John Key, the New Zealand prime minister, has welcomed his country’s victory in the coveted “favourite country” category of the Telegraph Travel Awards 2014, the world’s biggest reader travel awards New Zealandwas announced as Telegraph readers favourite country, with votes cast by almost 90,000 people in the widest-ranging travel survey of its kind. Responding to the news, John Key, the New Zealand prime minister, described the result as “a great accolade.” “Tourism forms a significant part of our economy,” he said in response to the announcement of the awards, which took place in a ceremony at the Banking Hall in central London earlier today. “The winning of a prestigious award like this, voted by the public, is a great accolade for our country and bodes well for our tourism industry.” “We believe one of the real strengths of the tourism experience in New Zealand is that it lives up to the hype. “Too often a lot of 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 country has now won the best country category on several occasions. Ben Ross, Telegraph Travel’s head of print, writes: “One thing remains constant − and that’s the abiding love that Telegraph readers have for one country: New Zealand. “This is the third year in a row that the Land of the Long White Cloud has thrown its fluffy shadow over the Telegraph Travel Awards. “Perhaps it’s because New Zealand is a country that 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?” The awards ceremony also announced winners from a variety of different categories, including best cruise line, best tour operator, best hotel chain and best city. For a full list of the winners and the awards, see Telegraph Travel Awards 2014.