Australia’s Islands and Cities Tops in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards – Now What??

LOS ANGELES, July 11 /PRNewswire/ — From Sydney to Tasmania, Australia’s cities, hotels, and islands took the top spots in the Travel + Leisure 2005 travel poll, but the country is looking beyond the awards to get more people Down Under.

American’s dream destination had reason to celebrate garnering the Poll’s top spots, one of the most notable being the eighth win for Sydney as the World’s Best City.

Yet, another city made news with its best ever performance in the poll. Hobart, Tasmania took the fifth spot in the World’s Best Cities: Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, following #2 Melbourne and #4 Perth. The small island famous for its pristine nature also placed second in the World’s Best Islands: Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific.

Taking the island top spot though was The Great Barrier Reef Islands, which rocketed up five spots from last year to number five in the World’s Best Islands.

Queensland’s hotels and resorts did well again, with five out of 25 top spots in the Worlds Best Hotels: Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific category and exclusive Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef winning for its third year and moving from 12th to 7th in the World’s Best Small Hotels category.

Overall, Australia’s hotels and resorts took 18 out of the 25 spots in the World’s Best Hotels: Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific, with Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa making the list for the first time.

The notable firsts and consecutive wins are great news for Australia, a destination that has topped many lists this year, but the country recognizes it needs to do more to increase visitation from the United States.

Tourism Australia’s Managing Director Scott Morrison explained that “while it’s great to be loved by Americans, it’s even better to be visited by those who love you. So our message to our American friends is its time to act on that dream and come and see us down under as soon as you can.”

“Despite having the best five years on record for American arrivals, we need to make sure more Americans get on those planes. We are now concentrating on marketing at Americans who want to experience more of Australia and who are high yield visitors, like the Travel + Leisure readers,” continued Morrison.

For people wanting to turn that dream into a reality, good news is on the way. Coinciding with this honour, Tourism Australia is offering the popular Qantas Aussie Air Pass, with new extended dates so travellers can continue to see more of Australia at an attractive price.

Starting from $999, the pass which includes flights from Los Angeles to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane and three internal Australian flights to 17 Australian destinations, is valid for travel until June 30, 2006.

The numbers for the Qantas Aussie AirPass, a part of Tourism Australia’s successful A Different Light campaign are making news too.

Tourism Australia’s Vice President of the Americas Michael Londregan explained how Americans responded well to the AirPass.

“The Qantas Aussie AirPass has contributed over 23,500 inquiries and our recent Passenger Study indicates that the AirPass shows American’s consumer response has truly moved from ‘one size fits all’ approach to that of ‘value and customization,” Londregan said.

For more information on the Qantas Aussie AirPass, visit www.australia.com or call 1-800-965-6252.

The results to the 2005 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards readers’ survey were announced in New York today. The 2005 World’s Best Awards which recognizes readers’ favorite hotels, cities, airlines, etc, are featured in the August issue of Travel + Leisure magazine.

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