Do you think Wellington really is better than London, Paris and Tokyo?
Move over London, Rome and Paris – Wellington is the world's coolest capital city.
Lonely Planet has named our capital the fourth best city in which to travel in the world, behind New York, Tangier and Tel Aviv.
It is the first time a New Zealand city has made it into the annual Best in Travel publication – a collection of the world's best trends, destinations, journeys and experiences.
In the sixth edition, released today, the publication refers to Wellington under the banner of "coolest little capital in the world".
Positively Wellington Tourism chief executive David Perks said sharing the top five with cities such as New York and Tel Aviv was priceless recognition.
"To have Lonely Planet – a global brand respected for frank opinions and having its finger on the pulse – come out and refer to Wellington as the `coolest little capital in the world' and among the top 10 cities you must visit for 2011 is quite simply incredible."
It is perfect timing for the city as businesses prepare for an action-packed calendar in 2011.
About 85,000 international visitors are expected in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup.
Other highlights include the third Visa Wellington On a Plate in August and an extended season of the Montana World of WearableArt show, which will lead into the World Cup kickoff. In November, the city is hosting hundreds of writers for the Society of American Travel Writers conference.
Prime Minister John Key said Wellington was a great place to live, and even put a positive spin on our notorious wind.
"Actually I thoroughly enjoy going around the harbour when it's blustery and windy. It has a kind of New Zealand feel to it.
"For all the hard time Wellington gets about its weather, I think it adds to the dimension of the place that it has quite a good feel to it in that regard."
However, asked if he preferred it to Auckland, he replied: "That's a big stretch."
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, who moved to Wellington from Britain in 1983, said she thought Wellington's strength lay in the combination of "wilderness" and city living.
"You don't have to choose arts or sports, or between culture or wilderness, because it's all there."
Lonely Planet, the world's biggest travel guide company, has sold millions of copies of hundreds of titles since it began in 1972.
- The Dominion Post