Australia and New Zealand still offer the opportunity for the trade to grow sales despite the worsening economy.

Travel 2/4 senior product manager Australia and New Zealand Dagmar Marrocco said in the first two months of 2008 the operator received 25% more bookings for New Zealand than in the same period the previous year while Australia saw growth of 5%.

Although she admits the slackening of the global economy will cause issues, she is still confident that agents can access strong sales to the region thanks to new research identifying changing trends and new markets the trade can target.

Marrocco said: “It is a challenging market for Australia and New Zealand, especially over the last few months, but we’re up 6% at the moment. The growth has obviously slowed but we’re still looking positive.

“I think consumers are going to be more careful in their holidays and leisure spend but Australia and New Zealand are hugely desirable and travellers are prepared to spend time planning and saving to go to these destinations.