NZ’s Southern Lakes named one of the world’s must-visit destinations for 2012

Take a read below of a press release on Queenstown being featured in Lonely Planet!

SOUTHERN LAKES, New Zealand (31 October, 2011) – Influential travel authority, Lonely Planet, has chosen New Zealand’s Southern Lakes region as one of the world’s Top 10 Regions to visit in 2012.
The Southern Lakes region of Queenstown, Lake Wanaka and Fiordland is the only New Zealand region to feature in the new book, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2012 – the best trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the upcoming year.

Queenstown and Southern Lakes is ranked eighth in the book’s list of Top 10 Regions for its year-round activities and spectacular scenery. An excerpt from the book reads, “There isn’t a bad time to turn up in the world’s top adventure playground. There’re nonstop outdoor activities year-round in the resort towns of Queenstown, Wanaka and Te Anau, as well as the surrounding mountains, lakes and parks… Where else can you ski in the morning and golf or water ski in the afternoon? Add excellent wineries and superb restaurants and what more is there to say?”

The Southern Lakes region is renowned as one of the most diverse and spectacular regions in the world, encompassing the tranquil beauty of Lake Wanaka, the international four-season resort of Queenstown and Fiordland’s dramatic landscapes, all surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area.

Lonely Planet New Zealand spokesperson Sarah Bennett said, “This news is hardly the shock of the century. Anyone who lives in or has visited the Queenstown region will back up this accolade. Words like breathtaking, jaw-dropping, exhilarating and stunning are grossly overused in the tourism industry but the Southern Lakes region has a right to them all.”

Tony Everitt, CEO of Destination Queenstown, said featuring in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2012 would bring significant benefits for the region’s profile.
“To receive this kind of endorsement by Lonely Planet is priceless for Queenstown and the Southern Lakes as well as New Zealand,” he said. “Lonely Planet is a giant of the travel industry so making it onto their Top 10 must-visit regions for 2012 will give our region global recognition and provide inspiration for their readers to visit.”

Lisa Sadler, manager of Destination Fiordland, said the power of Lonely Planet could not be underestimated, “We are aware of the power of Lonely Planet in influencing the travelling community about where the best experiences are to be found, so the news that Fiordland has been acknowledged, along with our Southern Lakes neighbours as amongst the world’s top 10 leading regions is superb.”

Lake Wanaka Tourism general manager James Helmore said Lonely Planet communicates to a core audience that enjoys what the region has to offer. “With its diversity of activities, striking landforms and freedom to do your own thing in the ultimate alpine playground, Wanaka and the Southern Lakes is the perfect fit for the Lonely Planet reader. Appearing in Best in Travel 2012 will considerably enhance our profile and allow more international travellers to discover what everyone who lives here is so passionate about.”
Queenstown and the Southern Lakes shares the Top 10 Regions list with destinations such as Borneo, Sicily, Northern Kenya and Coastal Wales which tops the 2012 list.
Best in Travel’s recommendations are drawn from hundreds of ideas submitted by Lonely Planet’s staff, authors and community of travellers, bloggers and tweeters. Their suggestions are then refined by a panel of in-house travel experts, based on topicality, excitement, value and that special X-factor.