Each year the World Travel Awards honors different countries for excellence in all areas of the tourism industry and global travel. On Monday Dec. 8th Foreign Trade and Tourism minister, Magali Silva, confirmed that Peru had won the highly coveted 2014 World’s Leading Culinary Destination award. Additionally, Perutravel, an official tourism website run by the Peruvian government, was honored with the World’s Leading Tourism Authority Website 2014 award.
The awards ceremony was held on Anguilla, an island in the Caribbean, with Juan Luis Reus in attendance to accept the awards on behalf of Minister Silva. Reus is Peru’s Economy and Trade advisor in Washington D.C.
This is the third year in a row that Peru has carried the World’s Leading Culinary Destination award and the honor is likely to bring a welcomed influx of visitors to Lima and other culinary hotspots in the country. Minister Silva explains that the World Travel Awards are a prestigious organization that wields great power over the tourism industry, similar to the Grammy awards for the music industry or Oscar awards for the movie industry. Silva stated: “Receiving this type of award [does] not only showcase our country at an international level, [but] it also encourages us to continue to work more in order to gain excellence and turn Peru into one of the most important tourist destinations.”
Silva’s hope is that the award will help Peru achieve its goal, established during the current presidential term, to reach 4 million tourists annually by 2016. In 2013 Peru received 3,164,000 international visitors, a number that has steadily climbed each year since 1995 when the country received 479,000 tourists. As of 2012 Peru was the fourth most popular country in South America for international visitors, with Brazil coming in first, Argentina second, and Chile third. Tourism is the third most important sector of the economy after fishing and mining.
Earlier this year Peru won three awards given by the World Travel Awards to the South and Central America region. The World Travel Awards South and Central America Gala Ceremony, held in Quito, Ecuador, took place in August. Elizabeth Astete, Peru’s ambassador in Quito, was present to accept the three awards: “South America’s Leading Cultural Destination,” “South America’s Leading Heritage Destination,” and “South America’s Leading Culinary Destination.” Peru beat out competitors Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela to receive the honors.