It is a reinforcement of sorts what most agents and tourism business owners in Auckland have long believed in, Auckland is truly one of the best destinations in the world for vacationers. In the recent 2013 TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Destination Awards, Auckland’s WaihekeIsland has been picked as one of the best 10 islands in the South Pacific. It is the latest in a number of other recognitions that the island has been bestowed with. Further adding to the glittering cupboard, Auckland Central has been recognized as the second best destination by the same poll. This highly regarded annual award is from the world’s top travel review website which releases its reviews based on the opinions from millions of its readers across the world.
Waiheke Island which is literally a paradise for beach lovers, which also has a number fine wineries and other gastronomical attractions in the vicinity has been rated along side some of the other best island destinations in the Pacific including Bora Bora and Taveuni Island in Fiji. Incidentally Auckland has 3 beaches in the top ten list, a rare achievement indeed. Piha has been rated number 3 in the list and the neighboring beaches of Bethells and Karekare have also been placed in the top 10.
Jason Hill, ATEED’s Tourism Manager, mentioned on the occasion that the collective effect of these awards will certainly change the whole perception people have about Auckland. Indeed, when the award comes from such a well known and highly regarded brand as TripAdvisor then there cannot be any doubt as to how much travelers love & admire Auckland. It is certainly a heartening sight to see Waiheke island, the city of Auckland and the lovely beaches receiving so many accolades. Mr. Hill also added that these awards are a recognition that Auckland as a destination is heading the right way in terms of its transformation efforts and this is certainly going to boost the morale of the people who are involved with it and re-establish Auckland as one of the world’s top destinations.
The awards could not have come at a better time for Auckland. It has been a busy summer with visitation increasing by 5.5% between October 2012 and March 2013. Additionally visitors seem to like staying in Auckland, as the average stay has gone up from 2.02 nights to 2.08.
The TripAdvisor award is one in a long line of acknowledgments that Auckland has received in the past six months. The WaihekeIsland has been acknowledged as one of the New York Times’ 46 places to go this year. The 2012 World Travel Awards saw Auckland as Australasia’s Top destination to visit. In the 2013 Mercer Scale of Global Lifestyle Cities, Auckland had been ranked third and it was also awarded the best Turnaround Destination by the British Cruise Insight Magazine.
These awards and the increase in Summer visitation to the city is certainly going to help ATEED’s work plan and efforts to develop the tourism business in Auckland as part of its 10-year Auckland Visitor Plan. ATEED has a plan to double the revenue contribution that is currently received from the tourism industry from $3.3 Billion to $6 Billion over the next 10 years ending in 2021.