Seats are still available on the Southern Lights by Flight trips in March and April Seats are still available on the Southern Lights by Flight trips in March and April

Niche domestic opportunity

Though the borders look set to remain shut longer than many in the industry were hoping after some promising signs late last year, agents are being reminded that the domestic market still provides some opportunities for short term revenue generation.

Rachel Williams, managing director of Viva Expeditions, says the company’s attention has turned back to New Zealand for the Kiwi market.

‘The opportunities remain in niche travel, providing something completely different that travellers would find difficult to do by themselves,’ says Williams.

Viva is emphasising the seats it has available on four departures of its Southern Lights by Flight programme in the first half of the year – 26 and 27 March, plus 2 and 3 April. The 10-hour flight departs from Christchurch and offers the chance to witness the Aurora Australis – also known as the Southern Lights.

Williams says New Zealanders have also embraced the Stewart Island Aurora Hunters itineraries that were released last year. These provide something for agents to sell in the winter months, with available dates through April, May, June, July and August.

There are also two-night Dark Sky Experience packages available at Tekapo and Mt John in March and April, as well as in September.

Seven-day Discover the Chatham Islands packages utilising local guides are available now as well. Clients stay in central Waitangi in the new Forget Me Not Suites.

‘Selling New Zealand is not as glamorous as what agents thought they may be doing by now but it does help keep the bookings coming in and can keep us busy while we prepare for the borders to open,’ Williams adds. ‘There are definitely trends towards far flung destinations within New Zealand.


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