The finest travel brands in Latin America have been unveiled at a star-studded gala ceremony in Bolivia.
The elite of the travel industry assembled for the World Travel Awards Latin America Ceremony in the administrative capital, La Paz, to find out who among them would be crowned best-of-the-best.
Winners at the red-carpet reception included Colombia, which fended off stiff competition to win the title of South America’s Leading Destination, while Costa Rica, with its lush cloud forests and rich biodiversity, was voted Mexico & Central America’s Leading Destination.
The Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, Peru was named South America’s Leading Tourist Attraction, while the medieval charms of Quito, Ecuador helped it lift the title of South America’s Leading City Destination.
Bolivia’s commitment to sustainability was acknowledged with the title of South America’s Leading Green Destination, and the mesmerizing beauty of its Salar de Uyuni saw the location recognised with the trophy for South America’s Leading Natural Tourist Attraction.
At the same time, Chile took the title of South America’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination for the fifth time in succession.
Hundreds of the leading travel industries figureheads from across South and Central America attended the ceremony at Real Plaza Hotel & Convention Centre.
Graham Cooke, founder, World Travel Awards, said: “It has been an honour to bring World Travel Awards to Bolivia for the first time in our 26-year history.
“La Paz has proven a gracious host of what has been a spectacular evening of travel triumph, and a highlight of our 26th Grand Tour.
“We have had the privilege of recognising many of the leading hotels, airlines and hospitality providers from across Latin America and my congratulations to each of them.”
A fast-emerging tourism destination, Bolivia is a country of incredible beauty and a rich indigenous culture.
From luxury resorts on the shore of Lake Titicaca to the amazing salt flats of Uyuni, Bolivia is home to a wealth of travel experiences.
Wilma Alanoca Mamani, minister of cultures and tourism of Bolivia, said: “The World Travel Awards Latin America Ceremony 2019 has been a wonderful forum to celebrate the achievements of our region’s travel industry, and to highlight the incredible unique attractions of our country.
“Bolivia’s particular achievements are product of a common effort of all Bolivians.
“Bolivia has a rich diverse cultural tangible and intangible heritage, and tourism is complementary to our magnificent resources. La Paz, is unique – its geography, its people, its culture, its gastronomy and customs coexist between the ancestral and the modernity of a metropolis.”
In the aviation sector, LATAM Airlines picked up the award for South America’s Leading Airline and Aeromexico was voted Mexico & Central America’s Leading Airline.
Meanwhile Quito’s state-of-the-art Mariscal Sucre International Airport emerged as South America’s Leading Airport.
A special award for Latin America’s Leading Travel Personality was presented to Juan Cruz Adrogue, president of Chapelco Ski Resort, for his role in transforming it into one of South America’s finest ski resorts, and his ground-breaking initiatives to generate opportunities for the local community.
The VIP ceremony formed the fifth leg of the World Travel Awards Grand Tour 2019 – a search for the finest travel and tourism organisations in the world.
Other 2019 regional ceremonies include Montego Bay (Jamaica), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Mauritius, Madeira (Portugal), Phu Quoc (Vietnam), with the winners progressing to the Grand Final in Muscat (Oman).
World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.
Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.
Each year, World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region.
World Travel Awards gala ceremonies are widely regarded as the best networking opportunities in the travel industry, attended by government and industry leaders, luminaries and international print and broadcast media.