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Devonport home of frequent flyers

Flagstaff Team

Devonport residents are among the nation’s keenest travellers, taking on average more than one overseas trip per year, with London a leading destination. New data from Statistics New Zealand shows people living in the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board area took 106 trips per 100 people in the year to June 2019, second only to Orakei Local Board (131 trips/100 residents).

Flight Centre Devonport is one of the top sellers nationally of flights to London. The suburb “is a popular place for British expats to reside, so we book a lot of travel from Auckland to the UK,” Devonport Flight Centre’s Andy Urwin says. Turkey (prior to current conflict) has been gaining in popularity, with Urwin reporting a significant increase in inquiries in the past few months. The office books a large number of premium or business class seats, as well as tours. “Small group tours that take travellers off the beaten track without the stress of organising are a popular choice, especially for families travelling with teenagers.” House of Travel (HoT) confirms its Devonport and Takapuna offices are ‘over-indexed’ for overseas travel, most likely due to high incomes. “A holiday is a discretionary activity and people, if they have the discretionary power, will choose to go overseas for short or longer holidays,” HoT commercial director Brent Thomas says.

Another trend in the area is multigenerational holidays, where grandparents can spend time with grandchildren, while parents are freed up to explore, he says. While HoT Devonport books more flights than any other types of holidays, cruises are by far the fastest-growing holidays, Thomas says. As a nation, New Zealanders averaged 63 trips per 100 residents in the year to June 2019. Auckland topped the country’s 16 regions, with 80 trips per 100 residents, followed by Wellington at 65 trips per 100 residents. “Proximity to an international airport plays a part in the ease and affordability of travel,” Statistics New Zealand population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said. People in Gisborne were the least likely to travel, with 31 overseas trips per 100 residents.

This article originally appeared in the October 18 edition of the Devonport FlagstaffDownload PDF.