UNESCO World Heritage site Machu Picchu has been recognized as the leading green destination in South America for 2010. The famous Inca ruins in Peru have been honored as an important ecotourism destination on the world travel map because of the positive effect tourism has had on the economic, environmental, and social development in the nearby communities.
The award was announced last week in Jamaica at the 17th annual World Travel Awards, described by the Wall Street Journal as the “travel industry’s equivalent to the Oscar’s.” Other places nominated for the award included:
- Abrolhos, Bahia, Brazil
- Amazonas Tur, Brazil
- Caracas, Venezuela
- Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco, Brazil
- Georgetown, Guyana
- Manaus, Amazonia, Brazil
- Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil
- Patagonia , Argentina
Over the years, the term ecotourism has been used as more of a marketing tool than an actual way to evaluate the practices of businesses and destinations. It is often applied to a wide range of places that don’t necessarily meet the criteria of being truly eco-friendly. Genuine ecotourism focuses on responsible forms of travel that help conserve the natural environment and work to improve the lives of local people.
These awards go a long way in honoring those destinations, and their respective government bodies, which demonstrate the extra effort required to keep these historic marvels available to future generations.
Over 185,000 tour operators worldwide voted in the category to name Machu Picchu South America’s leading green destination of 2010. The previous year’s award was won by the Amazon Tours in Brazil. The award will formally be presented on 7th November in London, at the World Travel Market.
Alex was born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia but never managed to stay still for long in one place having lived in Europe, the Middle East and South America. No matter where he is though, he always finds the time to hit the road, either for the sake of cultural exploration, catching music festivals, or just chilling out on a remote island. He has discovered the diverse regions of Argentina, Chile, Peru and Bolivia and enjoys getting to know the charms of South America, but most importantly its people.