Great Barrier Reef named best place to visit worldwide

Canberra: Australia's Great Barrier Reef has been named the best place in the world to visit by a key US travel site, News Corp reported on Thursday. The US News and World Report's World's Best Places to Visit for 2016-17 gave the Great Barrier Reef the top position, ahead of Paris and Bora Bora, Xinhua news reported citing News Corp. The site described the Reef as holding "a spot on every traveller's bucket list". "The Great Barrier Reef is a treasure trove of once-in-a-lifetime experiences," it said. "Whether you're gazing at marine life through a scuba mask, letting the tropical breeze unfurl your sail, or in a plane gliding high above it all, the possibilities for exploration are nearly limitless." Tourism and Events Queensland chief executive Leanne Coddington said the reef's status as number one was a vote of confidence in its worldwide tourism appeal. "The Great Barrier Reef is a living treasure and a major tourism draw-card for visitors to Queensland," Coddington said. "It is an unrivalled experience that tens of thousands of people are enjoying every day." She noted that tourism to the reef contributed almost 5.2 billion Australian dollars ($3 billion) to the nation's economy. "The Great Barrier Reef welcomes more than 1.9 million visitors each year," Coddington added.