Record Numbers of Cantabrians Book for UK Europe

Published: Tue 7 Nov 2006 12:03 AM
Record Numbers of Cantabrians Book for UK Europe
Cantabrians flocked to the House of Travel UK and Europe Expo in Christchurch on November 5 and made a record number of deposits for European holidays.
Despite recent statistics from market data company Asmal showing a decline in the number of Kiwis travelling to Europe, bookings at the event were up 24% from last year.
The expo was held at the Riccarton Park Function Centre and included a wide variety of stalls and guest speakers to help attendees plan their perfect UK or European holiday. Visitors could talk directly to suppliers, get information and advice, win travel prizes and get access to big discounts.
House of Travel retail operations director Brent Thomas says this is due to a number of contributing factors.
"Despite a number of issues, such as the foiled terrorist plot in the United Kingdom earlier this year, Kiwis are very resilient travellers and are not easily put off. Combined with a strong Kiwi dollar and a high employment level, we are finding that many New Zealanders see the UK and Europe as a more affordable and attainable destination than ever before."
Asmal's figures for the month of September showed a decline in the number of New Zealand residents travelling to Europe, compared with September 2005. By "countries of main destination", travel to the United Kingdom declined by 7% and travel to Europe for "holiday" reasons fell by 12%.
However House of Travel has bucked the downward trend and had a 20% increase in departures to Europe for the month of September 2006. MORE
The House of Travel Group has forecasted turnover in 2006 in excess of $700m, it has 90 retail outlets (with specialist corporate and leisure travel outlets) throughout New Zealand, its own award winning aggregated booking website and two wholesale companies (both inbound and outbound).Of its 90 outlets, 13 are in the Christchurch region and 11 of these participated in the expo. House of Travel employs in excess of 1,100 people and is privately owned (by New Zealander Chris Paulsen) and operated since it was established in 1987.

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