New Zealand has been voted the favourite country outside Europe in a poll of 17,000 readers of British newspaper the Telegraph.
Along with that accolade, Air New Zealand was chosen as third-favourite long haul airline.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said the award for "favourite worldwide country" was a huge honour.
"It's great news for us to know that, even in these tough economic times long haul destinations like New Zealand are obviously still so important and inspiring to Telegraph readers," Bowler said.
A year ago New Zealand had been celebrating a successful Rugby World Cup, while now it was looking forward to the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in a few weeks.
New Zealand won the worldwide country title from second placed Maldives and third placed South Africa. Readers' favourite European country was Italy, and favourite worldwide city was Cape Town.
Tourism New Zealand is among finalists in the tourist board and destination marketing categories of the World Travel Awards, which are to be announced next month.
- © Fairfax NZ News