Hot on the heels of Rugby World Cup, and a bag full of international tourism accolades from 2011, New Zealand is set to stay in the international spotlight for 2012.
The 2011 collection of significant awards - designating New
Zealand as hot, popular and eco-friendly - confirms Aotearoa New Zealand
as a top international destination for visitors looking to fulfill
their travel dreams.
Travel authority Lonely Planet has picked New Zealand’s Southern
Lakes in the ‘top 10 regions to visit in 2012’, and New Zealand was
voted top global eco-tourism destination at both World Traveller and
Viagens e Turismo tourism awards in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
New Zealand ranked third strongest country brand in the 2011
FutureBrand Country Brand Index (CBI), and in the past 12 months many
individual Kiwis - sports people, film-makers, authors, designers,
artists, wine-makers and tourism operators - have been recognised as
among the best in their field.
New Zealand is among the most researched destinations for UK tourists
according to flight comparison website Skyscanner’s 2012 global travel
trends report - an analysis of flight search data from 15 million
Spain remains the favourite British destination, but a 35%
year-on-year increase puts New Zealand in the top 10 destinations
receiving growing interest from the British travelling public.
In October, The Telegraph (UK) readers named New Zealand as their
second favorite worldwide destination at the Telegraph Travel Awards,
and Wanderlust (UK) travel magazine readers voted New Zealand their
third most satisfying holiday destination.
Rugby World Cup which brought 133,000 visitors - including
significant numbers of UK tourists - to New Zealand in September and
October, also delivered New Zealand landscapes and culture along with
live rugby coverage to a massive international viewing audience in
For 2012, two New Zealand regions have been singled out for international attention.
The Southern Lakes region which includes three major New Zealand
tourist destinations - Queenstown, Lake Wanaka and Fiordland - is the
only New Zealand region to feature in Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel
2012’. Queenstown and Southern Lakes is ranked at #8 for its year-round
activities and spectacular scenery.
Kaikoura - New Zealand’s southern whale watching capital - became
the first destination in the world to achieve gold in a new global
green benchmark for community sustainability efforts. The Gold Community
certification awarded by Green Globe recognises the Kaikoura
community’s efforts and contribution to New Zealand’s world-leading
sustainable tourism credentials.
Cycling and hiking
In 2012, there will be plenty to entice travellers to experience
Destination New Zealand’s natural wonders, unique culture and lifestyle
including some outstanding new cycling and walking attractions.
New Zealand’s developing national cycle trail project - 18 ‘great
rides’ through some of the country’s iconic landscapes - is on track
for completion towards the end of the year / early 2013. Several cycle
ways are already open and others will be opened progressively during
this summer and over the coming months.
The ‘great rides’ will join New Zealand’s well established network of
nine ‘great walks’ - multi-day hiking treks through a series of wild
New Zealand landscapes which include the famed Tongariro Crossing, in
the volcanic central North Island, and the Milford Track through the
dual world heritage parks of Fiordland on the South Island’s remote
For intrepid hikers, the Te Araroa Trail - traversing the length
of New Zealand - will provide the newest and ultimate walking experience
but there are also many opportunities for recreational walkers as the
3000-kilometre trail covers a multitude of shorter day and overnight
Courtesy of Breaking Travel News