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Since 2010 the LATA Achievement Awards have been a opportunity to celebrate the very best of the Latin American travel market. With new categories for 2018, the awards promise to be bigger and better than ever.

The LATA Achievement Awards are free of charge to enter, and recognise innovation and excellence from across the Latin American Travel Industry. We welcome entries from all tourism businesses and suppliers – destinations, resorts, individual hotels and niche enterprises, as well as global businesses such as airlines and major hotel chains.

The Awards aim to recognise and highlight true trailblazers, innovators and heroes in our industry.

Entrants will need to demonstrate, where relevant, that they have:

  • achieved exceptional results
  • delivered a high quality product and exceptional customer service
  • identified or exploited new markets, income stream or opportunities
  • shown commitment to their employees through development and training and have good staff retention rates
  • delivered a positive impact or social value to their customers or clients or the community in which they operate

Submissions must be for activity during the period 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2017.

The judging panel this year is led by Derek Moore, chairman of AITO, co-founder of Explore Worldwide and recipient of the Contribution to Adventure Travel award at the 2017 Adventure Travel Conference. Derek is joined on the judging panel by Aneil Bedi, Director at M&C Saatchi and judge of the Travel Marketing Awards, Barbara Kolosinska, Director at C&M Travel Recruitment, Danny Callaghan, General Manager of LATA and Quinn Meyer, Founder of the CREES foundation

The award categories for 2018 are:

  • Tour operator of the year award

This award recognises a tour operator which demonstrates excellence across all areas of their business. They will offer exceptional customer service, inspiring product and innovative tours. They will be trailblazers in their field and always go the extra mile. Submissions in this category must specifically relate to the tour operator’s Latin American product.

  • Airline of the year award

This award recognises an airline that not only offers exceptional onboard service but is also pioneering in improving connectivity to and within Latin America. Entrants can be international or domestic carriers.

  • DMC of the year award

This award recognises a DMC or inbound Latin American Tour operator who stands out from the crowd. They will work in perfect partnership with their UK partners, offering invaluable local input, new product advice, customer service and training. Entrants must offer product from Latin America.

  • Hotel of the year award

This award recognises a hotel or group of hotels that offer themselves as much more than a hotel – an experience for guests and that elevates the hotel over its competitors. The hotel does not necessarily need to offer first class facilities but must offer something unique and special. Entrants must be located in Latin America

  • Cruise of the year award

This award recognises expedition cruising at its best – waterborne adventures that visit places that are unreachable by land, guides that know their destination inside out and take guests on the ultimate journey of discovery with unparalleled on-board service. The cruise must visit Latin America (including Antarctica) for most or all of its itinerary.

  • Destination of the year award

This award recognises excellence in destination promotion and is open to tourism boards, national, local or regional authorities. The winner of this category will have employed pioneering approaches to elevate the image, reputation and visitor numbers to their destination. Entries may include evidence of: increased press coverage, increased UK sales; increased visitor numbers; increased in-destination spend.

  • Marketing campaign of the year award

This award recognises inspiring, original, innovative, outside-of-the box thinking that delivers real cut through and effective elevation of the product, brand or destination. This can be a one-off campaign or part of a sustained marketing strategy. The award is open to any campaign that promotes Latin America.

  • Product launch of the year award

This award celebrates the most impactful and ground-breaking product launch. The launch will have captured the imagination of the target audience, brought something new to market and achieved impressive sales from the outset. This award is open to any Latin American product launch.

  • People award

This award recognises an organisation which is dedicated to improving career opportunities for people within the Latin American travel industry. Organisations may have worked exceptionally to enhance the capacity of individuals and groups of people to enter the Latin American tourism sector; to develop skills for those already employed, enabling them to advance in the industry; and to offer fair employment practices. Entries could include examples of: exceptional human resource management; policies for developing people which are embedded across the organisation; evidence of significant investment in creating and maintaining training and staff development; support for direct local employment and local supply chains.

  • Innovation in sustainability award

This award recognises a project that has delivered an innovative approach to addressing a particular sustainability challenge. Entries could include initiatives that have delivered measurable results in areas such as: mitigating impact on climate change; reducing demands on scarce resources; promoting bio-diversity; improving health and well-being; development of behaviour-changing initiatives among guests, staff and suppliers.

We do urge all our members to enter the awards, as they are a great way for LATA to acknowledge the excellent work that you all do. You can enter as many categories as you wish. You can also nominate other organisations, so if you are a tour operator that wants to recognise the great work that your DMCs do, or a tourist board that wants to recognise the contribution that an airline has made to your destination, you can do so through these awards.

The deadline for entries is 30th April 2018, and the results will be announced on the 11th June 2018 at Experience Latin America.