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Thread: Lonely Planet's View of NZ

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    Default Lonely Planet's View of NZ


    Travel guide loves us but not quite from Reinga to Bluff
    Tuesday September 12, 2006
    By Jim Eagles

    It certainly won't be Lonely Planet's fault if tourists don't flock to New Zealand. ?The 13th edition of the best-selling guide, published yesterday, is ecstatic about our scenery, food and wine, friendliness, quirky humour, music and progressive politics.

    "The world's biggest film set is also the world's must-visit destination for the umpteenth year in a row," gushes the introduction. "No wonder the locals are smiling. They've long known they live in paradise and now everyone else does too."

    It adds that "a pretty backdrop is not all New Zealand has going for it. Genuinely friendly locals go out of their way to ensure visitors feel welcome. There is a vibrant Maori culture too, for this is a country that recognises and respects its indigenous people."

    Australian-based Lonely Planet has long been enthusiastic about New Zealand but this latest edition is almost over the top in its praise. ?Auckland, which has "a full menu of multicultural delights" and "more sandy beaches and beautiful islands than seems entirely fair" is "one hell of a destination".

    Maybe there's a little sarcasm in the description of Hamilton as "the capital of nice" but the Waikato is "postcard-perfect rural New Zealand". ?Even "windy Wellington" is "imbued with an easy, accessible blend of the political, the academic and the creative".

    A couple of flaws are hinted at. Green MP Nandor Tanczos declares that "to describe ourselves as 'clean and green' ... is 100 per cent pure fantasy" and urges visitors to promote change by asking locals "where the recycling centre is".

    The Far North town of Kaitaia is described as "the highlight of no one's trip to New Zealand" with a severe problem of theft from cars while in the Far South the only reason to visit "shabby little Bluff" is to get the ferry to Stewart Island.

    Far North District Council Mayor Yvonne Sharp said every community had its pluses and minuses, "but for them to pick out just the bad things is very unfortunate ... certainly Kaitaia would not be the only place in New Zealand that suffers from car theft".

    Bluff promotions and publicity officer Lindsay Beer said the deep south township was having a makeover and people who criticised the place had probably never been there. ?"Our town is the oldest European settlement in New Zealand and we offer a lifestyle which is pretty relaxed in this part of the world - a lot of people who visit often return to live," he said.

    Also in the Lonely Planet, Sir Ian McKellen (aka Gandalf) reveals "the well-kept secret of sandflies" but adds "I would hope that travellers find them an insignificant pest compared with the glory of their habitat". ?This thespian tribute follows the endorsement by Scarlett Johansson, who commented at the Venice Film Festival that she liked Auckland as "a very modern city" where "people watch movies and are into art".

    Lonely Planet's love affair with New Zealand is no small matter. It is the largest independent travel publishing company in the world, with more than 600 titles in print and selling more than six million books a year.

    Since the first New Zealand guide was produced 29 years ago 1.5 million of them have been sold.
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    Default Re: Lonely Planet's View of NZ

    NZ given cool rating by Brits
    11.00am Tuesday September 26, 2006

    Cool or hot, take your pick, New Zealand is certainly a hip place to visit.

    British consultancy Superbrands conducted an online survey of 1725 people for its Coolbrands monitor, rating New Zealand as the coolest place to travel.

    New Zealand came out as the top destination, ahead of Morocco, Fiji, Prague, Australia, the Maldives, Amsterdam, Brighton, the Bahamas and Bermuda.

    The London News had New Zealand at the other end of the temperature scale -- "The hottest place to be", it called the country, saying it was reaping the benefits of a marketing campaign.

    Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton said being the coolest destination was a fillip for the country.

    "This win is a vindication of the recent work we've put in to the UK market, with the Chelsea Flower Show and our 'Come Now. If Not Sooner' advertising campaign ensuring New Zealand stays top of mind with potential travellers."

    The biggest single country for visitors to New Zealand is Australia, with Britain second.

    In the year ending August 2006, 289,134 people arrived in New Zealand from the UK.

    - NZPA
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    Default Re: Lonely Planet's View of NZ

    Rough Guide gives plucky coffee-loving Kiwis thumbs-up
    18 October 2006
    By ESTHER MCLAREN

    New Zealand is a nation of bad trains, great hostels and plucky, tolerant, coffee-loving beachgoers, according to the latest edition of tourist guidebook The Rough Guide.

    Wellington received especially glowing reviews, being described as the country's most exciting city.

    Despite being buffeted by Cook Strait winds most days, the compact city was easily walkable and had a buzzing arts scene. Its "big heart " and sophisticated cafe society made up for its small size, The Rough Guide authors said.

    Although often regarded by visitors as being chiefly a transit hub, Auckland had a beautiful harbour and warm weather. Prim wooden villas with big gardens created a small-town feel beyond the glitzy city centre. Karangahape Road got a special mention for its trendy cafes.

    Christchurch was a relaxed city where parks and gardens rubbed shoulders with gothic architecture, according to The Rough Guide. However its Englishness was largely skin-deep, the book said, and in recent years the city had acquired a "youthful, bohemian edge".

    Dunedin, meanwhile, was "darkly attractive", with iconic architecture crafted from local stone. Its green, tree-filled Octagon drew praise, and the authors suggested tourists visit during Otago University's term-time, when local nightlife took off.

    The Rough Guide, scheduled for release next week, had few pointed comments of the sort that appeared in the Lonely Planet handbook released last month.

    The Lonely Planet authors described Bluff as shabby and Kaitaia as crawling with thieves, while most of Central Otago's small towns were dismissed as having little to offer.

    The Rough Guide was gentler in its criticism. Whangarei was "a bit disappointing", while Akaroa was attractive but twee, and New Zealand's rising sophistication levels seemed to have passed Westport by.

    Other towns fared better. Nelson was beguiling and "supremely placed" among beaches and national parks, while Cambridge was peaceful, understated and attractive in a rural sort of way.

    The authors helpfully pointed out that people hoping to see elves and wizards roaming countryside dotted with stone fortresses would be in for a shock. Special effects had rendered many of the Lord of the Rings landscapes unrecognisable from their real-life states , the book warned.

    "Be prepared for some disappointment. Scenes rarely look as they did in the films."
    Tourists thinking about using the country's passenger rail system were told there was not much left of it.

    "Trains are so slow that they have ceased to be practical transport for most New Zealanders," the authors said. Features included reclining seats, "beer, but no espresso" and sporadic, not particularly diverting commentary.

    Despite the lack of good coffee on the country's trains, making the stuff had nonetheless been turned into a national art form, The Rough Guide said.

    In fact, Kiwi food and drink in general got a resounding thumbs-up, with the authors recommending local favourites including cervena, feijoa, hot dogs and lamingtons.
    Budget accommodation was also singled out as being particularly impressive.

    "New Zealand has pioneered the backpacker hostel. Found all over the country, hostels offer superb value to travellers. Wherever you stay, you can expect unstinting hospitality and a truckload of valuable advice."

    Furthermore, New Zealanders liked to think of themselves as tolerant and open-minded people, and foreigners were generally welcomed with open arms.
    Holidays were a major part of the relaxed New Zealand lifestyle, the book said, so perhaps it's no wonder locals did such a good job as hosts.

    "Kiwis identify strongly with the land, and perhaps even more so with the sea. During summer large swathes of the population decamp from the town and cities to baches or camping spots by the beach. "

    The country's rugged beginnings also played a big part in shaping the national psyche, The Rough Guide said. "At its core the Kiwi personality is rooted in the desire to make a better life in a unique and sometimes unaccommodating land. New Zealanders are inordinately fond of stories of plucky Kiwis overcoming great odds."

    - NZPA
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    Default Re: Lonely Planet's View of NZ

    NZ voted second favourite spot in Lonely Planet poll
    31 October 2006

    New Zealand has been voted the number two "favourite destination" by a poll of 32,000 travellers in the latest Lonely Planet Bluelist book.

    The tourist guide company is due next month to release the second edition of its Bluelist ? a collection of the best, quirkiest and most beautiful of the world's travel spots.

    As well as being voted No 2 overall, New Zealand has made the top ten in several individual categories.

    Wellington was named one of the "cities on the rise" by the Bluelist authors, who said the capital was more beautiful than Seattle and Melbourne, and had plenty of youthful energy thanks to live music, cafes, fashionable bars and bookshops.

    "Maybe, due for New Zealand's next big earthquake, it's busy living for the moment," the book's authors suggested.

    Motuara Island, a tiny, predator-free "kiwi's revenge" in the Queen Charlotte Sound made it on to the list of most deserted islands, while the sunken Rainbow Warrior was named one of the globe's best diving destinations.

    "Anemone, sponges and algae of all colours cling to the wreck; in its grave the Rainbow Warrior is far more rainbow than warrior."

    The Milford Track earned praise in the category of "slow travel" ? it's 53.3 rainforested kilometres making it one of the finest walking trails in the world, according to the Bluelist writers.

    The Lonely Planet Bluelist 2007 is due for release in mid-November.

    - NZPA
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    Default Re: Lonely Planet's View of NZ

    Not Lonely Planet this time and they can't all be wrong. ;)

    NZ rated best for natural beauty and outdoor activities
    3.25pm Tuesday November 7, 2006

    New Zealand has topped a worldwide survey for natural beauty and outdoor activities. It also ranked second for family activities and authenticity of culture, and third for safety in the survey of frequent travellers carried out by Country Brand Index 2006 (CBI).

    The results were released today at the World Travel Market, the premier annual exhibition of the global travel trade, in London. The CBI identifies countries as brands and emerging global travel trends in the world's fastest-growing economic sector - travel and tourism.

    Researchers surveyed over 1500 international travellers, travel industry experts and hospitality professionals, all of whom had travelled internationally at least once per year. From their comments, the researchers constructed the index, gauging what people thought about countries, where was hot and where wasn't.

    Australia was ranked the top country brand, followed by the United States and Italy. New Zealand ranked eighth. New Zealand was ranked first for natural beauty an outdoor activities. It was ranked second as a destination with activities suited to families and second as the most "authentic" brand, in terms of distinctive, genuine and unique cultures.

    Egypt had the best architecture and monuments, Peru was the most exotic, Canada was the safest ahead of New Zealand in third place, and Italy had the best food and nightlife.

    "Powerful marketing is only as good as the experience the individual has on the ground and this is something New Zealand has done brilliantly," CBI senior strategy consultant Dominic Mason said. "New Zealand's emergence as the number one country for outdoors is a triumph of brand experience matching the brand promise.

    "Governments throughout the world can look to New Zealand as a country that has fulfilled much of its potential as a country brand," he said.

    - NZPA
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