Tourist officials in New Zealand have welcomed the finding that the country is the most popular long-haul destination among Britons.
Chief executive of Tourism New Zealand George Hickton explained that the current economic climate makes it important for the country to be recognised by travellers.
It comes after readers of the Guardian named the destination as their favourite at the publication's annual travel awards.
Air New Zealand also came second in terms of most-preferred long-haul carrier, with Singapore Airlines taking the top spot.
Travel editor at guardian.co.uk Andy Pietrasik said: "The New Zealand experience has lost none of its appeal during the recession. This will stand it in very good stead as the travel environment improves."
Those heading to the country will be able to experience its 'small five' animals - rare species being promoted by tourism officials in a bid to encourage more people to experience the wildlife on offer.
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