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New Zealand tops UK Tourism Awards

Damien O'Connor

15 October, 2008
New Zealand tops UK Tourism Awards

New Zealand has once again been voted a favourite destination by British travellers, Tourism Minister Damien O'Connor said today.

Readers of the Guardian, the Observer and voted New Zealand their favourite long-haul holiday destination in the recent annual Reader's Travel Awards.

New Zealand won this award in 2006 but lost to Cambodia (1st), Vietnam (2nd) and Japan (3rd) in 2007.

Mr O'Connor said the win reflected the effort New Zealand's tourism industry had put into providing a world-class experience to international visitors.

"Only by offering authentic and unique visitor experiences and delivering high-levels of customer service will the tourism industry be able to remain competitive and deliver on the goals set out in the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2015.

"Of note is that this win comes in the face of flattening visitor numbers from the UK, New Zealand's second-largest tourist market. There were just under 290,000 visitors from the UK in the year to August 2008, down 4 per cent on the previous year.

Mr O'Connor said this award would reinforce Tourism New Zealand's latest campaign in the UK, which aims to help maintain visitor numbers at 2007 levels over the summer season.

The $7.3 million ‘What Do You Say, UK?' campaign launched in September and aims to give immediacy and urgency to the idea of coming to New Zealand.

It was a winning week for New Zealand tourism with Tourism New Zealand also winning a Gold Award in the Designers Institute of New Zealand's Best Design Awards for its inflatable rugby ball venue.

The ball, which first appeared in Paris for last year's Rugby World Cup, will further boost New Zealand's profile in the UK when it goes up in London in November to time with the All Blacks' Grand Slam Tour.

"For a small country and long haul destination we are doing exceptionally well. New Zealand tourism operators should be proud. Our international visitors are obviously extremely satisfied with the experiences they have had here. I thank all operators nationwide and encourage them to keep up the good work," said Mr O'Connor.


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