New Zealand Tops List of Hottest Destinations for World's Richest Travellers

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By Reissa Su | August 26, 2014 11:00 AM EST

New Zealand has been hailed as the "hottest country" in the world for travellers. According to Virtuoso, a network of luxury travel service providers and advisors, New Zealand topped its Hot List based on data from international travel agency members.

REUTERS
Reserve Bank of New Zealand dollar notes are pictured in Singapore in this June 22, 2006 file photo.

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Virtuoso tracked popular destinations with the largest annual growth by looking at client transactions worth $32 billion. New Zealand's majestic sceneries featured in blockbuster movies like the Lord of the Rings boosted its tourism industry.

Virtuoso chairman and CEO Matthew Upchurch said the travel industry is racing to promote places with untouched beauty to keep with the demands of mass tourism and globalization.

The survey also found that international travel outside of the United States has increased 21 percent compared to 2013. Trips to Europe have also climbed 23 percent.

Aside from New Zealand, Chile, Indonesia and countries in central Europe have become popular among the world's richest travellers. 

Virtuoso said New Zealand enjoys a "strong surge" of wealthy travellers with a record growth of nearly 200 percent in visits in 2013. Chile and Indonesia experienced a 103 percent growth.

The report also revealed where the world's wealthy travellers will go throughout the remainder of 2014. Top destinations like Italy, France and the U.K have always been favorites of the affluent. The average traveller in Virtuoso's network has an average age of 56 years old and a household income of $200,000.

New Zealand's neighbouring country across the Tasman, Australia, is also in Virtuoso's Hot List destinations. Australia is seventh on the list with a 58 percent increase in growth. The world's richest travellers love going to its world-class cities like Melbourne and Sydney. Home to several World Heritage sites including the Great Barrier Reef, Australia has attracted the wealthy with its slogan, "There's nothing like Australia."

Virtuoso said New Zealand has out-paced the countries in the Hot List with a tremendous 196 percent growth in spending. The luxury travel network has predicted that this growth will not slow down anytime soon.

Virtuoso's Top 10 Hot List Destinations

1. New Zealand

2. Chile

3. Indonesia

4. Hungary

5. Hong Kong

6. Croatia

7. Australia

8. Ecuador

9. Greece

10. Norway

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(Photo: REUTERS / Dennis Owen)
Reserve Bank of New Zealand dollar notes are pictured in Singapore in this June 22, 2006 file photo.
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