New Zealand has been named the 'World's Best Luxury Destination' for affluent Chinese travellers, by the Shanghai Travelers' Club in its 2013 Luxury Travel Awards.
Auckland International Airport was also named the World's Best Airport, Whare Kea Lodge the Best Asia-Pacific Boutique Hotel and Millbrook, the Best Asia-Pacific Golf Course.
The results follow a vote by the 3,400 Chinese members of the Shanghai Travelers' Club.
Tourism New Zealand's General Manager Asia Tony Everitt says the announcement is fantastic news as the marketing board focusses its efforts on attracting high-value Chinese visitors to the country.
"Earlier this year we announced our Premier Kiwi Partnership (PKP) programme, developed to generate greater value from the burgeoning Chinese market by targeting those travellers likely to spend more time and money on visits to New Zealand," he says.
"Through PKP and our other China marketing initiatives, we aim to change the nature of holidays taken by Chinese visitors and the contribution they make to the New Zealand economy. This award supports our belief that New Zealand can be successfully promoted in China as a premium destination."
Under PKP, Tourism New Zealand is working with selected inbound tour operators and China-based travel sellers to develop and market innovative packages offering longer-stay, higher-quality itineraries in New Zealand.
The programme supports the work already underway in the Free and Independent Traveller (FIT) market in China and will further cement New Zealand's market position as a desirable, high-value destination.
The awards come just two months after Tourism New Zealand's Brand Ambassador influential Chinese actress Yao Chen chose to get married in Queenstown and broadcast photos of the luxury event to her around 35 million social media followers.
November 2012 international visitor arrival statistics showed that China had overtaken the United Kingdom to become New Zealand's second largest source of arrivals.