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Saturday, 18 April 2009

ZUJI Reveals Long Haul Travel Is 'Bouncing Back' In 09

The Long And The Short Of It: ZUJI Reveals Long Haul Travel Is 'Bouncing Back' In 09*

During the second half of 2008 short breaks, short haul and short booking lead times ruled. Four months into 2009, Aussies are beginning to travel further afield again, spurred on by great deals and a lack of excuses.

SYDNEY: Online travel agent ZUJI Australia (www.zuji.com.au) has revealed that 2008 saw a significant drop in long haul international travel booked online. However, just four months into the 2009, and with the stimulus payments arriving, that trend is already reversing. This trend to long haul travel is not at the expense of domestic travel, which continues to be booked online in high volumes as flight-and-hotel holidays due to the associated package-travel savings.

ZUJI Australia booking trends revealed that in late '08, there was a strong destination shift towards short and medium-haul domestic and Asian destinations, bumping most long-haul travel destination-favourites from the Top-20. Los Angeles (at #9) and San Francisco (at #20) were the only US destinations appearing in the in the Top-20 during the second half of the year.

ZUJI Australia General Manager Peter Smith revealed: "Late last year, European and US cities virtually disappeared from the Top-20 destination list. Today, in late April, we're seeing a very different story emerge. European travel is on the increase, and the US is again becoming popular - spurred on by the creative marketing we're seeing encouraging European travel, the great value deals on our site as the airlines heavily discount their long haul fares, and I think the unstoppable passion Aussies have for travel and adventure."

While many Aussies continue to yield to the call to travel 'at home', emerging destinations like India continue to rise in popularity despite there being fewer bargain flights on offer. Asia travel also continues to appeal. What hasn't changed since '08 is the trend for short booking lead times; often only days before taking a long haul trip

Peter Smith continued, "Short lead times for international travel have been very common in Asia for some time, but for Australian and New Zealand travellers, given the distances and time involved to travel internationally, longer booking lead times of weeks and often months were the 'norm' until recently. The new 'wait-and-watch' phenomenon continues into '09 as people shop around for the best deal, and then pounce on it, fuelling strong domestic and international online travel bookings on ZUJI which has plenty of exclusive flight, hotel and holiday deals on offer."

ZUJI has just launched a 'no more excuses' consumer marketing campaign, aiming to help fuel the ongoing trend towards short breaks. Peter Smith concluded: "Short breaks booked at short notice to domestic, Asian and long haul international destinations are the flavour of the month. Aussies are definitely continuing to travel, and book online, despite the economic downturn."

About ZUJI:

In 2005, 2006, 2007 and again in 2008, ZUJI® was recognised as Asia Pacific's 'Best Online Travel Agent', as awarded by TTG travel magazines in Asia Pacific. ZUJI was also awarded as the 'Best Online Travel Agency' in 2007 by the TravelWeekly (Asia) Industry Awards.  'Condé Nast Traveler' magazine (March 08, US-edition) announced ZUJI as the 'best travel web site for flights in Asia'.  ZUJI gives travellers in Asia Pacific online access to real-time travel bookings for thousands of hotels and hundreds of airlines, as well as bringing cruises, car hire, attraction bookings, package tours and other inspirational travel offers, products and tools online.  Each ZUJI site is unique. ZUJI has teams and operates travel websites in: Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, Korea ('Nextour'), New Zealand, and India ('Travelocity India'), as well as many 'Travel Partner Network' sites throughout Asia Pacific. ZUJI is owned by Travelocity®, an international leader in online travel. Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation, a world leader in travel commerce.

Additional trend insights:

ZUJI has identified the following Australian travel trends based on bookings and comparisons between first and second halves of 2008:

Cairns was first of the popular beach package destinations for Aussies while Hong Kong took top position as a stand-alone hotel destination. Singapore made second place, while 3 US cities, New York, Honolulu, Las Vegas and New York also made the cut. ('Top 10' hotel destinations list follows, page 2).  Auckland was still our most popular international flight destination with Phuket and Bali both dropped.

Online hotel bookings continued to grow in the second half of 2008 with holiday package booking patterns mimicking stand-alone hotel and flight bookings with around 20% booked during the same week of travel.

Despite a booking decline in the last months of 2008, hotel volumes continued to grow.
Auckland, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Tokyo, Wellington and Seoul all held their respective positions as popular international flight destinations throughout last year.
Singapore #2, Christchurch #3, Fiji #7, New Delhi #15 increased in popularity while Abu Dhabi and Vanuatu entered the Top 20 for the first time.
London has dropped from 2nd to 6th most popular destination in the Top 20. Manchester and Frankfurt dropped out entirely.
L.A. was steady at #9 and San Francisco, scraping in at #20 were the only US destinations appearing in the in the Top-20 for second half of 08.

AUSTRALIA: Top 20 international destinations in 2008

 

Q1, Q2

Q3,Q4

Changes to booking patterns

1

Auckland

Auckland

No change – Auckland remains #1 destination

2

London

Singapore

Singapore gains and HK drops slightly overall

3

Hong Kong

Christchurch

Christchurch has gained popularity with short break and short haul destinations

4

Bangkok

Bangkok

Bangkok remains strong

5

Singapore

Hong Kong

 

6

Christchurch

London

London drops from 2nd to 6th but retains overall popularity

7

Bali

Nadi

Fiji has continued to gain ground while Bali dropped to #13

8

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur

 KL remains stable

9

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

US destinations are replaced by medium-haul Asian destinations except for LA and in 20th place, San Francisco

10

Manila

Manila

Manila maintains position

11

Nadi

Wellington

Wellington and Seoul remain fairly stable

12

Wellington

Seoul

 

13

Seoul

Bali

Bali is dropping in popularity,

14

Phuket

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi makes the list for the 1st time, Phuket gone

15

Paris

New Delhi

New Delhi gaining ground

16

Manchester

Port Vila

Port Vila a new short haul favourite; Manchester dropped

17

Shanghai

Paris

Paris drops but still on the list as only European destination other than London

18

Tokyo

Tokyo

Tokyo maintains position

19

Frankfurt

Shanghai

Shanghai drops a little, Frankfurt drops out

20

New Delhi

San Francisco

San Francisco scrapes into top 20

 



 

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