The Expedia group, one of the world’s largest online travel companies, has reported impressive business growth of 30% in New Zealand during 2015, compared with 2014. Expedia’s 2015 data also reported an increase in bookings for hotel partners across the country, with the South Island seeing the majority of growth. The data revealed the top three growth markets were West Coast, Canterbury and Nelson, all of which saw an increase in demand of more than 70%. Auckland, Queenstown, Wellington and Christchurch continued to be top destinations of choice in New Zealand, generating the most room nights overall in 2015.
The top international source markets for 2015 into New Zealand were Australia, USA and Canada. In addition, Asian demand driven by Expedia® sites continued to rise during 2015. Major Asian markets including Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and China were reported to have more than 100% increase in demand to New Zealand. Overall, Asian markets generated the highest growth in terms of room nights.
European travellers planned for their holidays to New Zealand during 2015 with booking windows in excess of 60 days being reported for the UK, Netherlands, Italy and Germany. Interestingly, the highest booking windows were reported from the Pacific region, with French Polynesia and Cook Islands travellers booking over 80 days in advance.
Domestic travel increased by over 30% and domestic bookings had an average length of stay of 1.8 days, indicating short breaks were proving popular with Kiwis. Booking windows for domestic travel were approximately 30 days, indicating Kiwis were still planning a month in advance for their short breaks.
Teresa Matheson, Director of Market Management for Expedia New Zealand , said the notable growth in demand confirmed Expedia was providing a strong return and was delivering for New Zealand partners, while the Expedia YoY data also provided valuable insights for those considering their distribution strategy for 2016.
“The global travel market is extremely competitive and Expedia continues to deliver both international and domestic demand to our hotel partners in New Zealand. In 2015 alone, we invested more than one billion NZD in technology, creating opportunities through technology on behalf of hotel partners where technology is not their core competency. Our technology innovations coupled with a dynamic portfolio of travel brands allows our partners to reach millions of travelers and give them the ability to target the travelers they want – from luxury-minded, early bookers, millennial travelers who book from multiple devices to business travellers and last minute deal seekers.”
Expedia’s Technology Innovations
In 2015, the Expedia group also launched Real-Time Feedback and Sell Tonight, powerful new tools for hoteliers and travellers alike, both available through the Expedia Partner Central.
Real-time Feedback was designed to help hoteliers improve the stay experience of mobilesavvy travellers. As a result, Expedia has seen a material improvement in review scores from hoteliers that engage with the tool. Shortly after a guest checks into an Expediabooked hotel, they receive an email asking them three short questions about their check in, the room and the accommodation. Responding to the questions through a fun, intuitive interface, guests also have the opportunity to enter a specific feedback, which is transmitted in real-time to the hotelier, giving him the opportunity to act upon the feedback and avoid a potentially negative trip review.
Sell Tonight makes it faster and simpler for hoteliers to push out same day rates and offer availability to spontaneous travellers, with the option to provide these special rates to mobile travellers, specifically. Sell Tonight, indeed, informs hotels in real-time of same day rates in their market, providing them with the details they need to better compete and increase same day bookings.