations of a roaring fire and snow-covered pine trees has seen the number of New Zealanders heading to colder climates for a ‘white Christmas’ increase this year.

House of Travel figures for the Christmas and New Year period show bookings are up 18% for northern hemisphere destinations that might offer the chance of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, sleigh bells ringing and a snowball fight on Christmas Day.

“New Zealanders don’t get to experience the kind of Christmas they have in the UK, Europe and parts of the United States. While some will be going to visit family living overseas, destinations like these are also popular spots for families looking to experience the Christmas we often see in movies or hear about in Christmas songs,” says House of Travel Commercial Director Brent Thomas.

However, closer to home, and much warmer, locations such as Australia, Fiji and Bali are also seeing some significant  increases in bookings for the festive holiday season, demonstrating many Kiwis would rather be celebrating the holiday poolside.

“Australia is up nearly 20% on last year, Fiji is up over 40%, and Bali is up over 150%, reflecting continued strong growth to the Indonesian destination throughout the past year,” says Thomas. “The strong growth in bookings to these destinations may well be a result of people being disappointed with the spring weather and looking to guarantee a warm Christmas and New Year.”

Non-traditional destinations such as India are also seeing increased numbers of Kiwi travellers, with bookings up 70% on last year. “While we’d expect much of this would be people travelling to see family and friends, it certainly reflects changing trends for New Zealand travellers,” Thomas adds.

Long-time favourite New Year’s Eve spots remain popular – including Sydney for the spectacular Harbour Bridge fireworks, New York for the iconic Times Square celebrations, and the Hogmanay festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

“It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where people intend to spend New Year’s, but these destinations are always favourites with Kiwi travellers and this year is no different,” says Thomas. “However, there is some strong competition for them this year with people heading to those warmer climates of Bali and Fiji this year for some R&R around the 31 December and 1 January.”

Overall, bookings to key destinations for Christmas and New Year travel are 18% higher than 2013/2014, which rounds off a third record year of sales for House of Travel on a high. “We’ve had a very successful year, and it looks set to continue into 2015,” says Thomas.

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

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