New Zealand has topped a worldwide survey for natural beauty and outdoor activities.
It also ranked second for family activities and authenticity of culture, and third for safety in the survey of frequent travellers carried out by Country Brand Index 2006 (CBI).
The results were released today at the World Travel Market, the premier annual exhibition of the global travel trade, in London.
The CBI identifies countries as brands and emerging global travel trends in the world's fastest-growing economic sector - travel and tourism.
Researchers surveyed over 1500 international travellers, travel industry experts and hospitality professionals, all of whom had travelled internationally at least once per year.
From their comments, the researchers constructed the index, gauging what people thought about countries, where was hot and where wasn't.
Australia was ranked the top country brand, followed by the United States and Italy. New Zealand ranked eighth.
New Zealand was ranked first for natural beauty an outdoor activities.
It was ranked second as a destination with activities suited to families and second as the most "authentic" brand, in terms of distinctive, genuine and unique cultures.
Egypt had the best architecture and monuments, Peru was the most exotic, Canada was the safest ahead of New Zealand in third place, and Italy had the best food and nightlife.
"Powerful marketing is only as good as the experience the individual has on the ground and this is something New Zealand has done brilliantly," Future Brand senior strategy consultant Dominic Mason said.
"New Zealand's emergence as the number one country for outdoors is a triumph of brand experience matching the brand promise.
"Governments throughout the world can look to New Zealand as a country that has fulfilled much of its potential as a country brand," he said.