Report by NewsroomPlus.com
New Zealanders love their holidays and according to recent data released by Statistics NZ, last month alone 198,800 kiwis took a vacation.
For the year ending June 2015, over 2.3 million New Zealanders left New Zealand to indulge in a holiday abroad.
After you’ve slaved for months at work or completed another year of hard-out study or are looking for some family time, where would you choose to go to rejuvenate?
This week NewsRoom brings you the top 10 holiday destinations identified by official figures:
1. Australia – 1,114,840
Our neighbour, Australia claims the number one stop travel destination with over 1.1 million visits made in the past 12 months. Not too surprising given it’s only a 3 hour flight away and with the exchange rate flying high earlier in the year.
2. The United States of America – 174,280
For anyone that has a checklist of countries to visit, the US is likely to be one of them. The lure of the States is the travel, the adventure and diverse places to visit from Hollywood, to Las Vegas, to New York. The Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) assists in determining eligibility to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP). New Zealand is one of over 30 countries included in the programme, which allows visitors for tourism or business to spend up to 90 days in the United States. Be sure to apply for your ESTA 72 hours prior to travelling.
3. Fiji – 136,320
With 333 tropical islands in the heart of the South Pacific Fiji is a popular holiday destination for many New Zealanders. Fiji is also the home of happiness. Many travel packages offer accommodation and exclusive deals to resorts and hotels around the country. What makes Fiji unique is that it’s a place for everyone and anyone, from backpackers to high-end private islands. You do not require a visa to go to Fiji but are granted a entry upon arrival.
4. United Kingdom – 102,860
‘Mother England’ still holds a big attraction for travelling New Zealanders. Whether you’re a fan of ancient cathedrals or royal families England has history to burn. New Zealand passport holders may generally enter the UK for six (6) months without a visa on a visa waiver if they are there for a holiday. However, you will still need to satisfy a Border Force officer when you arrive that you meet the requirements of your visitor category, and aren’t in the UK for any other purpose.
5. China – 81,880
The world’s oldest continuous civilisation, New Zealanders are finding amazing places to visit in China. One of the iconic symbols, the Great Wall is the longest wall in the world, an awe-inspiring feat of ancient defensive architecture. New Zealanders are advised to apply for their visa to China in the country they are ordinarily resident. (If you live in New Zealand, you should obtain your visa before you leave.)
6. Cook Islands – 78,360
Located halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii in the South Pacific, the Cook Islands Visitors travelling on New Zealand passports are granted an entry permit for a stay of 90 days on arrival. The country’s blue lagoons and extensive reefs make it a popular scuba-diving destination. However, it is Cook Islands Cultural performances that makes the visit worthwhile from Hula dances to fire dancing performances. The cultural showcase is regarded as the main tourist attraction.
7. Samoa – 49,820
Samoa may not be as highly visited as her neighbouring islands of Fiji and the Cook islands but the country also has pristine beaches, lagoons and forests to explore. Samoa and New Zealand already have a close relationship, and when New Zealanders arrive in Samoa, they simply receive an entry permit on arrival valid for 60 days.
8. India – 45,160
India is a land full of rich culture, heritage and incredible natural beauty. New Zealand is one of those countries that falls under the new visa policy, allowing visitors to obtain a visa on arrival at 9 designated international airports by obtaining an Electronic Travel Authorization online before arrival, without the need to visit an Indian consulate or visa centre.
9. Thailand – 40,740
Thailand welcomes New Zealanders with her grand palace, Thai cuisine and tropical wildlife. A New Zealand passport gets you a tourist visa stamp once you arrive, 30 days if you enter via air and 15 days if you enter via land.
10. Indonesia – 39,100
Indonesia has a special vibe, an essence, something authentic that is too difficult to describe about the place with her beaches and authentic culture. From June this year, New Zealand passport holders are part of the free-visa policy and are issued a stay permit for 30 days free of charge upon presentation of a passport on arrival.
[Compiled by Rupeni Vatubuli]