On Tuesday 4th Dec, 2018

The best tourist attraction in the world is... Machu Picchu

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Travel at 60

Machu Picchu in Peru. Source: Getty

That's according to the 25th World Travel Awards, which have just been announced at a gala ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal. Dubbed the 'Oscars' of the travel world, the annual awards – which were established in 1993 – celebrate the finest travel and tourism organisations in the world, as voted by travel professionals and consumers.

Hidden away in the mountainous countryside northwest of Cuzco, Machu Picchu has been a favourite with adventure lovers and bucket-list tickers ever since American archeologist Hiram Bingham first set eyes on it, on July 24, 1911. He was searching for the famous 'lost' cities of the Incas – and must have been extremely chuffed when he came upon the extraordinary ancient Incan citadel which, for hundreds of years, had been a secret known only to the peasants living nearby.

But Machu Picchu, named World’s Leading Tourist Attraction, wasn't Peru's only win at the World Travel Awards. The country also took out top honours as World's Leading Culinary Destination 2018 and World's Leading Cultural Destination – just in case you need a little extra nudge to visit this extraordinary part of the world.

***Pondering a trip to Peru? This once-in-a-lifetime adventure – including a domed train to Machu Picchu – is waiting for you! ***

Another big winner at the red-carpet reception was Jamaica, which won eight of the coveted awards, including World’s Leading Beach Destination and World’s Leading Cruise Destination. One of the most-trending holiday destinations of 2018, Portugal was another 'Oscar' winner at the awards, taking out the title of World's Leading Destination, while Madeira was voted World's Leading Island Destination and Turismo de Portugal was named World’s Leading Tourist Board. A Portuguese attraction was also named the World's Leading Adventure Attraction: the Passadiços do Paiva (Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark) – a.k.a the eight-kilometre-long Paiva Walkways. Taking you through breathtaking countryside, the wooden walkway is located where the Paiva River flows at the bottom of a glorious valley, in the north of Portugal.

Montego Bay in Jamaica. Source: Getty
Montego Bay in Jamaica. Source: Getty

Other winners at the 2018 WTA include:

World’s Leading Airport: Singapore Changi Airport

World’s Leading New Airport: Muscat International Airport

World’s Leading Hotel: Armani Hotel Dubai

World’s Leading Airline: Hainan Airlines 

World’s Leading low-cost airline: AirAsia

World's Leading Adventure Tourism Destination: Chile

World's Leading Green Destination: Ecuador

World’s Leading Cruise Brand: Royal Caribbean International

World’s Leading Luxury Hotel: The Peninsula Paris, France

World’s Leading Luxury Train: Maharajas' Express

World’s Most Romantic Destination: Mauritius

The full list of winners can be found on the official World Travel Awards website.

A tram in the Portuguese city of Porto. Source: Getty
A tram in the Portuguese city of Porto. Source: Getty

***Check out this incredible last-minute tour in Spain and Portugal – or call the Travel at 60 team on 1300 414 198 to find out more!***

Travel at 60
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