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IT WOULD seem our love for our Kiwi cousins shows no signs of abating with three New Zealand destinations featured on a list of travel hot spots.

New data from Webjet has revealed Aussie interest in international and trans-Tasman travel has jumped this year, now collectively accounting for 17 per cent of all bookings compared to 11 per cent in 2022.

Demand for international trips is rising with Aussies booking further ahead and taking shorter breaks.

The data shows Aussies are booking significantly further in advance with an average international booking lead time of 81 days in 2023, compared to 53 days in 2022 (a 153 per cent increase).

We are also shaving 10 per cent off the length of our trips with an 18-day average for international trips and nine days for trans-Tasman in 2023, down from 20 and 10 respectively in 2022. 

Looking ahead to 2024, Aussies are already pinning down their travel plans in advance, with bookings for next year up 57 per cent compared to equivalent periods last year.


According to Webjet, the top 10 destinations for travelling Aussies are:

  1. Auckland
  2. Bali
  3. London
  4. Queenstown
  5. Christchurch
  6. Fiji
  7. Tokyo
  8. Bangkok
  9. Singapore
  10. Manila


YOU HAVE the chance to win one of 20 holidays as part of a global competition that includes return flights to the value of $2,000.

The exciting promotion is being run by Flight Centre in conjunction with Intrepid Travel.

Each tour prize up for grabs is part of Intrepid’s commitment to provide ethical and authentic travel experiences, and winners will travel to destinations as intriguing as Morocco, Botswana or Sri Lanka as well as Australia and America.

“Partnering with Intrepid to offer these travel prizes is an obvious choice for us,” said Andrew Stark, Flight Centre Global Managing Director.

“Not only is Intrepid one of the most experienced small group touring companies with over 30 years in the business, they’re also one of the most responsible and ethical having earned their B Corporation certification.

“Intrepid Travel’s due care to provide exciting tours that support local communities, respect the environment and protect wildlife mean they align well with Flight Centre’s values of sustainable travel.”

The competition is open until November 30.

“No matter the destination, travellers can expect small groups, big adventure and responsible travel,” said Brett Mitchell, Intrepid Travel’s Managing Director Australia and New Zealand.


A POPULAR Australian destination has made it onto a prestigious list of top regions around the world.

Kangaroo Island in South Australia was awarded second spot in the ‘Top Regions Hotlist’ in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024. The Trans Dinarica cycling route in the Western Balkans took out top spot.

This is the 19th publication of the annual collection, featuring 50 must-visit destinations around the globe.

Kangaroo Island was chosen for its distinct local produce, abundant natural wildlife, natural experiences and some of Australia’s most pristine beaches.

“Kangaroo Island provides such a quintessential Australian travel experience,” said Chris Zeiher, Lonely Planet’s Senior Director of Trade Sales and Marketing.

“It’s been much lauded of late but 2024 is the year that Kangaroo Island will be set to capitalise on all of the accolades. Best illustrated by the reopening of the prestigious Southern Ocean Lodge and the launch of a stunning new visitors’ centre at the entrance of Flinders Chase National Park.

“Get there before the rest of the world works it out – 2024 is the year to pop KI on your travel list.”

Mongolia was ranked number one country to visit next year, with Nairobi in Kenya the best city. Spain was ranked most sustainable country while the Midwest of the USA was rated best value.

The book also delivers new takes on popular destinations such as Japan, Tuscany, Italy and Mexico, and unearths some lesser-known gems like Uzbekistan, Ikaria, Greece and Izmir, Turkey.


A NEW study has revealed the most Instagrammable shopping destinations in the world.

Cross-border shopping platform Ubuy Hong Kong analysed Instagram hashtags for selected shopping destinations to find which are the most Insta-worthy.

The Grand Bazaar (Kapali Çar??) in Istanbul topped the list, with 3,152,548 Instagram posts that include its hashtags.

Originally built by Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1455 following his conquest of Constantinople, the bazaar expanded in the following centuries to become one of the largest covered markets in the world.

It now encompasses 61 covered streets with more than 4,000 shops.

Namdaemun Market in Seoul was in second place with 2,308,415 Instagram posts. Originally established in 1414, Namdaemun is one of the oldest markets in Korea, experiencing numerous waves of reconstruction and modernisation throughout the centuries.

It has around 5,200 stores and is the largest traditional market in Korea.

The top 10 was rounded out with Starfield COEX Mall (South Korea), Covent Garden (UK), Gwangjang Market (South Korea), Macy’s Herald Square (USA), Istinye Park (Turkey), Siam Paragon (Thailand), Oxford Street (UK) and Taipei 101 (Taiwan).

“Everything from bustling street markets to modern shopping malls, there is something for every taste, especially for those who like to show what they get up to on Instagram,” said a Ubuy Hong Kong spokesperson.


PASSPORTCARD IS promising to shake up the status quo in how travel insurance works for travellers making common claims.

The provider is promoting market-leading instant payout travel insurance, the first of its kind to be offered in Australia.

For holiday-goers, travel hiccups can eat into precious holiday time and funds, with people often waiting weeks for reimbursement and claim resolution. 

With PassportCard, travellers can receive instant payouts for the most common claims like medical emergencies, delayed luggage and stolen cash.

With two million customers worldwide and a 24/7 support team based in Sydney, PassportCard say they are well placed to rescue Aussies from out-of-pocket expenses.

“While many providers promise quick, simple and hassle-free insurance – PassportCard really delivers,” said Peter Klemt, CEO.

Funds are loaded onto the PassportCard – a pre-paid debit card provided to customers when they purchase the insurance – and the claim is then approved by the 24/7 assistance team over the phone in minutes.

The traveller can then pay a medical provider, buy essential items, or withdraw funds from an ATM instantly.

“Insurance companies in Australia talk about responding to your claim in five or even 10 business days, but why wait?

“Get instant payouts for approved claims anytime, anywhere – whether it’s a doctor in Denmark or delayed luggage in Lisbon. It’s the way insurance should be – quick, simple and hassle-free.” 


AUSSIE TRAVELLERS have delivered record inbound results for Britain once again, both for visitor numbers and money spent.

Along with the USA and New Zealand, Australia was also the only overseas market to break records between April and June this year.

Visitors from Australia spent £415 million (approx. $AU800m) on their trips to the UK in Q2 2023, positioning it as Britain’s third most valuable source market for the quarter, behind the USA and Germany, and exceeding Q2 2019 levels by 24 per cent.

Australia also broke quarter records for number of visits, with Britain welcoming 308,000 Australian travellers between April to June 2023, up 14 per cent on Q2 2019.

“With the global spotlight on Britain in early 2023 for the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and the 67th Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool, it’s clear that Britain’s pomp and pageantry and rich musical heritage continue to remain key draw cards for international visitors,” said Maria Sykes, VisitBritain’s Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand.

“The connective tissue between Australia and the UK runs deep, and these strong ties will continue to foster growth in 2023.”

Among the highlights for visitors in coming months are the annual Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow (Jan 18 – Feb 4) and a new festival of wellbeing, Rebalance Bath (Feb 7 – 26). There are also several Dark Sky festivals happening across the nation from late 2023 to early 2024.

VisitBritain’s latest forecast for 2023 estimates 37.5 million inbound visits to the UK, 92 per cent of 2019 levels. Its revised forecast for overseas visitor spending in the UK this year is £30.9 billion, a projected record high for annual inbound visitor spend.