Latin Routes, Cox & Kings, Belmond and Australis were among the winners at the Lata Achievement Awards last night, for which Travel Weekly was media partner.

Held on the first day of regional trade show ela (Experience Latin America) in London’s Canary Wharf, the awards recognise excellence and innovation in travel to South and Central America.

Aito chairman Derek Moore, who led the judging panel on behalf of Lata (the Latin American Tourism Association) praised the quality of entries to the awards, which this year featured several new accolades for cruise lines, tour operators, airlines, hotels and DMCs.

Among the winners was Latin Routes, which took home the gong for Tour Operator of the Year.

Judges said: “Latin Routes was awarded for its diverse growth strategy, resulting in a turnover growth of over 150% in the last three years, as well as its commitment to pushing sales through travel agents.”

Cox & Kings was runner-up in the tour operator category, but was the outright winner for Marketing Campaign of the Year, for a joint marketing campaign with PromPeru which resulted in a 150% increase in unique page views on the operator’s Peru web page, and a 30% increase in bookings to the destination.

Other notable wins included Belmond, for its launch of the Belmond Andean Explorer train; Australis, a specialist in cruising the Chilean fjords; Air Europa, for its introduction of 22 new Dreamliners; and Peak DMC, for its investment in staff training.

The awards in full:

Cruise Operator of the Year Award
Winner: Australis
Runner-up: Aqua Expeditions

Product Launch of the Year Award
Winner: Belmond
Runner-up: Maya Trails

Airline of the Year Award
Winner: Air Europa
Runner-up: Norwegian

People Award
Winner: Audley Travel
Runner-up: Aqua Expeditions

Hotel of the Year Award
Winner: EcoCamp Patagonia
Runner-up: Hacienda AltaGracia

Sustainability Award
Winner: Amazon Nature Tours
Runner-up: Condor Travel
Highly commended: Tierra Atacama

Marketing Campaign of the Year Award
Winner: Cox & Kings
Runner-up: Journey Latin America

DMC/Local Tour Operator of the Year Award
Winner: Peak DMC
Runner-up: Cascada Expeditions
Highly commended: Vapues Tours

Tour Operator of the Year Award
Winner: Latin Routes
Runner-up: Cox & Kings