For the third consecutive year, Ecuador dominated the South American travel awards. In Sunday’s night “Tourism Oscars” ceremony hosted by World Travel Awards, the country claimed top 25 prizes in 38 categories.
The Galapagos Islands captured the top spots for best overall destination and for best beaches in South America. Last year, the islands were cited for having the best beaches in the world.
Quito was named South America’s leading cultural destination and well as the top destination for conferences and meetings.
Cuenca repeated as top South American destination for short vacations while Guayaquil took top honors for business travel and festivals and cultural events.
Ecuador also won prizes in the Natural Destiny category for its luxury train tours, river cruises and special events for youth. The Oro Verde hotel chain, with locations in five cities, was rated the top business hotel in South American.
In awards to other South American nation, Peru took the top prize in eight categories, including best dining and overall cultural attractions, with Machu Picchu named the number one historic tourist attraction on the continent.
Chile was crowned best destination of adventure tourism and Argentina was named top cruise destination.
Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera celebrated Cuenca’s vacation destination award, claiming it will keep the city on the “A list” for international tour operators and travel agencies. “This award helped boost the number of tourists in 2017 and 2018 and we can expect it to continue to show dividends for local businesses.”