New Zealand’s Year In Travel 2023: What Were Our Travel Trends?

Travel Tarot cards.

3.5min read

Published 5 December 2023


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Travel was back with a vengeance this year.  Let's have a look at some statistical highlights from the last 12 months that marked New Zealand’s year in travel. 

First up, let’s look at who is travelling, where are they going and what are they doing.

Flight Centre's Year in Travel
Flight Centre's Year in Travel
Flight Centre's Year in Travel

Most of our solo customers are in their 50s. They’re at a point in their life where they’re independent and are happy to spend their well-earned money to tick destinations off their list that they may have dreamt about for some time, even if that means going alone. Once-in-a-lifetime or bucket list style trips are popular for this demographic including round-the-world excursions or expedition cruises. We also see plenty of tour bookings for this demographic as this is often a great way for a solo traveller to connect with other like-minded travellers.

Year in Travel 2023
Year in Travel 2023
Year in Travel 2023

Most of our couple customers are in their 50s. They are often empty nesters with more disposable income to spend on things like travel. Romantic, adults-only resorts at warm destinations like Fiji or Rarotonga are always popular with this demographic, though we are seeing plenty take off to destinations further afield as well. The United Kingdom is often a first stop for this demographic before heading off to explore Europe.

Year in Travel 2023
Year in Travel 2023
Year in Travel 2023

Holiday packages to family favourites like Fiji proved popular once again this year, mostly for those in their 40s with young families in tow. You can’t go wrong with most of the resorts in the South Pacific, Gold Coast and Rarotonga when travelling as a family. They are built with families in mind – there’s something for everyone and plenty to keep the kids occupied.

Year in Travel 2023
Year in Travel 2023
Year in Travel 2023

Small groups travel to a wide range of destinations, from Fiji or Australia, to further afield to the United Kingdom. Though small groups make up the smallest percentage of our travel segments, we do still see quite a few group bookings through our stores. Often, it’s easy to book group trips through a travel expert as they can help with details like ensuring you’re all seated together on a flight, or to organise hotel rooms close to one another. If you have a group of people with a range of different travel preferences – our travel experts can ensure all preferences are catered for.

OTHER 2023 TRENDS 

YEAR OF TRAVELLING IN STYLE 

We saw an overall increase in Premium Economy, Business and First-Class flight bookings for 2023 compared with prior year. 

DON’T FORGET INSURANCE!  

It seems following a disruptive year of travel in 2022 – the need for insurance was more apparent to Kiwis. Almost 25% of customers added insurance to their bookings with Flight Centre in 2022 and this increased to just over 30% in 2023. 

AND OTHER SAFETY NETS TOO...  

Likewise, purchases of other add-ons like Flight Centre’s Captain’s Pack which includes baggage tracking, a travel insurance discount and zero cancellation fees, doubled in popularity between 2022 and 2023. 

AND THE KEENEST TRAVELLER AWARD GOES TO... 

Third place: The greatest number of nights spent at a single hotel from a Flight Centre New Zealand customer in 2023 was 37 nights and that was for a solo traveller staying at a hotel in Ibiza, Spain.  

Runner up: One Flight Centre New Zealand customer went on holiday to Bora Bora only to end up being a world record breaker swimming around Bora Bora in the fastest time ever recorded! 

And the winner is: A huge rugby fan walked into one of Flight Centre's South Island stores midweek to buy flights to Paris to see the All Blacks play in the semi-final against Argentina just a few days later. They spent over $17,000 on last-minute First-Class tickets. 

Year in Travel 2023
Year in Travel 2023
Year in Travel 2023

Be part of travel trends in 2024. Book your next holiday here! 

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