New Zealand wins world's best country

WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE? Milford Sound at sunset.
Richard Young

WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE? Milford Sound at sunset.

New Zealand has been named the world's best country, according to the Telegraph Travel Awards.

More than 90,000 people voted for their favourite travel companies and destinations, in what is the widest-ranging travel survey of its kind, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Runners up in the country category were Maldives and South Africa, while Cape Town won best city category.

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Responding to the news, Prime Minister John Key described the result as "a great accolade". 

"Tourism forms a significant part of our economy," he said. "We believe one of the real strengths of the tourism experience in New Zealand is that it lives up to the hype. Too often people go to a destination where ultimately it is never as good as the brochure, whereas in New Zealand we think people come and get an experience that is better than the brochure."

The Government had invested an unprecedented $600 million in tourism and tourism promotion since 2008, he said. 

This is the third year running that New Zealand has won best-country honours. 

Telegraph Travel's head of print Ben Ross said the land of the long white cloud delivers almost everything a traveller could want in one easy-to-use package.

"This is a place where British tourists can enjoy the thrill of long-haul travel, coupled with the reassurance of being greeted in our native tongue - albeit spoken with that characteristic twang. It also thrusts dramatic scenery at us, wherever we turn.

"Who could fail to thrill to Milford Sound's epic vistas, or the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park?"

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See the full list of winners here.

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 - Stuff

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