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House of Travel
Author: Alex Hema
New research from House of Travel and TNS shows nearly 60% of Kiwis book their flights before accommodation, but House of Travel says for some destinations, this is not the way to go.
House of Travel Marketing Director Ken Freer says new research has shown the main reason Kiwis book their flights first is out of habit, but with more airlines and more capacity on planes in recent times, this way of booking travel may be behind the times.
“Once upon a time, we were so restricted with our flights. There weren’t many seats and there weren’t many airlines. You had to get in early so you didn’t miss the cheaper fares,” he says.
“Now, to get to Fiji alone, there are up to 20 flights from New Zealand every week. Because there are so many seats available and the airlines are competing for passengers in the Pacific Islands and Australia, there are sale fares throughout the year which your travel agent can keep an eye out for. Flights no longer go on sale just once or twice a year – it’s constant.
”Destinations within Asia such as Thailand are becoming increasingly popular with New Zealanders, with Vietnam and Bali both seeing double digit growth in NZ tourists in 2016. But with global demand increasing for accommodation in these tourist hotspots, particularly during peak season, it’s becoming increasingly important to secure accommodation in advance.”
Freer says there are a number of pros of booking accommodation first, particularly when it comes to finding accommodation that is the best fit to your needs.
“Ultimately, if you are travelling to Fiji or Samoa you will be spending a few hours on a plane versus an entire week in a resort. There are all sorts of things to consider as part of which accommodation package you choose – kids’ clubs, restaurants, location, room type, the list goes on. You want to take the time to ensure your accommodation is the best fit for your needs,” he says.
“When you’re booking your accommodation with a travel agent and you need to move your dates, there is much more flexibility and resorts often won’t charge like airlines do when you make a change to your flight. Because sales for airfares are so regular, you can often book the accommodation you want and wait to book your airfare, without being penalised for small date changes.
“As Kiwis become savvier with this new and improved travel market, we believe we’ll start seeing a trend of accommodation bookings happening first, then flights, particularly for shorter haul destinations such as Fiji and Samoa. We want Kiwis to stop doing what they’ve always done and start booking smarter, to create the best holiday possible.”
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