Global industry professionals and travel consumers have shown their appreciation for Sydney's natural beauty, iconic landmarks, first-class food and wine scene and exciting events and festival calendar by voting it as Australasia's Leading Destination in the 25th Annual World Travel Awards.

Event organisers said the accolade recognises the commitment to excellence that the city has demonstrated in all areas over the past twelve months.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said he was delighted that Sydney had been named the leading destination amongst such a strong field of contenders in the region.

“Australasia offers such diverse and high quality tourism experiences, and the fact that Sydney has taken out top spot in the World Travel Awards reinforces that it truly is a destination for everyone,” Mr Marshall said.

“In the year ending March 2018 Sydney again achieved its highest volume of international visitors, nights and expenditure on record exceeding the four million international visitor mark for the first time,” he said.

“There's so much more to our great city than our iconic Harbour Bridge and stunning Opera House, and visitors are seeing that for themselves.”

“When it comes to beautiful weather and outdoor adventures, innovative dining experiences, world class events and warm and inviting hospitality, Sydney can not only rival destinations in Australasia but also globally.”

“Sydney is also the gateway to an enviable line-up of rural and regional experiences and I encourage visitors to New South Wales to also go beyond the city and experience more of what our amazing State has to offer.”

The World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

Sydney's award as Australasia's Leading Destination was presented last night at a sold out gala ceremony at the luxurious InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong.