Award boost for high-end NZ tourism

New Zealand's recognition as a luxury destination by Chinese travellers will boost the country's profile as a "high-quality visitor destination", a tourism industry head says.

New Zealand has been named World's Best Luxury Destination for 2013 in the Chinese Luxury Travel Awards.

Auckland Airport was also crowned the World's Best Airport, while Whare Kea Lodge in Wanaka was named the Best Asia-Pacific Boutique Hotel, and Queenstown Millbrook was named the Best Asia-Pacific Golf Course.

The awards are decided by members of the Shanghai Travellers Club.

Tourism Industry Association New Zealand chief executive Martin Snedden said the accolades will boost New Zealand's reputation in China.

"China has grown rapidly to become New Zealand's second largest visitor market, with around 200,000 arrivals last year.

"Tourism operators, Tourism New Zealand, other government agencies and TIA are putting a lot of resource into getting more value out of this market, including attracting higher-value visitors and encouraging them to stay longer," he said.

"New Zealand's success in these awards is to be celebrated and will help put us on the map with wealthy Chinese travellers as a must-visit destination."

Auckland Airport spokesman Glenn Wedlock told Newstalk ZB that positioning New Zealand as a premium destination for affluent Chinese visitors is vital for our economy.

- Paul Harper of Herald Online

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