New Zealand bagged two awards as the most inspiring and best long-haul destination at the third annual Travelzoo destination awards.
The global deals publisher polled 1,239 UK members for their holiday wish lists and asked them to pick out their favourite countries for special prizes at last night’s ceremony.
New Zealand pipped the US and Australia to best long-haul destination and also won the most inspirational destination gong ahead of up-and-coming Costa Rica and Fiji.
Marc Mulcahy, trade development consultant at Tourism New Zealand, said: “New Zealand lends itself rightly to the title of most inspirational destination, with its lakes, glaciers and geysers all together within a relatively small location.
“We’re delighted to have received the award.”
Italy retained its title as best short-haul destination, ahead of Spain and Croatia, while Brand America celebrated New York being voted the most sought-after city break and the Grand Canyon winning the best iconic landmark title.
Awards were given to the top destinations in each tourism region as well, with the results as follows:
• Top in Africa: South Africa
• Top in Asia: India
• Top in Australia-Pacific: Australia
• Top in Caribbean: St Lucia
• Top in Central America: Costa Rica
• Top in Europe: Italy
• Top in India Ocean: Maldives
• Top in Middle East: United Arab Emirates
• Top in North America: USA
• Top in South America: Peru
• Top in Southeast Asia: Vietnam
• Top UK Getaway: Cornwall
Joel Brandon-Bravo, Travelzoo’s UK managing director, said: “It’s great to see destinations such as Costa Rica, Peru and New Zealand among the winners for 2016.
"At Travelzoo, we aim to inspire our members every Wednesday with our Top 20, our round-up of the most unmissable deals, which is why we include a real mix of destinations each week – not simply the obvious choices.
“In spite of a turbulent 18 months in travel, it’s reassuring to see that our members are still keen to step outside of their comfort zones and travel the world to places such as New Zealand, Fiji and Australia.
"Our research reflects the growing trend for longer-haul holidays and shows that distance and time zones are not a barrier to the desire to travel, as people still want to explore – encouraging news for the travel industry.”
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