Brent Thomas Brent Thomas

Call to ‘stagger’ NZ’s school holidays

Staggering the New Zealand school holidays by region would reduce a ‘quick glut’ of business followed quickly by a soft period for domestic tourism, says Travel Agents’ Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) president Brent Thomas.

Looking ahead to a trans Tasman bubble and flights to some Pacific Islands, a staggered approach would also be easier for international airlines and tourism plants in those destinations.

‘When you are looking at places like the Cook Islands, they can not handle many New Zealanders all at once anyway, so spreading the holidays would be advantageous there.’

Thomas, who says agents have definitely noticed an uptake of domestic travel, says he would be reluctant to ‘put lines through the country’. But one way a staggered school holiday schedule could work would be to have the region north of Taupo start one week, the lower North Island the next week, and the South Island the week after that.

‘They would overlap but last longer, so tourist attractions in New Zealand would definitely benefit. It would mean more capacity at a lower cost, so the New Zealand consumer would be better off as well.

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