The number of New Zealanders flying to South America is soaring as they take advantage of more direct flights out of Auckland.
Argentina, Cuba and Brazil were the fastest growing holiday destinations for Kiwi travellers in 2016, with Vietnam fourth according to Statistics NZ numbers analysed by House of Travel.
House of Travel's travel director Ken Freer says direct flights from New Zealand to places like Argentina have made it easier to access once-rare bucket list experiences in South America like Machu Picchu and the Galapagos islands.
"When airlines choose to fly somewhere new from New Zealand, particularly somewhere less-common for Kiwi travel such as Vietnam or South America, New Zealanders are likely to jump at the opportunity of travelling somewhere they maybe haven't been before."
Air New Zealand launched a direct route between Auckland and Buenos Aires in December last year, also opening up connecting flights within South America.
The number of people flying to Argentina increased by 150 percent over the previous year, while Brazil saw a 50 percent increase, and Peru 40 percent.
Flight Centre general manager Sue Matson says the increase in connecting flights is attracting a wide variety of travellers to South America.
"South America would have, once upon a time, been considered quite an intrepid destination and you would have had more of your backpackers - that's certainly changing," Matson said.
"People can fly over to Buenos Aires with their airfare and then get over to Rio and stay in an amazing hotel around the beach."
Freer says Asian destinations also experienced increased growth with travel to Vietnam growing by 45 percent, making it the fourth fastest-growing travel destination nationwide.
Direct flights between Auckland and Ho Chi Minh City started in June of this year and Freer says this was largely responsible for the increase.
"Vietnam has opened up as a popular holiday destination to compete with other mid-haul spots such as Thailand and Bali."
And the Pacific has not fallen off the radar either with a large increase in the number of Kiwis travelling to New Caledonia.
"More Kiwis are realising New Caledonia is only a short three hour flight from Auckland - and it offers a new opportunity for a Pacific holiday destination which may not be your traditional Raro or Fiji."
For 2017 Freer expects Kiwis to take more advantage of stopovers in Asia on their way to Europe.
Matson says Asia is an easy way to get into Europe and two new Chinese airlines, while targeted at Chinese travelling to New Zealand, could drive airfares to both Asia and Europe down further for New Zealanders next year.
"They need to fill their planes back up again when leaving, that drives a lot of healthy competition with a lot of our legacy carriers."