Otaki flies high as a place to visit

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 11:08 19/03/2014
Otaki Kite Festival

TOP ATTRACTION: Otaki's kite festival has earned the top 2 spot on a list of Asian destinations.

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Otaki has been ranked second in a list of 10 of destinations in the Asia region to visit. 

The March/April Asia edition of Lonely Planet features the town in a nine-page splash on 10 easy trips in the Asia region.

Otaki and its kite festival came in at No 2, between Paro, Bhutan - home of the Drukpa Buddhism festival - and the peach blossom extravaganza in Beijing's Pinggu district.

The feature came after information on the kite festival was sent to Lonely Planet by Ian Carson, chairman of the Otaki Village Promotions Group, after a request by Lonely Planet .

''I provided some details, had a chat to them, and next thing we know, we're in the Asia edition.''Carson said he sent the information then ''forgot all about'' the possibility the town might appear.''Because of the fact we were so involved in organising, and getting the nuts and bolts stuff done, [for the kite festival] you do tend to forget about these things.''

This month he got an email with a file attached showing the magazine spread.

Unfortunately the copy of the spread arrived after the festival had run, but will still be valuable for promoting Otaki and the festival in the future, he said.

Carson said the magazine, which sets travel trends around the world, might have already helped with this year's event.

''The interesting thing is we did notice quite a few people that did seem to be international visitors in Otaki - I don't know whether it was because of that.''

He said Otaki's placing, ahead of Beijing, ''was not bad''.

The town features the Maoriland Film Festival from March 26 to March 30, with guests including Taika Waititi and Temuera Morrison.

Lonely Planet's 10 easy destinations in Asia

1. Paro, Bhutan

2. Otaki, New Zealand

3. Beijing, China

4. Astana, Kazakhstan

5. Bali, Indonesia

6. Fremantle, Australia

7. Ha Long, Vietnam

8. Victoria, Seychelles

9. Gujarat, India

10. Singapore

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