Google search analysis reveals Kiwis are ready for overseas holidays again

  • 21/07/2022
A beach near Honolulu in Hawai'i
There's also been a jump in interest in visiting Aotearoa compared to before COVID-19. Photo credit: Getty Images

If you've been searching the internet for flights and holiday ideas, you're definitely not alone.

New analysis by Google has shown Kiwis' demand for domestic and overseas travel has jumped massively versus pre-pandemic times.

The June 2022 review of Google searches for flights and accommodation has revealed that international outbound travel demand in New Zealand has topped pre-pandemic levels by more than 40 percent.

There's also growing international interest in visiting Aotearoa, with inbound travel-related searches up 36 percent from pre-pandemic volumes.

Domestic travel intent has also skyrocketed in recent months, with searches for domestic flights and accommodation up 50 percent compared to June 2019, according to the search giants.

Country Manager for Google New Zealand, Caroline Rainsford, said it was apparent that Kiwis were eager to make up for lost time and take that long-awaited holiday.

"They are taking advantage of the travel opportunities that have now opened up searching for places to escape the winter months overseas or make the most of our beautiful outdoor spaces," she said.

"We've been supporting travellers by providing information on COVID-19 and flexible travel arrangements and we've been working with travel partners to help them make informed decisions through Travel Insights for Businesses."

Rainsford said while the surge in demand will be welcomed by the travel industry, there were some trends that indicated Kiwi travellers' preferences were changing.

Those include:

  • Premium travel - growth in searches for "luxury hotel" and "resort & spa" indicates Kiwis are planning big budget holidays (+61 percent) 
  • All-inclusive and hassle-free - searches for topics "all inclusive resort" and "package tour" highlight Kiwis are preferring convenience (+327 percent)
  • Beach bound  - ​​searches for "beach resort" show Kiwis' preference for seaside holidays (+138 percent)
  • Cruise - searches for "cruise" show Kiwis are exploring those holiday experiences (+123 percent) 
  • European holiday - three out of five fastest-growing destinations were in Europe [Denmark, Croatia, Iceland].

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Australia was proving a popular option for Kiwi travellers - four out of the top five demanded cities were Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Those looking further afield were searching for the likes of London, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Dubai, New York and Las Vegas.

Fiji, which has invited Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield to take a "well-earned" family holiday in the country, was behind Australia and the United States in country searches, ahead of the United Kingdom and Indonesia.

Meanwhile, alongside those in the US, UK and Australia, Google users in Canada and Singapore rounded out the top five for those searching for holiday options in Aotearoa.