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Kiwi travellers are ready to get back to travel

Research from Booking.com shows hopeful Kiwis are ready to explore the world again

  • Over half (59%) of Kiwis feel more hopeful about travelling in 2021 thanks to news of successful COVID-19 vaccines
  • Almost half (46%) say travel is more important to them now than before the pandemic
  • Over half (60%) state that they won’t travel internationally until they have been vaccinated

NEW ZEALAND, 7 April 2021 – The impact that COVID-19 has had on our lives has made the past year one of the hardest. While the pandemic isn’t quite over, new research reveals that our appetite to explore the world remains undiminished. After months of restrictions, Kiwis are finally getting hopeful about international travel, thanks to the roll-out of vaccines and the development of other break-through medical advances in the battle against COVID-19.

Booking.com reveals insights from Kiwis across the country to uncover what travellers feel most hopeful about and what support they believe the travel industry needs to get back on its feet.

Todd Lacey, area manager of Booking.com New Zealand, says he is proud of the collective positive attitude Kiwis are displaying when it comes to resuming travel.

“While Kiwis have been some of the lucky ones still able to enjoy domestic travel intermittently between lockdowns, their desire to get back into the wider world remains strong. It’s reassuring to see that after a year of unpredictable events, both Kiwi and international travellers have high hopes we will return to travel soon” says Todd.

Travellers’ optimism returns as vaccines fuel hope

Despite knowing that the pandemic finish line hasn’t been reached just yet, nearly two thirds of Kiwi travellers (59%) feel more hopeful about travelling in 2021 since the global roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines.

With vaccinations rolling out across the globe, Kiwi confidence has been bolstered with well over half (60%) of travellers stating that they won’t travel internationally until they have been vaccinated, which rises to 71% among those 55+ years old. There still is some hesitation, with two fifths (42%) remaining sceptical as to whether a vaccine will truly help make travel safer. 

A joint effort for a common goal

To help travellers resume globe-trotting safely, there appears to be a consensus that governments, travellers and the wider travel ecosystem need to work together.

Following the impact that COVID-19 has had on the travel industry, almost all Kiwi travellers (93%) think the industry needs to be supported to get back on its feet. Two thirds (60%) believe that government financial stimuli are needed to help travel’s recovery and almost half (44%) worry that the industry won’t survive unless it is supported with government grants. In terms of more practical regulations, three quarters (75%) state that wider access to pre-travel COVID-19 testing is needed, and 78% say that governments should collaborate with travel associations and providers to set more consistent standards.

Whilst 70%** of Booking.com’s accommodation partners surveyed are cautiously optimistic about the future of their business, they share travellers’ mindset that the industry needs support. Three key areas that need to be addressed, according to properties of all types and sizes, are more consistent international standards when it comes to travel advice and rules, speeding up vaccine roll-out programmes and wider access to pre-travel COVID-19 testing**.

But with 62%** of accommodation providers expecting to see an increase in interest for travel for 2021, they continue to do their part to ensure travellers feel safe, with almost 70%** having increased health and safety measures and improved cleaning processes.

Accommodation providers are not the only ones willing to roll up their sleeves, more than half (64%) of Kiwi travellers are willing to accept only being able to travel if they could prove they have been vaccinated. Meanwhile 73% would accept having to wear a face mask when travelling, with 65% going as far as supporting ano mask no travelban (unless exempt).

To support the travel industry more directly, almost one fifth (17%) of Kiwi travellers’ plan to use travel credits / vouchers from cancelled trips instead of requesting a refund. Meanwhile a quarter (27%) plan to choose less frequented destinations and a third (32%) want to book independent accommodations or accommodations in or near their hometown to support local businesses (22%).

[Finish on quote by Todd wrapping this all together]

  • ENDS - 


For further information, contact the Booking.com New Zealand Press Office;

bookingnz@thisismango.co.nz / +64 22 079 8476


*Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who are planning to travel in the next 12 months. In total 28,042 respondents across 28 countries and territories were polled (including 1003 from Argentina, 1002 from Australia, 1000 from Brazil, 1001 from Canada, 1000 from China, 1002 from Colombia, 1001 from Croatia, 1003 from Denmark, 1002 from France, 1005 from Germany, 1004 from Hong Kong, 1000 from India, 1002 from Israel, 1000 from Italy, 1000 from Japan, 1002 from Mexico, 1000 from Netherlands, 1000 from New Zealand, 1003 from Russia, 1000 from Singapore, 1003 from South Korea, 1005 from Spain, 1001 from Sweden, 1000 from Taiwan, 1003 from Thailand, 1000 from UK, 1000 from USA and 1000 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in January 2021.

**Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of Booking.com accommodation partners. In total 3,491 respondents across 20 countries and territories were polled (including 86 in Australia, 85 in Austria, 177 in Brazil, 12 in China, 212 in Croatia, 395 in France, 296 in Germany, 136 in Greece, 109 in India, 69 in Indonesia, 492 in Italy, 79 in Japan, 55 in Mexico, 120 in Poland, 96 in Portugal, 197 in Russia, 353 in Spain, 65 in Thailand, 218 in UK and 241 in US). Respondents completed an online survey in February 2021.

About Booking.com: 

Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com’s mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world. By investing in the technology that helps take the friction out of travel, Booking.com seamlessly connects millions of travellers with memorable experiences, a range of transportation options and incredible places to stay - from homes to hotels and much more. As one of the world’s largest travel marketplaces for both established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes, Booking.com enables properties all over the world to reach a global audience and grow their businesses. Booking.com is available in 44 languages and offers more than 28 million total reported accommodation listings, including more than 6.4 million listings of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay. No matter where you want to go or what you want to do, Booking.com makes it easy and backs it all up with 24/7 customer support.

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