Today’s Lonely Planet review of Wellington (“…might just be the best little capital in the world”) has to be balanced against the enormous outreach of the Lonely Planet empire.
It’s great that we’re number four on Lonely Planet’s list of the world’s top ten cities for next year. But it all depends which list you’re looking at. Go on line to check the Lonely Planet’s top picks for New Zealand, and you’ll find we are only the tenth of 15 recommendations. We’re on that list, but we are sharing it with Auckland, Napier and Rotorua, among others. And we haven’t been updated since February last year.
Lonely Planet spreads its net widely. It advertises a choice of six books about New Zealand. Wellington is on page 394 of “New Zealand,” page 156 of “Discover New Zealand,” page 378 of “New Zealand’s North Island” and somehow we’re even included on page 88 of “New Zealand’s South Island.”
Our naming as number four in the list of the world’s top cities can be found in Lonely Planet’s “Best In Travel 2011″ book, which is now on sale for $34. The book offers hundreds of “best trends, destinations, journeys and experiences,” chosen by a panel of travel experts. It’s great that we are on the list, but the comments about us are not exactly what’s claimed in today’s brochure issued by Positively Tourism Wellington which tells us that we’ve been “named … the coolest little capital in the world.”
Here’s what is actually written: “Chances are the slogan writers would have gone for ‘Coolest Little Capital in the World’ were it not for the unfortunate allusion to the chilly southerlies that gust through the streets.”
But we shouldn’t get despondent. The comment is followed immediately by: “Despite (or maybe because of) its impetuous weather, Wellington is Cool-with-a-capital-C, crammed with more bars, cafes and restaurants per capita than New York, and a slew of gourmet producers including some ten independent coffee roasteries.” And the headline at the top of the page does say “The coolest little capital in the world.” No one would blame our tourist promoters for seizing on such words.
And if the Lonely Planet writer sometimes seems to be carried away – we may not share her view that catching the cable car is one of our “life-changing experiences” – nevertheless it’s always nice to be liked.
It’s a good day for rave reviews. In the DomPost today, Simon Sweetman writes that Leonard Cohen is “a true legend” and Rufus Wainwright was “overwhelming,” Jennifer Shennan writes that The Nutcracker is “enormous fun,” Laurie Atkinson reviews Apollo 13 as being “a roaring success,” and John Button writes that Michael Houstoun was “masterly.” All real examples of why we like living in Wellington.