‘Expedia has changed over the years. Yes we are an OTA dealing B2C but we are also a distribution platform incorporating airlines, (other) OTAs and travel trade. We penetrate over 95% of the travel trade in Australia and New Zealand, either through API or TAAP. We want to educate people that if they want to get distribution through trade they should think about TAAP and can talk to our team about how they can utilise the programme.’
Udy, who was a panelist at the Auckland event, describes himself as being ‘bullish’ about New Zealand’s prospects next year.
‘Every time there is an election the brakes come on but when there is a result a resurgence comes. I expect things to bounce back.
‘Corporates have been a bit quieter (since Covid) and we expect that sector to come back more. TAAP is not just leisure.’
Fellow panelist Stephen Hamilton, director of Horwath HTL, says he expects 2024 to be an amazing year if looked at as a whole.
‘US bookings are coming through matched by an increase in airlift. That will be particularly good for Auckland.
‘With significant bookings coming in for the US, I would think that the ADR (average day rate) would be pretty strong.’
Horwath says, taking a longer-term perspective, discussions around direct services to India will potentially lead to great new opportunities.
‘The India travel market is strong and direct air connections are clearly on Auckland Airport’s radar. That’s good for New Zealand.’