Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says she is not surprised that the capital has been named fourth-best city in the world to visit next year by influential travel guide publisher Lonely Planet.
Only New York, Tangier and Tel Aviv rank higher in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel in 2011 guide, based on feedback from bloggers, travellers, tweeters and a panel of in-house judges.
Ms Wade-Brown, a resident of Wellington since 1983, says it was hard back then to imagine Wellington could become one of the top-10 holiday destinations in New Zealand, let alone an international tourist mecca.
She credits her predecessors, including Fran Wilde, Mark Blumsky and Kerry Prendergast, for helping to foster Wellington's reputation as the cultural capital, and she plans to continue their legacy.
The Lonely Planet called Wellington the ''best little capital in the world''.