West Coasters spend the most on travel

By: AA

Aucklanders travel throughout New Zealand the most, but their cousins in the West Coast are the biggest spenders according to recent AA Traveller research.

West Coasters spend the most on travel
Aucklanders travel the most; West Coasters spend the most.

Residents on the West Coast spend almost $3000 every year on domestic travel, double that of Aucklanders who only spend about $1500 every year.

A possible reason for this comes out of the AA Traveller research which found that West Coasters spend the most nights away from home while travelling domestically, about 21 nights on average, beating the national average of approximately two-weeks.

AA general manager of travel and tourism Grant Lilly says another likely reason is because Aucklanders travel mostly to places within a few hours’ drive of the city, which keeps costs down, while travellers from the West Coast are more likely to drive longer distances or fly and ferry across the Cook Strait.

The biggest beneficiaries of Auckland visitors as a share of their total visitors are Northland and Coromandel, while the lowest are regional Canterbury and Waitaki.

The AA Traveller Monitor looks into domestic overnight tourism in New Zealand, the largest component of New Zealand’s Tourism industry. The research is conducted in conjunction with tourism research specialists The Fresh Information Company.

"Domestic travel is the foundation on which the vast bulk of New Zealand’s tourism businesses are built and survive, providing their biggest volume of customers and balancing out the seasonal peaks and troughs in New Zealand’s international visitor flows," Mr Lilly says.

"The AA Traveller Monitor includes comprehensive data split by region and provides valuable indicators about domestic travel patterns, which are useful for domestic tourism operators when it comes to how they promote their region and target the market."

The research also shows that Auckland gets the biggest share of domestic travel trips, at approximately 5.3 million (almost 20% of all domestic trips) with the next biggest share going to Northland (approximately 7%), followed by Waikato at just more than 6%. Queenstown attracts about 2% of the national domestic visitor total.

While Queenstown makes up a small part of the total domestic travel market, the research shows that the largest proportion of local travellers to the resort town are Aucklanders who make up 27% of its 665,600 domestic visitors annually.

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