LA PAZ-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.
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.”
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.
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.