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Lonely Planet’s top 3 ranking is huge accolade for Northland


Northland Inc’s Vaughan Cooper has described Lonely Planet’s decision to rank Northland among its top three destinations to visit in Asia Pacific in 2019 as a “huge accolade”.

The list, published by the global travel authority today (Tuesday), placed the Bay of Islands and Northland behind Margaret River and southern Western Australia, and the southern Japanese island of Shikoku.

“This gives a clear indication of just how much tourism is growing in our region and the far-reaching effects it’s having,” said Northland Inc’s acting CEO.

“The Bay of Islands has long been described as ‘the jewel in our crown’, and rightly so, but this is also a significant boost for Northland as a whole to be recognised. It will generate significant exposure and considerably raise our global profile.

“This recognition is thoroughly deserved and it carries on the good work and success stories that have been a hallmark of Northland in recent months.”

The news follows close on the heels of the completion of stage one of the Hihiaua Cultural Centre in Whangārei, the opening of the new Bay of Islands Airport terminal, and Tourism NZ’s decision to put Northland “front and centre” of its international campaign, showcasing what makes New Zealand such a unique and special destination.

Northland Inc’s Trade Marketing Manager, Sarah Archer, said: “We are seeing a marked increase in trade and media enquiries from people and organisations wanting to utilise Northland’s fantastic locations for both tourism and conference destinations. The word is really getting out there.”

Lonely Planet praised Northland’s “endless extraordinary surf beaches, myriad islands and forests of giant trees”, but added: “That’s only part of the story. Northland is the cradle of the country’s culture and history – both for the indigenous Māori people and for the European settlers who followed them.”

It continued: “The two formally come together with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in the Bay of Islands, and 2020 sees the 180th anniversary of that key nation-building event. Expect extra gusto at the annual festivities at Waitangi on February 6 – New Zealand’s national day – including the opening of a brand new museum devoted to the Māori Battalion who fought in the World Wars.”

Fourth place on Lonely Planet’s Best in Asia Pacific 2019 went to Singapore, with the Cook Islands in fifth place, followed by Central Vietnam, Fiji, Palawan in the Philippines, Beijing and Cambodia.

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