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Nelson fourth in travel poll

Last updated 13:00 06/03/2014

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Nelson has made New Zealand's top four destinations in a trans-Tasman travel experience poll.

Taranaki was named the top tourist destination, followed by Coromandel and Queenstown, with Nelson fourth and Bay of Islands fifth.

Nelson Tasman Tourism chief executive Lynda Keene said it was great that Nelson was in the top five.

"It's terrific. I can understand why Coromandel and Queenstown are also in the most desired destinations which is fantastic. It's interesting that Taranaki is No 1, and that's great, but it's slightly perplexing."

Travel experience provider Experience Oz and New Zealand ran the poll through their social media and website. The poll, which ran last month, had more than 2000 people in Australia and New Zealand vote for the top 10 destinations to experience in New Zealand.

"The results took us by surprise to be honest," said the company's business development manager Michelle Woodruff after Taranaki was rated top.

Ms Keene said for the Coromandel and Nelson regions to come up so high in the rankings was significant, as it was hard to sell a beach destination to Australians.

"We're definitely seeing growth out of the Australian market," she said.

Nationally the number of holidaymakers from Australia to New Zealand was up 8.5 per cent in the year to January.

At the Nelson i-SITE for the six months to last December, Australian booking sales were up 43 per cent compared to the previous six-month period in 2012.

NTT's international marketing manager Loren Heaphy is in Sydney this week at the Australia Market Insight trade event to promote the region and has 60 appointments over three days with tour wholesalers, online travel agents and retail travel agencies.

Ms Keene said Nelson appealed because of the diversity from coastal to alpine and national park experiences.

Promotions were being done relating to the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, she said.

Meanwhile, a Nelson Visitors Information app for Android has been developed.

The Visual Guide to Nelson New Zealand provides information for locals, visitors, and tourists including the areas of Tasman and Golden Bay.

It includes details on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, activities, transport, local shopping, galleries, local arts and crafts, and entertainment.

"You can phone them directly, send an inquiry form to make a booking, and locate them on a map," said Brian Holmes, of Harlequin Promotions.

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