Dunedin people fly more

Dunedin residents are taking more overseas trips, particularly to the United Kingdom, United States and Australia.

Recent increases in overseas travel from Dunedin included a 40% jump in the number of trips to the US and about 13% growth in UK holidays.

There was a 20% increase in travel from Dunedin to London.

Data was collected by Flight Centre for the six months between July and December last year, compared to the same period in 2012.

Flight Centre New Zealand general manager of product Simon McKearney said Australia was also a popular ''hot spot'' for Dunedin travellers.

''Dunedin residents are definitely taking advantage of the great deals available in the marketplace and the increase in airline competition, which is bringing prices down,'' he said.

The strength of the New Zealand dollar against the Australian was largely responsible for the 50% increase in travel to Australia by New Zealanders.

Newly established Hawaiian Airlines flights between Auckland and Honolulu were also part of the increased travel from New Zealand to the US.

The data showed an almost 90% increase in travel to Honolulu, and almost 45% more travel to Los Angeles from New Zealand.

Increases in travel to Australia included more than 65% to the Gold Coast, more than 55% to Perth and about 35% to Sydney.

In January, there were more than double the number of bookings from New Zealand to Brisbane than for last January.

''The market is very buoyant at present and we're expecting this to continue throughout 2014 due to increasing consumer confidence and the strong Kiwi dollar,'' Mr McKearney said.

Andy Jack, the company's corporate general manager, said increased travel by New Zealanders indicated the economy in general was improving.

''Travel is usually a great barometer of the economy because it's usually the first cost to be controlled when times are tough.''

He said Asia continued to be a ''huge'' market, both for commercial and leisure travel, and by 2025 about 32% of all world airline traffic was expected to originate in Asia.



Travel trends

• New Zealanders took 2.193 million trips last year, almost half of which were to Australia (1.018 million).

• There were 221,200 overseas trips made by New Zealanders in December alone.

• The United States was the second-most popular overseas destination.

• There were 142,200 New Zealand departures to the US - a 17% increase on 2012.

• There were 112,260 departures to Fiji - a 7% increase.



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