Key Points:

New Zealand has been voted the best holiday destination in the world by readers of the British Daily Telegraph.

The Telegraph travel awards are the result of the biggest annual independent survey of the British travelling public.

About 30,000 readers were questioned on their travel habits, with New Zealand coming out on top.

Tourism Minister Damien O'Connor said the award was a great accolade for New Zealand and its hard-working tourism industry.

"The fact that our customers are the voters means the award is an authentic assessment of the quality of our tourism on offer," he said.

"The United Kingdom, our second largest market for visitor arrivals - contributing 300,000 visitors over the past year - is a valued market for New Zealand and one where we have to work hard to stay ahead of the competition.

"Offering outstanding customer service and ensuring we offer travellers deep, rich, authentic and unique experiences are crucial factors in delivering a world-class visitor experience."

He said that since the launch of the 100 per cent Pure New Zealand campaign in 2000, there had been a 61 per cent increase in the number of Britons travelling to New Zealand.

Tourism Industry Association chief executive Fiona Luhrs was chuffed at the accolade.

"It's a very pleasing thing to have won, with that many readers. And with all the low-cost flights that are now operating out of the UK, people could go in many directions other than coming all the way down to New Zealand, so to have won that I think is fantastic."

The Telegraph will print a 24-page colour supplement on December 8 highlighting the winners. New Zealand won Telegraph reader awards for best destination in 2004 and 2005.