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Friday, September 4

New Zealand Named as a Top Destination – Condé Nast

For the sixth year in a row, New Zealand has been ranked in the top five best destinations in the world by readers of the prestigious Condé Nast Traveller magazine.

The awards were announced last night in the UK. New Zealand was placed second after Italy as ‘Best Destination’. Turkey was third and Australia was fourth. Italy scored well on the quality of its food and restaurants, culture and climate

Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton said it was a great result for New Zealand given that British travellers had been hard hit by the economic downturn and were looking to holiday closer to home.

“The UK is probably one of the toughest markets in the world to get noticed in. Travellers have access to the lowest airfares in the world, which means they have a huge amount of choice.

“For UK holidaymakers to recognise New Zealand as their favourite long-haul country is a huge achievement in this competitive marketplace and one which the New Zealand industry should be most proud of,” Mr Hickton said.

Air New Zealand took second-place in the long-haul airlines category. Queenstown’s Blanket Bay took first place in the ‘Best Leisure Hotel – Australasia’ category. In the year to July, New Zealand welcomed 260,000 UK visitors, down 10 per cent on the previous year. Sarah Miller, editor Conde Nast Traveller, said New Zealand was popular with readers because of its fantastic landscape and its relaxed quality of life.

“New Zealand is also known for its fantastic food, its Māori culture, and for being one of the safest places on the planet. Of course, it’s also thought of as being forward-thinking for its environmental friendliness. And all that stuff adds up,” she said.

This win makes 2009 the sixth year in a row that New Zealand has been ranked in the top five favourite countries by the publication’s readers.

“While arrivals from the UK are slower at the moment, some people are still travelling, particularly those from the youth and 50-plus groups. Offering good quality, exciting holidays in beautiful scenery will keep us in the mix when people are considering where to spend their time,” Mr Hickton said.

New Zealand was also listed fourth overall in the ‘Best of the Best’ section of the awards which includes cities, airports, hotels, cruise lines and other sectors within the tourism industry.

Condé Nast Traveller is a glossy lifestyle publication with an emphasis on luxury travel. It has a circulation of 85,000, with 91 per cent of readers holidaying three or more times a year.

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