Peru hosted the first gala for Central and South America travel awards in conjunction with the prestigious World Travel Awards (WTA) association at the end of July. Travel elite gathered in Lima, Peru, for a glitzy dinner at Huaca Pucllana in the hip, seaside district of Miraflores. Huaca Pucllana is an ancient temple accompanied by an acclaimed restaurant surrounded by a residential neighborhood and high-rise apartment buildings.
“The significance of holding the World Travel Awards here for the first time cannot be underestimated,” said Chris Frost, World Travel Awards Vice President, according to a WTA press release. WTA launched in 1993 to promote and recognize excellence in the travel industry.
“Lima is the industrial and financial center of Peru, and one of the most important financial nodes in Latin America. Today it is home to many national companies and accounts for more than two thirds of Peru's industrial production. Bringing the region’s tourism influencers to Lima and highlighting globally just how much Peru has to offer the visitor, whether for business, for adventure, romance or a family holiday. We can showcase Peru for all it offers through our established and ever expanding World Travel Awards network.”
Tourism is booming in Peru, with growth rates of 13% in 2011 and 9.8% in 2012. The world average is slightly more than 3%. Stepping into the role of a leading tourism destination, Peru will also host the WTA Grand Finale in 2014 where world-wide travel awards will be announced.
Peru Pulls in WTA Awards
Peru picked up several awards and recognitions this year in the regional segment, including South America’s leading culinary destination for the second year in a row. (Read about: Peruvian cuisine, award-winning Lima restaurants).
Many of Peru’s other main awards fell under the hotel category. The JW Marriott in Lima earned the title of best hotel in all of South America; the Hilton Lima in Miraflores was named South America’s best new hotel; the Swissotel Lima was named South America’s leading business hotel; and Ramada Costa del Sol was recognized as South America’s leading airport hotel. PromPeru was selected as the leading tourism board in South America and Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport was chosen as the region’s leading airport.
One of the biggest awards went to Ecuador: Quito was named South America’s leading destination. This Andean capital is similar to Lima in that in the past many travelers used it as a launching point to other attractions (the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu, respectively). Both destinations have recently become a destination in their own right. Quito has an exquisite colonial center with dazzlingly churches and welcoming nightlife. (Read about how one SA team visited the city for the first time and fell for Quito’s charms.)
Other major WTA South America awards:
Leading airline: LAN
Leading green destination: Brazil
Leading luxury train: Andean Explorer (Peru)
Leading green hotel: Finch Bay Eco Hotel (Ecuador)
Leading beach destination: Mar del Plata (Argentina)
Most romantic resort: Charming Luxury Lodge & Private Spa (Argentina)
Keen to see Peru for yourself? Check out our Machu Picchu & Peru tours here or speak to one of our Destination Experts about crafting the bespoke vacation of your dreams.
Thanks to Jean-François Renaud for the title image of this blog.