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South American contenders prepare for World Travel Awards in Jamaica

Rio de Janeiro, Galapagos Islands, Buenos Aires, Easter Island and Machu Picchu will be among the hot contenders competing for the coveted title of “South America’s Leading Destination” at a VIP World Travel Awards (WTA) Gala Ceremony in Montego Bay on October 19th 2011.

Another key category to watch at the WTA 2011 Caribbean & the Americas Gala Ceremony is “South America’s Leading Hotel” with Copacabana Palace (Brazil), Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires (Argentina), Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil (Ecuador) and JW Marriott Hotel Lima (Peru) in the running for top honours.

The awards programme - hailed as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ by the global media - will reward those destinations, hotels and organisations that have made the largest contribution to the travel and tourism industry over the past year.

Nominees for South America’s Leading Airline” include TAM Airlines, Aerolineas Argentinas, Avianca and Lan Airlines, while San Andreas Island (Colombia), Acapulco Beach (Chile), Copacabana (Brazil), and Mar del Plata (Argentina) and Bartolome, Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) are all nominated for “South America’s Leading Beach”.

Easter Island is in the running for the title of South America’s Leading Destination

The ceremony takes place at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island on October 19th 2011, and is set to attract the top decision-makers and thought-leaders from across the Caribbean and North, South and Central America as they compete for the most influential accolades in travel.

World Travel Awards president Graham Cooke underlined the importance of travel and tourism in steering the Americas and the Caribbean through the global uncertainty.

“Travel and tourism across the Americas and the Caribbean has demonstrated remarkable resilience, given the challenges being faced globally,” he explained.

“This is testament to tourism’s role as the catalyst for economic growth with the power to steer the region out of one of the most challenging periods in global financial history.”

He added: “Our nominees represent those organisations that have made the greatest contribution to the performance of the Americas and the Caribbean, and I look forward to finding out which ones will make it on to the winner’s podium on October 19th.”

John Lynch, chairman and director of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), is honoured the island was selected to host the ceremony.

He said: “Jamaica is pleased to be chosen as the host destination for the celebrated World Travel Awards 2011 Caribbean & the Americas Gala Ceremony.

“Our island is easily accessible and has many new tourism offerings to showcase to the WTA’s prestigious global audience.

“We appreciate this opportunity and look forward to welcoming our guests to a variety of Jamaican experiences.”

JW Marriott Hotel Lima is in the running for the title of South America’s Leading Hotel

Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts, is pleased to once again support the Caribbean on the world stage by hosting this year’s World Travel Awards Caribbean & the Americas Ceremony.

He said: “At Sandals Resorts, we come from the region, we understand the communities, we understand the quality of the beaches and we understand the services and standards that the customer now demands.

“As we celebrate 30 years of providing luxury vacations that exceed expectations, I can say that we are delighted to showcase those services and amenities to the travel industry once again this year.” 

The Caribbean & The Americas Ceremony marks the fifth and final leg of World Travel Awards 2011 Grand Tour, and will follow heats in Dubai, UAE; Antalya, Turkey; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; and Bangkok, Thailand.

Regional winners from these events progress to the Grand Final at the end of the year.

The event partners are the Jamaica Tourist Board, Sandals Resorts and WeClickMedia, while media partners include National Geographic Traveller, ABTA Magazine, ASTA Network, eTurboNews, Breaking Travel News, JaxFax and Travel Daily News.

For more info about World Travel Awards 2011 Caribbean & the Americas Ceremony & bookings visit the official website.

Download images of the World Travel Awards event here.