His comments come as Expedia TAAP prepares to roll out a new platform to New Zealand trade next week – something that has been on the drawing board since before Covid.
‘Among the main changes will be superior mapping and improved filtering, including hotels and homestays,’ says Udy. 'What agents see next week is just a first step – we’ll be rolling more out over the next few months.
Udy says that New Zealand domestic bookings picked up strongly over the last couple of months, but slowed when Auckland went back into level three. In the past few days, however, business is improving again.
‘There is no doubt there is pent up demand and this is evidenced by the desire to travel domestically as soon as people are able to. We are sure we will see the same sort of pick up when international travel is again a reality. As our CEO said recently: travel is like water. It finds its way. If I can't go international, I'll go domestic. If I don't want to fly, I'll drive. If I don't want to stay in a hotel, I'll stay in an alternative accommodation.’’
Udy says that Queenstown was showing huge demand in the early return to New Zealand domestic travel, but Auckland is now starting to pick up to the same level – indicating that corporate travel is increasingly on the agenda.’