Wellington Airport's new international terminal, The Rock, was developed in preparation for the Rugby World Cup.
Wellington Airport's new international terminal, The Rock, was developed in preparation for the Rugby World Cup. NZ Herald - Mark Mitchell

Hat-trick for Air New Zealand

AIR New Zealand has been named the leading airline in Australasia for the third year running at the prestigious World Travel Awards.

Bruce Parton, Air New Zealand's Group General Manager Australasia, said it was great to be recognised again as "the airline that provides the best service in the Australasia region".

"It is a testament to the ongoing commitment to excellence shown by our people."

Also recognised as the best in the region at the awards were Wellington International Airport, Tourism New Zealand and two Queenstown businesses: Millbrook (leading golf resort) and The Spire (leading boutique hotel).

The annual awards are voted on by travel agents and by executives working within travel and tourism.

Winners are named across a number of regions, with the world's best in each category due to be announced at a gala dinner in Qatar later this year.

Wellington International Airport beat out Auckland, Melbourne, Nadi, Sydney and Tahiti Faa'a airports in being named Australasia's leading airport, though it's not been nominated in the 'world's leading airport' category, while Auckland and Sydney have.

Wellington airport has been nominated as one of the leading airports in Australasia each year since 2007, but this is its first win.

The airport's dual-use international and domestic terminal, The Rock, has been fully operational for a year and was developed in preparation for the Rugby World Cup.

"Our entire team can be very proud of this commendation," said the airport's CEO John Howarth.

"We put a lot in to delivering service at the highest possible levels and being recognised for doing so is incredibly satisfying for us all."

It's the second consecutive year Millbrook has been named Australasia's leading golf resort.

Millbrook's director of golf, Brian Spicer, said the accolade was "a reinforcement of what we've been doing for the last couple of years and certainly a prestigious award for us to retain".

The resort had yet to decide whether to send anyone to the announcement of the World Travel Awards in Qatar, he said.

Representatives from The Spire in Queenstown were on hand to collect their award when it was named Australasia's best boutique hotel at a ceremony in Thailand earlier this week.

Directors Amelia and Lucy Gain told an interviewer at the awards they were "very happy" with the result, especially as they'd only been at The Spire for ten months.

In addition to recognising accommodation, transport and travel experience providers, the awards give a nod to tourism boards, with Tourism New Zealand named the best in Australasia for the second year running.

For a full list of all the Australasia winners and nominees, click here.

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