An estimated 70% of travel agents left the industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as shops were closed and staff were let go, with numbers reducing from 5,000 travel agents before the pandemic to approximately 1,500 in 2021. Flight Centre was forced to close more than 50 stores and significantly reduced its workforce, while STA Travel went into receivership, with customers owed more than NZD10 million.
Over the review period, sustainability and environmental concerns grew in importance amongst consumers, with the reduction in global travel highlighting to many the effect that the industry has on the environment. Online operator Webjet launched a service for New Zealand customers whereby they are offered the option to offset the carbon emissions of their flight by making a financial contribution to verified environmental projects, including a key initiative in New Zealand.
Investment by local telco’s in 5G technology is expected to see internet penetration reach 95% by 2026, and, as such, mobile digital preferences are expected to characterise how travellers search for and book travel over the forecast period. COVID-19 has resulted in a significant increase in online shopping due to physical trading restrictions, and the ‘new retail’ experience is expected to be the new status quo moving forward.
COVID-19 has caused significant disruption not only to travel patterns and behaviour, but also to how travellers shop. Trading restrictions during 2020 caused a significant increase in online shopping, and even after the trading restrictions and lockdowns were eased, online shopping propensity remained high, resulting in shoppers searching online more for good deals, with this likely to carry over into travel once borders re-open.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Travel Retail industry in New Zealand with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Travel Retail research and analysis database.
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