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The finest travel brands in South and Central America have been unveiled at the World Travel Awards Latin America Ceremony 2018 in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Winners at the red-carpet gala evening included the ancient Incan city of Quito, which fended off stiff competition to be named South America’s Leading Destination.
Meanwhile Mazatlán, Mexico, with its tropical neoclassical architecture and paradise beach, was named Mexico & Central America’s Leading Destination.
Hundreds of the leading figures of South and Central America’s travel and tourism industries attended the red-carpet ceremony, which was staged at Guayaquil’s historic Palacio de Cristal.
Graham Cooke, founder of World Travel Awards, said: “Guayaquil has proved an incredible host of what has been an amazing night of travel triumph, and a highlight of our 25th anniversary.
“We have had the privilege of recognising many of the leading hotels, airlines and hospitality providers from destinations across Latin America and my congratulations to each of them.”
A rapidly-emerging tourism hotspot, Guayaquil is best known for its gleaming riverside development, the Malecón 2000, which incorporates gardens, shopping centres, restaurants, a landmark museum, the first iMAX theatre in South America, and several of the city’s finest monuments.
In the aviation sector, Avianca picked up the award for South America’s Leading Airline Brand and Aeromexico was voted Mexico & Central America’s Leading Airline Brand.
Delta Air Lines proved a multiple winner, collecting trophies for United States’ Leading Airline to South America, United States’ Leading Airline to Central America and United States’ Leading Airline to Mexico.
Meanwhile Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport was heralded South America’s Leading Airport.
Hospitality winners included Swissotel Quito (South America’s Leading Hotel and South America’s Leading Conference Hotel); Wyndham Guayaquil (South America’s Leading City Hotel) and Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador (South America’s Leading Eco-Lodge).
Destination winners included Peru (South America’s Leading Culinary Destination and South America’s Leading Cultural Destination); Bolivia (South America’s Leading Green Destination); Guayaquil (South America’s Leading Business Travel Destination and South America’s Leading Festival & Event Destination); Cartagena de Indias, Colombia (South America’s Leading Honeymoon Destination); Chile (South America’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination) and Atacama Desert, Chile (South America’s Most Romantic Destination).
A special award for Latin America’s Travel Personality was presented to Gloria Gallardo Zavala, president of the Municipal and Public Tourism Company, Civic Promotion and International Relations of Guayaquil, for her outstanding contribution to Guayaquil’s tourism industry and her role in transforming the city into the most visited tourism destination in Ecuador.
The evening marked the fourth leg of the WTA Grand Tour 2018 – a series of regional events to acknowledge the world’s outstanding travel brands.
Events on the tour include Ras al Khaimah (United Arab Emirates), Athens (Greece), Montego Bay (Jamaica), Hong Kong and Durban (South Africa).
The regional winners will progress to the Grand Final 2018, which is being hosted in Lisbon (Portugal) on December 1st.