Aotearoa Wins Big in 2020 World Travel Awards

Glenorchy, Queenstown

The 2020 World Travel Awards have named New Zealand as the best destination in Oceania with multiple Kiwi hotels emerging as the most popular in the region.

The 27th annual awards are voted for by travellers and travel industry insiders from around the world and it was New Zealand’s ‘untamed wilderness, golden beaches and laid-back charms’ that saw it beat fellow nominees Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and Tonga.

Queenstown was named the leading city destination in Oceania, despite its town status, proving more popular than Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns and the Gold Coast.

Air New Zealand was voted the leading airline in the region, proving more popular than Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Air Tahiti Nui and Samoa Airways.

Blanket Bay, a luxury lodge on the shores of Lake Wakatipu in Glenorchy, was voted the best boutique resort, while SkyCity Grand Hotel in central Auckland emerged as the leading business hotel. The leading hotel in Oceania honours went to Millbrook Resort in Arrowtown.

Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay was voted the leading experiential luxury property and The Residence at The George Christchurch took top honours in the leading luxury hotel villa category

Eagle’s Nest, which sits on a 30-hectare estate on a private ridgeline in Russell in the Bay of Islands, was voted the region’s best villa resort and InterContinental Wellington topped the conference hotel category.

None of our airports took out a win, however, with Melbourne Airport being named the best.

World Travel Awards founder Graham Cooke said the 2020 programme attracted a record number of public votes despite the COVID-19 pandemic preventing many from travelling.

“This shows that the appetite for travel and tourism has never been stronger and bodes well for the industry’s future as the global recovery begins.”