With the opening of the trans-Tasman bubble just days away, a new domestic tourism study shows Kiwi pet owners prefer to travel with their furry friends and are driving a surge in holiday home rentals around New Zealand.
The Bachcare Staycation research has found bach rentals have increased significantly over the past year and have now become the norm for families travelling with pets – with one in every four reservations last year including a pet.
The study which compiled data from more than 30,000 holiday home bookings across more than 2300 properties analysed a range of trends within this sector of the accommodation industry.
It found rental returns for holiday homes have increased over the previous year with owners receiving up to $48,000 per annum – and January bookings are up 31 per cent on the previous year, while rental revenues for the same month are up 22 per cent.
The research also notes the pandemic is set to provide a long-term boost for bach owners with more than half (52 per cent) of Kiwis planning to continue to travel domestically after the borders reopen.
Outside of WiFi, pet-friendly accommodation and a spa pool were the most commonly requested property features for bach and crib rentals nationwide. Pet-friendly properties now receive 23 per cent more bookings according to the data.
Zaina Razzaq, Bachcare spokesperson, says holiday home rental returns have remained resilient over the past year with more Kiwis staying locally than ever before.
Zaina says one of the key differentiating factors between this style of accommodation and hotels is their flexibility and inclusiveness across all members of the family – including pets.
“Kiwis take around 17 million domestic trips annually and what we have seen over the past year is a move towards travellers wanting to stay closer to family.
“Pets are usually seen as a member of the family and owners will make their travel plans to include them.
“While travelling overseas means pets need to be accommodated in boarding kennels or catteries, staying locally provides more options with large numbers of New Zealanders preferring to drive rather than fly to a location,” she says.
Zaina says 25 per cent of their properties are pet friendly and owners can offset the cost of a pet hotel stay by bringing them to a suitable holiday home.
Nationally Coromandel, Lake Taupo and Canterbury were the most popular regions, with Otago, Fiordland and Waikato the fastest-growing parts of the country for bach (or crib) bookings over the past year.
The research also found bach rentals are popular for those on a road trip (79 per cent), Auckland Anniversary weekend was the busiest booking period, and 71 per cent of stays were three nights or less. Around 60 per cent of trips were booked one to three months out from the travel date.
Attendance at family events was a catalyst for almost half (46 per cent) of bookings while attending a sporting event, festival or show accounted for a further quarter (23 per cent). More than 40 per cent of bookings were for groups of six or more people.