New Zealand has come out on top - again - in the UK Daily Telegraph's readers' poll of travel destinations.

That's great for us, because British visitors are our most valuable - they spend, on average, $3502 during a trip to these shores (compare that with the $2017 we get from each Aussie visitor).

And, putting it bluntly, Telegraph readers are kind of ideal too, it being something of an upper-class newspaper. It's easy to picture Telegraph Man arriving here, taking in a spot of rugger, bagging snapshots of mountains and lakes, staying in a high-end lodge and shipping home a few cases of wine. Let's encourage him.

Prime Minister John Key, wearing his seldom-seen Minister of Tourism hat, spoke last week about the need to nurture high-spending guests.


"Part of what we're trying to do is make sure we don't just get more people coming through the airport and coming to New Zealand for a couple of days ... we want them to come here, spend money and have a quality experience."

Those Aussies are still the bread and butter of our tourism industry. They spend more than $2 billion here annually and make up 45 per cent of the 2.6 million tourists who visit every year. But the focus over the next few years must be on honing the high end of the market to encourage bigger spending across the board.

'Hi Shania!'

There were some cracking tips about New Zealand from those Telegraph readers.

"Apart from its sheer physical beauty, New Zealand is also a very compact country, which is fully geared to the needs of time-poor visitors," the paper said.

The winning tip in their competition sang the praises of Wanaka.

"You may even run into Shania Twain, who lives there."

Another tipster encouraged visitors to travel by train from Auckland to Wellington.

"Before you leave, check your luggage in with a Maori conductor."

Hmmm. I guess there's no telling what assumptions your visitors might make.