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New Zealand is Top Country in UK

New Zealand has been voted the best country in the world for the first time ever at the Conde Nast Traveller Awards 2005 in the UK…

New Zealand has been voted the best country in the world for the first time ever at the Conde Nast Traveller Awards 2005 in the UK last week, Tourism Minister Mark Burton said.

New Zealand also took out the top overall prize, beating out winners of 23 other categories.

The result is gratifying not just because of the win, but because the readers who voted for us are the sorts of people we are trying to attract to New Zealand. This is further evidence of the benefits of the strong and positive working relationship between the government and the wider sector in building New Zealand`s reputation as a high quality visitor destination.

Conde Nast Traveller readers are affluent, upwardly mobile professionals, and, most importantly, are very interested in travel. This really is an amazing result.

New Zealand frequently features high in Conde Nast Traveller reader`s preferences – often coming second and third in the prestigious awards, but this is the first time that we have won, Mark Burton said.

Thirty thousand Conde Nast Traveller readers voted for their favourite holiday destination in a questionnaire published earlier this year.

Readers graded their chosen country in 10 separate categories. These included climate, culture, food and scenery. With an overall rating of 97.33 (out of a possible 100), New Zealand beat Thailand, Australia and Italy to take out the top country spot.

New Zealand received top marks for scenery (99), environmental friendliness (98.87) and safety(97).

Conde Nast Traveller is a monthly glossy magazine with a circulation of 83,092 (ABC), which has risen steadily since its launch in the UK in 1997.

The annual awards are voted for by readers alone, making them one of the most rewarding accolades within the UK travel industry.

New Zealand`s High Commissioner to London, the Rt Hon Jonathan Hunt, collected both awards.

Visitor arrivals from the UK for year ended July 2005 were 308,000, an increase of over 10 per cent from 2004.

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