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Kiwi travellers taking cautious approach to trans-Tasman bubble

With New Zealanders reported to be making a slower start to travel across the Tasman, just over a week after the opening of the trans-Tasman bubble on April 19, new data from MYOB’s latest consumer snapshot shows a majority planning to wait more than six months before they book their Australian trip.

According to the latest MYOB Consumer Snapshot of more than 500 New Zealanders aged 18 and over from around the country, more than 50 per cent of Kiwi travellers plan to wait between six months and more than a year before planning to travel to Australia for a holiday, with 27 per cent saying they wouldn’t be comfortable travelling overseas at all in the next 12 months.

The data has highlighted that:

– Four per cent plan to travel within one month of the bubble opening

– Seven per cent will travel within two to four months of the bubble activating

– Nine per cent will travel within four to six months

– 17 per cent will travel within six – 12 months

– 15 per cent would wait more than one year

– 27 per cent wouldn’t feel comfortable travelling abroad in the next 12 months

– 19 per cent don’t know

Women are notably more cautious than men about the prospect of an overseas holiday, with a third (33 per cent) of women not comfortable with the idea of travelling abroad in the next 12 months, compared to just over a fifth (21 per cent) of men.

Those aged between 20-24 are most likely to plan to travel in the next year, with just 17 per cent saying they wouldn’t be comfortable, compared with a third of those in their 40s – the group who are most reluctant to travel.

MYOB SME senior sales manager  Krissy Sadler-Bridge says New Zealanders are taking their time to evaluate whether travel is safe before they commit to heading over to Australia.

"With COVID-19 outbreaks still occurring overseas, and publicity around Kiwis having to make their own arrangements if the trans-Tasman bubble closed, I think people are understandably cautious about making short-term travel arrangements," says Krissy.

"Clearly, there’s still a lot of uncertainty to factor in – and that’s highlighted by the unusually large number of ‘don’t knows’ selected in our snapshot. People are still evaluating the risks of making bookings right now."

With bookings to New Zealand from Australia reported to outpace outbound traffic by a third, Krissy says there could be an upside for local tourism operators.

"With many Kiwis still reluctant to travel beyond our shores, and Australians lining up to visit New Zealand, the additional numbers may be a welcome boost to our hard-hit local visitor sector."

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