'Crushing it': Conde Nast names Australia as the destination of 2016

Condé Nast Traveler has named Australia as the destination of the coming year.

And this is a very special accolade, as CNT have taken the unprecedented step not to present a list of multiple countries and cities as a 'best-of' roundup for the year.

No top 20, no hot lists - just one country travellers should focus their attention on for 2016 - Australia.

Dave Prior, a contributing editor to Condé Nast Traveler, is constantly on the road and is always thinking about a global edit of the very best destinations for the year.

An expat himself, Prior has been back to Australia four times this year for the magazine on trips that have spanned the entire country.

"There are simply so many great reasons to travel all around the continent," he said of Australia.

"From Perth and Canberra's game changing hotels, Brisbane's influential GOMA, the wine scene in Adelaide's Hills, and Uluru again."

The US magazine is one of the foremost travel publications in the world and being named 'Destination of the Year' for 2016 is a huge accolade for Australia, according to Tourism Australia managing director, John O'Sullivan, who claims the timing "couldn't be better" with the launch of their next big global campaign just a few weeks away.

"This is an influential and hugely respected travel magazine, with a readership in the United States which closely matches the profile of our own target audience," he said.

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"This will put a renewed focus on Australia's world-class aquatic and coastal experiences, many of which I'm delighted to see have been highlighted by Condé Nast Traveler as critical elements of our country's international appeal."

'Ozzies', as Condé Nast have called us, "meet the world with an enviable blend of edge and ease, an aesthetic rigor free of pretense, and an embrace of the outdoors paired with urbane sophistication".

The magazine has also revered our cuisine as 'inventive and influential' -  and not just because Noma is headed our way.

"There are many reasons we've elected Australia, but the primary one is the energy in the country's food scene right now," said Prior.

"Wherever you look in Australia, there is a democracy to dining and a fresh, global approach to cooking that traverses the globe but is resolutely Australian in its relaxed yet sophisticated execution."

Conde Nast has also applauded our unique hotels for celebrating their 'Australianess' rather than just replicating hotel chains across the rest of the world, with Canberra's 'incredible' Hotel Hotel being the catalyst to look again at the nation's capital.

"Heritage properties such as the Old Clare Hotel, the Palisade in Sydney and the Como in Perth have been restored lovingly and express the best of the past and the future.

"Same can be said for Halcyon House, a chic reinvention of a 1960's surf motel that is part of the resurgence of Northern New South Wales as an international destination," Prior said.

Conde Nast Traveler has also included profiles on Australian tastemakers with international followings, such as Bill Granger whose pioneering cafes are now being replicated in New York, LA and San Francisco.

Style and lifestyle ambassadors Megan Morton and Sibella Court also get a nod.

"We've put California on notice to say there is a new lifestyle dream to aspire to and that is to be found in Australia,' Prior said.

Australia is currently enjoying record numbers of visitor arrivals from the US, growing at levels not seen since the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

According to the Bureau of Statistics, the US is Australia's fourth largest inbound tourism market, with a record 590,000 American visitor arrivals in the last 12 months.

See also: 20 things that will shock first time visitors to Australia
See also: Sorry world, Australia's coffee is better than yours

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