NZ the place to be, says CNN survey

New Zealand has been named the second best place to be by in 2011 by the global broadcasting network CNN.

CNN, which consulted Lonely Planet US editor Robert Reid, guidebook creator Pauline Frommer and travel firm executive Martin Rapp, said the Rugby World Cup was adding excitement to an already popular destination.

"Wellington, which brands itself as the 'coolest little capital in the world', will host some of the activities and hopes to attract fans who want to explore other parts of the country," CNN reported.

It quoted Reid as saying Wellington was "a great kind of springboard" and that he was planning a visit and determined to learn the haka.

CNN said the film industry was thriving in New Zealand, referring to Sir Peter Jackson's latest work on The Hobbit and his success with The Lord of the Rings.
The network said Rapp also recommended New Zealand for its "most fantastically luxurious lodges", including The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawkes Bay, Huka Lodge near Taupo and Otahuna Lodge in Canterbury.

New York was top of CNN's list: "A huge tourist destination in any year, the city will be especially unforgettable as it marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks next year."
The National September 11 Memorial is expected to open before the anniversary. "It's going to be a massive moment for New York," Reid said. "It feels like the healing begins."

Other countries to make the list include Norway, Albania and Japan.
Reid said Albania gave tourists a taste of the Mediterranean without the crowds and prices. It would not remain off the beaten track for long.
And a holiday to Japan was cheaper than New York.

"Why go in 2011? [Japan] is ramping up its tourism marketing efforts after some recent disappointing years, so the number of visitors is expected to rise soon," said CNN.

Reid said: "We think that the crowds are going to get worse. Maybe it's time to think about it now."

CNN TOP DESTINATIONS:

1 - New York
2 - New Zealand
3 - Peruvian Amazon
4 - Barcelona, Spain
5 - Norway

source: Tourism New Zealand

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