World Travel Awards choose Medellin as South America's Leading City Break Destination 2016
Considered the Oscar's of the tourism field, the World Travel Awards (WTA) recognise excellence across all key sectors of the travel and hospitality industry every year. In 2016, Medellin was chosen among a list of strong candidates, including Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, as South America's leading city break destination. Its lovely climate, friendly people and diverse entertainment options were some of the key elements WTA took into account.
Established in 1993 to acknowledge and reward excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, the World Travel Awards are the most prestigious award-giving ceremony in the entire travel industry.
According to their website, this organisation is worldly recognised as:
“...the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.”
This year, the World Travel Awards selected the flourishing Medellin, capital of Colombia’s mountainous Antioquia province, as the winner in the category of South America’s Leading City Break Destination in 2016. 800,000 tourism industry professionals voted in this year’s edition which took place in an exclusive hotel in Lima, Peru.
The Colombian city competed with strong candidates, including Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Santiago de Chile, and won thanks to its many unique and attractive features: the kindness of its people, its rich culture, delicious cuisine, ideal weather and varied entertainment options.
Twenty years ago, Medellin was far from being considered an attractive holiday destination. Due to over four decades of civil war, Colombia drags a reputation as one of the world’s most dangerous countries and Medellín, the second-largest city, once claimed the highest homicide rate in the world. Nonetheless, the violent scene began to change slowly in the last two decades, and today the South American nation is safer, thriving and eagerly open to tourists.
This turnaround is due in part, to the tourism authorities’ great effort in promoting Colombia’s virtues as a culturally rich country filled with stunning nature. Federico Gutierrez, the Mayor of Medellin, who was present at the award ceremony, stated he takes this prize as:
“...a great challenge and motivation to consolidate Medellin as a destination that offers travellers unique experiences.”
Medellin’s travel industry workers especially rejoice in this wonderful and historic award, which marks the city as a top holiday destination for the first time. In recent years, 2014 and 2015, Medellin had won in the South America’s Leading Meeting & Conference Destination category. According to Maria Fernandez Galeano , secretary of economic development, this victory showcases:
“...an important progress for the city because this year we have gone from meeting and conference tourism to a holiday destination.”
Medellin was also nominated in four other categories, comprising Leading Business Travel Destination which was awarded to Guayaquil (Ecuador) and Colombia’s Leading Destination, won over by Cartagena.
Nicknamed the “City of Eternal Spring” for its temperate weather, Medellin is a flourishing holiday destination. With singular events like the famous annual Flower Festival and a charming contrast of a modern city centre and surrounding barrios, the city hopes to keep growing attracting tourists from all over the world.
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