New Zealand has again topped the Telegraph Travel Awards in Britain, taking the title of Favourite Country for the second year in a row.
Chosen by Telegraph newspaper readers, the awards attracted a record high of 75,000 votes, and New Zealand beat global competition to repeat last year's win.
"This award is a huge honour and we would like to thank voters for their on-going support of New Zealand,"' Tourism New Zealand Regional Manager UK & Europe Danielle Genty-Nott said.
"It's hugely exciting to know that our beautiful and diverse country is providing inspiration to readers of the Telegraph and that their experiences of New Zealand are ones they treasure."
The Telegraph summed up the win by saying "The Land of the Long White Cloud casts its spell over many people in many places, but seems to exert a special hold over British travellers with its mix of old-fashioned Englishness, stunning alpine scenery, vibrant Polynesian culture and obsession with extreme sport.
"The fact that it also produces some of the world's best sauvignon blanc and pinot noir adds to its charm, while the quality (and freshness) of Kiwi cuisine continues to impress."
New Zealand was compact and fully geared to the needs of time-poor visitors.
Its roads were well maintained and largely free of traffic, and there was a modern air-transport system.
"But the country's single biggest tourism asset is surely its people, who are friendly, relaxed and a little eccentric. Passionate travellers themselves, New Zealanders are the world's most natural hosts.
"No wonder so many Brits regard this plucky, outdoorsy and rugby-loving nation as their second home."
The Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, was runner-up with Burma next in line.
"Only a 10-hour flight away from the UK, the Maldives also has one other great attraction: all year round sunshine", the Telegraph said
A full list of winners can be found here: telegraph.co.uk
- © Fairfax NZ News