Kiwis are dreaming of beaches, warmer temperatures and swaying palm trees as they book travel for 2016.
But the Cook Islands could soon be replacing Fiji as the holiday hotspot of the Pacific, according to analysis of New Zealanders’ travel interest and destination search trends.
Hotel search site trivago.co.nz compared its most-searched destinations for travel in 2016 with the past two years and found that Rarotonga had the highest year-on-year growth of any destination, up 163 per cent.
The largest island of the Cook Islands moved from 16th place in 2014 to 12th place in 2015, and crept into the top 10 in 2016, sitting at 8th place.
Meanwhile Fiji’s main arrivals hub Nadi slid from 15th place in 2015 to 19th, and tourist spot Denarau Island slipped from 18th place in 2015 to 21st place.
Australia’s two largest cities remained the most popular destinations for New Zealanders, with Sydney and Melbourne holding the top two spots for three years in a row.
Analysis of the data found visits to major international hubs were no longer a priority for Kiwis, with Singapore moving from 3rd place in 2015 to 6th place, Dubai moving from 9th to 7th place and Hong Kong moving down eight spots to 16th place.
When it came to long-haul destinations, Kiwis remained interested in New York and Los Angeles, but were also increasingly looking to other American cities.
Las Vegas increased by 51 per cent year-on-year, and Honolulu had grown in searches by 74 per cent since 2014, shifting into 3rd and 4th places respectively for 2016.
While the majority of European cities plateaued in popularity over recent years, London and Amsterdam had moved up the ranks.
London moved from 10th place in 2014 to 5th place, and Amsterdam went from 27th to 22nd.
TOP 10 DESTINATIONS FOR 2016
1. Sydney, Australia
2. Melbourne, Australia
3. Las Vegas, USA
4. Honolulu, USA
5. London, UK
7. New York, USA
8. Rarotonga, Cook Islands
9. San Francisco, USA
10. Paris, France