NZ named 'Favourite Country'

New Zealand has won the "Favourite Country - Worldwide" award at the Telegraph Travel Awards held at the ME Hotel in London on Wednesday night.

More than 17,000 Telegraph readers took part in the poll this year.

New Zealand edged out finalists the Maldives and South Africa to win the category.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said yesterday the award was a huge honour.

"We are so pleased and excited to have received this award and would like to thank Telegraph readers for their passion and enthusiasm for New Zealand.

"It's great news for us to know that, even in these tough economic times, long-haul destinations like New Zealand are obviously still so important and inspiring to Telegraph readers."

The gong followed Tourism NZ's win for the third year running as Australasia's Leading Tourist Board and its nominations this week in two categories for the World Travel Awards, to be announced in Delhi on December 12.

Tourism NZ is in the running to be named the World's Leading Tourist Board. And its new 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign is one of four finalists for the World's Leading Destination Marketing Campaign. The other finalists are Australia - There's Nothing Like Australia; Morocco - Movement for More Summer; and Spain - I Need Spain.