Kiwis flying more than ever as new destinations open up

Air New Zealand launched direct flights from Auckland to Buenos Aires last year. Photo / Getty Images
Air New Zealand launched direct flights from Auckland to Buenos Aires last year. Photo / Getty Images

Travel is high on the agenda for New Zealanders this year.

With new flight routes opening up different corners of the world, Kiwis are becoming spoiled for choice when it comes to international destinations.

Flight Centre stores had seen a busy start to the year as Kiwis took advantage of travel deals, said Sue Matson, Flight Centre NZ general manager retail.

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"Travel is booming right now and keen holidaymakers are really jumping on board," she said.

"Where 10 years ago our average customer might have saved to take one holiday every second year, many are now booking two or three, and there aren't really any places that are out of reach."

While Australia and the South Pacific remained the number one destinations for Flight Centre customers, destinations further afield were also growing in popularity.

South America, Japan, The Philippines, Scandinavia, Western Europe and the Southern States of the USA were predicted to be "hot" new destinations in 2016.

Last year, Air New Zealand introduced three new direct routes - Auckland to Ho Chi Minh, Auckland to Houston and Auckland to Buenos Aires - and these locations are likely to experience increased interest from Kiwi travelers.

Philippine Airlines has also announced a direct Auckland to Manilla flight and early this year, Emirates announced a new Auckland to Dubai route.

Health and wellness breaks, culinary tourism and adventure holidays were also increasing in popularity, with travel trends reflecting this.

Diverse new attractions around the world were also sure to attract tourists from New Zealand, Ms Matson said. A new FIFA museum is set to open this spring, while the world's newest Disneyland theme park opens in Shanghai in June.

The world's largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, also sets sail this year with a capacity of 5,400. Those hoping to experience some of Japan's best skiing will be happy to hear a new bullet train route links Tokyo with Hokkaido, beginning next month.
However, we're still keen to check out our old favourites.

"Exploring the Hinterlands in Queensland, food and wine cruises around New Zealand and Australia, Hawaii's outer Islands and Aitutaki in the Cook Islands are all popular choices," Flight Centre NZ said.

New Zealand's largest travel show, Travel Expo, takes place in Auckland this weekend on January 20 and 21 - a great opportunity for keen travelers to book their next adventure.


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