Brits vote Australia 'Best Country in the World'
Australia has been voted the "Best Country in the World" by readers of one of the UK's top luxury travel magazines.
The country's latest tourism accolade was awarded by the readers of the Telegraph's Ultratravel magazine as part of their annual reader survey.
Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said Australia had finished ahead of Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States and confirmed the country's continued desirability amongst the Brits as a preferred holiday destination.
"The UK has faced some pretty challenging economic conditions over the past few years, which has impacted upon the numbers of Britons coming down to Australia, but this award once again demonstrates the enduring appeal our country has with travellers in the UK," McEvoy said.
"The timing couldn't be much better either, with between 20,000 and 25,000 avid rugby fans from the UK set to hit our shores in the next few weeks for the eagerly awaited British and Irish Lions Tour. Together with the Ashes cricket series, starting in November, we're expecting to see a big bounce-back in UK arrivals over the next 12 months.
"This is a great win for us, in one of our most important markets. Peer advocacy is so important when it comes to deciding where to holiday, and the readers of the Telegraph align very closely with our target audience in the UK," McEvoy said.
Judges described Australia as being the "perennial favourite of Britons" and said it had "much to offer the luxury traveller" including safari-style camps in the Kimberley region, wildlife, 15,000 golf courses and a new generation of award-winning chefs.
The full list of award winners will be published in the summer issue of Ultratravel UK, published on June 1.
The UK remains one of Australia's most established and largest source markets for international visitors, delivering 593,600 visitors in 2012 spending in $A2.9 billion. The Tourism 2020 strategy estimates the UK market has the potential to grow to between $A5.5 billion and $6.7 billion in overnight expenditure by 2020.