Ah, looxury. That's us.

Another tourism trophy landed on the Kiwi mantelpiece last week with New Zealand named the World's Best Luxury Destination for 2013.

This accolade comes our way courtesy of the Chinese Luxury Travel Awards - a gala event that might have previously escaped our attention, but as we do upon hearing that a locally made Pale Ale has won big at the Tunisian Beer Awards, we'll take the bow thanks very much. Anyway, this luxury honour is a fitting award (this is a choice place) and it indicates the direction in which our tourism should proceed.

That direction is top end.


Forget all those backpackers who slide into the country with 1000 bucks in their pocket and muck about in freedom campervans, picking fruit to make ends meet before sliding out again with about $900 in their pocket. We want the fat cats on these shores (apologies to Gareth Morgan).

We want loaded Americans - and increasingly loaded Chinese - who buzz in first class and drop a couple of grand in a top-end Auckland restaurant before flying down south to spend a few nights in the sort of luxury lodges that are beyond the reckoning of the average Kiwi. And certainly beyond our means.

China is now our second-biggest source of visitors, and it's great to be their idea of luxury.