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Saturday, 12 July 2008

Tasmania Named Number One Island


In one of the biggest acknowledgements of the State's increasing status as a sought-after international tourist destination, Tasmania has been named the number one island in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific by leading North American magazine Travel + Leisure.

The Minister for Economic Development and Tourism, Paula Wriedt, said the World's Best Awards put Tasmania ahead of Bora Bora, the Great Barrier Reef, Tahiti's Moorea, and the Fiji Islands.

"The State also featured in the list of World's Best Islands, impressively entering the top10 list this year at number five," Ms Wriedt said.

"This is an incredibly prestigious accolade, with Tasmania beaten on the world stage only by well-established destinations such as the Galapagos Islands, Bali, and the Hawaiian destinations Maui and Kauai.

"Hobart also polled in number five position this year appearing on the list of top cities in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

"The Travel + Leisure award highlights just how well Tasmania has been positioned in the international marketplace, but particularly in North America.

"In the year to March 2008, nearly 30,000 North Americans visited Tasmania, up three per cent on the previous year.

"Accolades like this provide enormous impetus for American travellers to reconsider Tasmania as an island destination of prestige.

Ms Wriedt said the World's Best Awards results further supported the State Government's commitment to strengthening Tasmania's brand.

The Travel + Leisure magazine is the world's highest circulating travel title, and the awards are based on responses from readers.

"They reflect the preferences, tastes and travel habits of some of the world's most sophisticated travellers," she said.

Tasmania recently achieved another Travel and Leisure accolade, with Tasmanian tourism operator, Bruny Island Charters, being featured in the magazine's annual glossy coffee-table book titled 100 Greatest Trips.

Note: All World's Best Award results available at www.travelandleisure.com

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