Australia holiday choice of majority

Dunedin residents, like most New Zealanders, regard Australia as the most appealing overseas holiday destination, recently collected data shows. Australia appealed to 80% of Dunedin respondents to the Southern Cross Travel Insurance survey. Out transtasman neighbour also received the highest overall appeal ranking (77%) of any holiday destination by the more than 2000 New Zealanders surveyed.

The second destination of choice for Dunedin residents was the United Kingdom (77%), followed by North America (67%) and the Pacific Islands (65%).

Nationally, the UK was also the second most appealing destination (70%), while the Pacific Islands appealed to 63% of respondents, and 62% found Western Europe and North America appealing.

Dunedin residents were least likely to visit the Middle East, 65% saying it lacked holiday appeal. The Middle East was also the least appealing destination overall (59%), followed by North Africa and India and Nepal (49%).

Listed as not appealing by more than 40% of the Dunedin respondents were Thailand, China, South Africa, North Africa, India and Nepal, Southeast Asia and East Asia.

Other places included in the survey were Japan, Eastern Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

The survey showed despite Australia's popularity, almost one in every ten New Zealanders had little or no desire to cross the Ditch.

It also revealed the Pacific Islands did not appeal to almost one in every five Kiwis and that Japan was the most appealing Asian destination.

Southern Cross Travel Insurance chief executive Craig Morrison said the survey ''put into perspective'' notions that New Zealanders were intrepid travellers.

But he said the biggest surprise was there appeared to be little difference in travel preferences between young travellers and those a lot older.

Survey respondents were grouped in age brackets of less than 30 years, 30-39 years, 40-49 years and 50 years or older.

The most popular destination for each age bracket was Australia, followed by the UK for all respondents except those aged between 30 and 39 years, who favoured the Caribbean.

''Whether younger people are becoming more conservative or older people more adventurous in their travel choices is hard to say. What we do know is that older travellers are forming a larger part of our market.

''Many are in very good health and there is nothing restricting them if they have the means and the desire to travel,'' Mr Morrison said.

The survey also identified travel preferences according to household composition.

Younger residents with no children were most attracted by Australia, Western Europe and the UK; families with children under 18 years preferred Australia, the Pacific Islands and the UK; families with adult children favoured Australia, North America and the UK; and older residents with no children were the most likely of all to visit Australia (80%) as well as the UK.

- rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

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