We have no idea how many backpackers were among the 90,000 people The Telegraph says took part in its travel survey – not many we would think – but whoever they were, they chose New Zealand as their favourite country.

The paper claims that its travel awards survey is “comprehensive and reliable” and its participants chose New Zealand above all others.

The Telegraph waxes lyrically, “We rush to experience novel air routes, fall over ourselves to visit on-trend boutique hotels and are the first in the queue when a new heated gondola begins to climb the Alps. But one thing remains constant − and that’s the abiding love that Telegraph readers have for one country: New Zealand.”

Its editorial points out that this is the third year in a row that NZ “has thrown its fluffy shadow over the Telegraph Travel Awards”.

That’s because, it says, “New Zealand is a country that delivers almost everything a traveller could want in one easy-to-use package. This is a place where British tourists can enjoy the thrill of long-haul travel, coupled with the reassurance of being greeted in our native tongue – albeit spoken with that characteristic twang. It also thrusts dramatic scenery at us, wherever we turn. Who could fail to thrill to Milford Sound’s epic vistas, or the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park?”

The runners up were the Maldives in second place and South Africa third.

Australia? In fifth place, ahead of Japan and behind Burma.