New Zealand A Winner for British travellers - RePress

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Tuesday, October 20

New Zealand A Winner for British travellers

New Zealand has turned in a winning performance in the UK, being voted favourite long-haul country by readers of the Guardian, the Observer and guardian.co.uk.

At the annual Reader’s Travel Awards announced recently, New Zealand beat Cambodia, Chile, Vietnam and Japan to take the top spot. Air New Zealand was named second-favourite long-haul carrier after Singapore Airlines.

Andy Pietrasik, Travel Editor for guardian.co.uk, said the fact that more readers this year voted for New Zealand showed that there were still many travellers seeking to get as far away as possible from the bad news at home.

“New Zealand also scored more highly than last year in winning this category, showing that the New Zealand experience has lost none of its appeal during the recession. This will stand it in very good stead as the travel environment improves,” he added.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton said it was important that New Zealand continued to be recognised by travellers in what was currently a difficult market.

In the year to August 2009, New Zealand welcomed 260,000 visitors from the UK, down 10 per cent on the previous year. Arrivals from the UK have been impacted by the global economic downturn which hit the UK in late 2008 and early 2009.

Mr Hickton said the award was a positive endorsement by travellers, which supported the message of Tourism New Zealand’s ‘What Do You Say UK?’ campaign. The campaign is currently running online and on television in the UK. Advertisements feature real British travellers recommending New Zealand to other Brits.

Tourism New Zealand Regional Manager UK and Europe Gregg Anderson collected the award and said many of the other award winners expressed renewed optimism for the next 12 months.

“While the months ahead, including the New Zealand summer, will remain challenging, enquiry levels and bookings continue to improve overall,” he said.

The Guardian newspaper has a circulation of 332,000, its weekend sister paper the Observer reaches 405,000 readers, while its online version – www.guardian.co.uk – has over 1.5 million unique users.

This is the second win for New Zealand in the UK in recent months. In September, New Zealand was ranked in second place as ‘favourite destination’ by readers of the prestigious UK Condé Nast Traveller magazine. It was the sixth year in a row that New Zealand ranked in the top five of these awards.

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