Quito, Ecuador became one of the shining stars of the World Travel Awards of 2013, capturing the title of South America's Leading Destination. Also on this category were eight other destinations including Lima, Bogotá, Río de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Santiago and The Galapagos Islands.
The World Travel Awards (WTA) were first launched in 1992 to acknowledge, recognize and reward excellence in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.
Now celebrating their 20th anniversary, the WTA are considered worldwide to be one of the major awards that a travel service can receive. This gala ceremony is seen by the main tourism network and hotel industry, equivalent to the "Oscars of tourism" due to their importance and popularity.
The Gala ceremony of July 20th was held at the Huacca Pucllana Temple, in Lima, Peru, and Quito was one of the big winners of the night as it clinched the award in one of the most important events in the global tourism industry.
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This award was achieved thanks to the recommendation of tourist experts and thousand of votes of citizens and foreign visitors during the past four months, which gave their vote through the site www.worldtravelawards.com.
For Quito, to receive this award in this category represents a new opportunity for the global industry to turn their attention to the city that was named the First World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In 2012, Quito received more than 533,000 foreign visitors.
The city was nominated by the Municipality of Quito and the voting campaign was promoted from the official Quito Tourism Agency (Quito Turismo), with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and the media, as well as the citizens who contributed to this great accomplishment.
It is the first time in the history the city receives this important award from the World Travel Awards in the category of Destination Leader South America, beating Rio de Janeiro who had won the award for 9 years in a row.