Known for decades as one of Latin America’s leading and most popular tourism destinations; Cusco, the historic capital of the mighty Inca Empire, has just been voted as the “Best City in Latin America” in an ample poll conducted by the highly reputed Travel and Leisure Magazine, amongst a universe of well-traveled readers of the respected Magazine.
The nomination is the result of combining elements of accessibility, infrastructure, tourism facilities, security and tranquility, hospitality, service quality and outstanding attractions, among a complete list of features to evaluate. With the stunning Andean city being the main hub and home-base for explorations of the world-famous and World Wonder Inca Citadel of Machu-Picchu; the Inca Ruins of Sacsayhuaman and Ollantaytambo; and the city itself being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there is little wonder why the readers of Travel and Leisure Magazine elected Cusco as the “Best City in Latin America” this year. With its rich history as capital of the Inca Empire; many of its remnants carefully cared for in an area of immense archaeological and anthropological value; plus the colonial flare of the city, with its traditional Spanish architecture, its’ intriguing cobble-stoned streets and lively markets; a host of spectacular colonial churches; site-museums and an altogether mystical character, Cusco certainly lives up to the honor and lures hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
The world recognized Peruvian city, which had ranked second on last year’s poll; stepped to the first place this year, followed by Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Mexico City, Mexico and Santiago, Chile. The nomination recognizes Cusco as the best city within a wide universe of nations and cities which include Mexico, Central and South America. This big honor for Cusco and Peru comes at a moment when the Andean nation is boosting major campaigns to upgrade the tourism promotion of Peru as a premiere tourism destination in the Americas, and particularly in South America. Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism will launch a campaign next August, to enhance the country’s positioning as a tourism and travel destination in 14 countries around the world, including Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain, among others. Peru has revamped its image and “Country Brand”, elements which will be included in the wide campaigning to create a generalized top of mind of Peru as a top-notch tourism destination.
The promotional strategies of the Peruvian tourism authorities, working closely together with the private sector, are also targeting at new or “emerging” markets for this part of the world. Within this context, Asian countries have been placed under the spotlight and, just as it was done some weeks ago in China; now it was the turn for India to learn about the varied and splendid natural and cultural attractions which Peru has got to offer. New Delhi was the venue for an event titled “Incredible Machu Picchu and Amazonas”, which was attended by more than 350 guests, related with the travel industry and trade; media and important authorities such as India’s Minister of Culture; members of the Parliament, tourism authorities, diplomats and general public. The guests enjoyed a superb exhibition of Peru and its extraordinarily varied and remarkable tourist attractions. The Director of India’s “Ibex Expeditions”; Mandip Singh Soin, presented a selection of photographs and films of his expedition to Machu Picchu, the “Camino del Inca” (the Inca Trail) and Tambopata National Reserve in the Amazon Region, and remarked that his experience was “unforgettable”. In this way, Peru continues to actively promote its image as one of the world’s most important travel destinations; while the iconic city of Cusco enjoys the honor of having been voted “Best City in Latin America 2012”, by the highly educated and widely-traveled readers of the prestigious Travel and Leisure Magazine.