Media Releases

22 November 21: Pandemic affects domestic travel but satisfaction stays high

Fewer New Zealanders have travelled to attend events around Aotearoa in the last year, with new research showing the impact of lockdowns on domestic travel.

However, the number of Kiwis taking domestic holidays did not change, with three out of four going away for overnight leisure trips, according to the findings of Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s latest Domestic Visitor Satisfaction survey.

The survey, carried out by Angus & Associates, questions New Zealanders on their perceptions of regional travel. It complements other domestic market research carried out by Tourism New Zealand.

“We know that lockdowns and the uncertainty created by the pandemic have seriously affected both public and private events, from festivals to weddings and birthday parties. In the year ending September 2021, the research shows that 11% of domestic leisure trips were for events, down from 17% the previous year,” TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says.

51% of domestic leisure trips were for holidays or short breaks (up from 45%), while 36% were to visit family and friends (up from 35%).

COVID has also changed where people are travelling, with Auckland recording the largest decline in market share of leisure trips, from 24% (YE Sept 2020) to 21%.

“This is likely a combination of the lockdowns affecting Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and resulting impacts on events in the region,” Mr Roberts says.

Hamilton/Waikato and Queenstown gained the most market share, rising from 10% to 13% and 7% to 10% respectively.

“Pleasingly, Kiwis continue to be very satisfied with their domestic breaks, with 62% scoring their satisfaction level as 9 or 10 out of 10. And 52% said their expectations were exceeded on their latest trip,” Mr Roberts says.

“As we look forward to summer holidays, tourism operators in every region are gearing up to welcome manuhiri with world-class activities and experiences. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated, and to make the most of being able to once again travel around Aotearoa.”

To read the latest Domestic Visitor Satisfaction research, go to: