Booking.com insights on our changing destination wish-list

It’s been one year this month since New Zealand closed its borders to international visitors and overseas travel as the pandemic shut the country to international travel indefinitely. Reflecting on the last 12 months, and what continues to be a tumultuous time for the travel industry, Booking.com has revealed last year’s top 20 most searched international destinations by Kiwis on their platform just before borders closed, as well as local spots that caught the attention of those looking to explore their own backyard.

 

 

Todd Lacey, Area Manager New Zealand at Booking.com, says the range of countries in the top 20 international destinations provides insight into Kiwi’s strong appetite to explore the world beyond our borders. “While we are all extremely grateful to be on New Zealand shores during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 saw many Kiwis give up on their OEs, destination weddings, honeymoons, and holidays with families and friends overseas.

“Whether we were hopping on a plane for a quick trip across the ditch or heading on a longer journey further afield to the United Kingdom, Bali, Japan, or the United States, the variety of international destinations we were planning to visit in 2020 speaks to Kiwis’ preparedness to cross the world in search of the ultimate holiday” says Lacey.

 

 

Using search data from February 2020, Booking.com can reveal the international destinations New Zealanders were looking at on the platform one month before the country’s borders closed and halted international travel for the foreseeable future.

February 2020 Top 20 Most Searched International Destinations

  1. Sydney, Australia
  2. Gold Coast, Australia & Melbourne, Australia
  3. London, United Kingdom
  4. Singapore, Republic of Singapore
  5. Seminyak, Bali
  6. Honolulu, Hawaii
  7. Brisbane, Australia
  8. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  9. Denerau, Fiji
  10. Toyko, Japan
  11. Nadi, Fiji
  12. Los Angeles, USA
  13. New York, USA
  14. Paris, France
  15. Ubud, Bali

Fast forward to 2021 and with overseas travel still off the cards for the time being, Kiwis have swapped out long-haul flights for long roadies and beach breaks in their own backyard.

 

 

Booking.com data reveals some surprising trending domestic destinations that have shot up the ranks since last year.

February 2021 Top 10 Trending Domestic Destinations.

  1. Russell
  2. Raglan
  3. Kaiteriteri
  4. Glenorchy
  5. Ohope Beach
  6. Omarama
  7. Whakapapa Village
  8. Takaka
  9. Punakaiki
  10. Wairarapa

Beach destinations trend higher since lockdown this year with the picturesque beauty of Russell in the far North, Raglan’s rugged surf on the West Coast, and the South Island’s seaside town of Kaiteriteri proving particularly popular.“

 

 

As a nation of travel-loving globetrotters, last year Kiwis were hoping to experience everything from the sunsets in Bali to the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Those were replaced by sunsets over Raglan and small town New Zealand charm, as New Zealanders continued to indulge their wanderlust by exploring all corners of our beautiful country,” adds Lacey.

 

 

“As the local travel and tourism industry continues to navigate the changes the pandemic has wrought, it’s encouraging to see Kiwis’ adventurous spirit and love of travel has not dulled despite overseas ventures remaining off the cards for now.”

 

 

As we head into 2021, it’s Booking.com’s mission to make it easier for everyone to experience travel, with the widest choice, great value and the easiest experience from anywhere and on any device so travellers can enjoy all of the unforgettable experiences New Zealand has to offer. www.booking.com

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