Taranaki’s civic leaders have welcomed the announcement that travel bible Lonely Planet has judged Taranaki the world’s second best region to visit in 2017.
The world’s largest independent guide book publisher officially announced Taranaki as the 2nd best region in the world to visit in its Best in Travel 2017 publication, launched simultaneously around the world at 9pm (NZST) on 25 October.
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2017 yearbook says, “From dairy farms to legendary surf breaks, the region’s natural assets have long been envied. But in recent years a powerful arts and cultural set has elbowed its way to the fore, sustaining New Plymouth’s notable Puke Ariki Museum and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, and one of the world’s finest music festivals – WOMAD – held in pretty Pukekura Park. Now that New Plymouth has its own answer to the Guggenheim – the hard-won and community funded Len Lye Centre – the stage is set for Taranaki’s star to shine.”
While Taranaki being ranked in the top 10 regions in the world to visit in 2017, let alone at number 2, may come as a surprise to those outside of the region, it’s no surprise to the collective leaders of the region, commonly known as Team Taranaki; Mayor of South Taranaki Ross Dunlop, Stratford District Mayor Neil Volzke and New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom, along with the Chairman of the Taranaki Regional Council David MacLeod.
“We are delighted with this tribute and thank our Taranaki community - residents, organisations and businesses – for supporting us. The vision and sustained investment shown by all the councils in this region, is reflected in this accolade. We look forward to continuing to welcome visitors and promoting ourselves around exceptional natural beauty as well as exciting arts and cultural attractions,” say the region’s civic leadership.
“It also recognises the work that Venture Taranaki does on behalf of the region, promoting Taranaki to the world.”
It’s anticipated this award will boost the region’s tourism sector and build on the strong visitor numbers over the last 12 months. The region’s official tourism organisation Venture Taranaki will be charged with promoting the accolade to the visitor market both domestically and internationally.
Specific attractions that are highlighted by Lonely Planet include:
- Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre
- Mount Taranaki, Egmont National Park, and specifically the Pouakai Crossing one-day walk
- Puke Ariki Museum
- Pukekura Park
- New Plymouth shopping and dining
- Surf Highway 45
- WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance festival), 17 – 19 March 2017
- TSB Bank Festival of Lights, 18 December 2016 – 5 February 2017.
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2017 publication will promote Taranaki to an unprecedented global audience by being printed in English, French, German, Italian and Russian. Taranaki was evaluated by an independent team of international travel experts who shortlist in line with criteria such as topicality, excitement and wow-factor.