Australia voted the Best Country to Visit Worldwide

Australia has been awarded as the "Best Country to Visit Worldwide" in this year’s British Travel Awards.

The award, which is decided by nominations from travel industry professionals and then a public vote by over 700,000 Brits, has seen Australia finish ahead of European destinations Spain and Italy.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said the award win confirms Australia’s continued desirability as a holiday destination.

"The UK is one of Australia’s most established and largest source markets for international visitors," Mr McEvoy said. "And it is terrific to see that Australia hasn’t lost any of its lustre with the Brits.

"This award demonstrates Australia's enduring appeal as a dream destination for both British travel trade who sell Australian holidays and with travellers themselves.

 "It goes to prove that while Australia might be far away for many Brits it is definitely still top of mind and that is critical to the continued growth of our tourism industry," Mr McEvoy said.

Mr McEvoy said while economic factors had affected the short term demand for Australia out of the UK the longer term outlook was for continued growth.

The UK remains an important source of visitors to Australia, delivering 632,400 visitors in 2010/11, and is the second largest market for visitor spend, worth $3 billion. As a critical market to delivering the targets for Australian tourism growth, outlined in the 2020 Tourism Industry Potential, the UK has the potential to deliver $6.7 billion in overnight expenditure by 2020.