New Zealand is increasingly becoming the No 1 travel destination for the rich and the famous.

Luxury travel organisation Virtuoso this month released its figures for 2013 travel bookings, totalling more than $32 billion in client transactions and revealing New Zealand was up 198 per cent in bookings during the past 12 months.

Virtuoso is a "luxury travel network" with 7200 advisers throughout North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand. "Fuelled by the popularity of the Lord of the Rings films, New Zealand has become a standalone destination in its own right rather than being tacked on to an Australia trip for a few days," Virtuoso said. "It's often a first trip abroad for a family, and is appealing to everyone from foodies to adventure seekers."

Virtuoso's typical client is 56, married or partnered and earning around $200,000 per household with a net worth of $1.75million.


New Zealand leads Virtuoso's top 10 growing destinations, followed by Chile and Indonesia with a growth rate of 103 per cent.

Virtuoso's Hot List

1. New Zealand (+ 196%)

2. Chile (+ 103%)

3. Indonesia (+ 103%)

4. Hungary (+ 86%)

5. Hong Kong (+ 72%)

6. Croatia (+ 68%)

7. Australia (+ 58%)

8. Ecuador (+ 57%)

9. Greece (+ 57%)

10. Norway (+ 54%)