New research released by Flight Centre is shedding light on what New Zealanders are most concerned about with regards to travel during the COVID-19 era and beyond.
Booking flexibility, strict hygiene practices and knowing refunds are easily attainable are major priorities for Kiwi travellers looking at both domestic tourism and future international travel.
Flight Centre NZ surveyed over 5000 customers for the study, which also looked at which countries people are most keen to travel to once borders reopen.
"Kiwis are taking on domestic travel like never before, exceeding pre-COVID-19 domestic sales and it's providing valuable insight into how we see a return to global travel rolling out," Flight Centre NZ's managing director David Coombes said.
"They're buying more package deals with flights, accommodation and sightseeing all in one. These factors are a big focus for us."
He said that New Zealanders will likely want to invest in a bigger international trip than usual when they're able to easily holiday internationally again, taking more leave and using supplier credits they may have stored.
The survey found that 43 percent of respondents would like a beach holiday and around 30 percent would like to visit friends and family. Many also wanted the support of a professional, with 71 percent saying they plan to book with a travel agent.
As for where we'll be flying, Coombes said nations with family and friends of travellers will be first on the list for many.
"We'll no doubt see Kiwis flocking to the Pacific Islands, Australia, UK, India and South Africa to visit relatives. These continue to be highly requested destinations."
But what about holiday destinations?
The team at Flight Centre looked at the results of their survey and have given Newshub their predictions for the top five leisure destinations:
No surprises that Australia is at the top of the list, and for good reason. With its level of familiarity and comfort yet vast and unexplored corners, it's expected that Kiwis will travel across the ditch like never before, extending their stays to take more time to see the rural sights and journey between states.
Twenty-one percent of Flight Centre customers said they were most interested in visiting Queensland.
- Fiji and Cook Islands
Flight Centre has been inundated with enquiries for both of these close-to-home island destinations, so when they go on sale, those keen will need to get in quick to secure a spot on the sand.
Twenty percent of Flight Centre customers said they were most interested in visiting Cook Islands.
- Thailand and Vietnam
Both nations have managed the pandemic remarkably; currently tracking under five new cases per day and totalling fewer than 100 recorded COVID-19 deaths between them. Flight Centre predicts customers flocking back once restrictions allow it.
Known for its impeccable cleanliness and praised for it's low COVID-19 rates, Singapore is the perfect spot for Kiwis to dip their toes back into city travel.
One of the first destinations to trial quarantine-free travel during the pandemic, Dubai boasts it has been safely and successfully welcoming tourists from all countries since July.
"To say travel has had a tough year would be an understatement. We know we are joined by many Kiwi businesses, big and small, in reflecting on seven months of turbulence," Coombes said.
"Flight Centre has been here for over 30 years, I've been with the company for 20 of them and the decisions that we've had to make this year to preserve our business have without a doubt been the most difficult."
What country will you travel to first after the pandemic? Let us know on the Newshub Travel Facebook group.