Medellin awarded the Best Emerging Destination in South America

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Medellin awarded the Best Emerging Destination in South America

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April 6, 2023

Medellin has been awarded the Best Emerging Destination in South America by the World Travel Awards, also known as the “Oscars” of tourism. This award recognizes the city’s efforts in becoming a tourist destination with excellent connectivity, events and festivals, and cultural attractions.

Medellin has received recognition from the World Travel Awards on at least five occasions. Three times as the Best Getaway Destination in South America (in 2016, 2020 and 2021) and twice as the Best Meetings and Conferences Destination (in 2014 and 2015). In this year’s awards, the city was nominated in seven categories, including Business Travel, Leisure Travel, Events and Festivals, Meetings and Conferences, Best Cultural Destination and Best Emerging Destination.

Medellin faced tough competition from other Colombian cities such as Cali and Barranquilla, as well as from other South American countries such as Cusco in Peru and Guayaquil in Ecuador. However, Medellin emerged victorious, highlighting the city’s significant progress in the tourism industry.

The significance of the reward

Alejandro Arias, the Secretary of Economic Development of Medellin, emphasized the importance of the World Travel Awards in the tourism sector, as well as the significance of receiving such recognition. He said, “The World Travel Awards honor the best destinations, hotels, tourism ecosystems, airlines, and the entire tourism industry. Experts in tourism worldwide grant these awards. Medellin has been chosen as the Best Emerging Destination in South America, and we are now competing for the best destination in the world. Medellin is still trendy.”

Medellin’s tourism progress is due to its connectivity with 13 international routes through 17 airlines, making it the best-connected city in its history. This connectivity, combined with the city’s rich culture and events, has made it an attractive tourist destination for both domestic and international travelers.

What makes Medellin such a popular destination?

Medellin is also famous for hosting several events and festivals, including the Feria de las Flores, which had an attendance of 20,000 national and international visitors in 2022. The event contributed significantly to the city’s economic growth and boasted an average hotel occupancy rate of 99%.

The city has hosted several concerts featuring renowned artists such as Karol G, Maluma, Wisin and Yandel, Juan Luis Guerra, Don Omar, among others. These concerts had an average hotel occupancy rate of 93% and provided a significant boost to the local economy.

Other noteworthy accolades

Recently, Medellin was recognized as the third-best city in the world to travel to by the Time Out magazine, which highlights the city’s global appeal. Furthermore, Time Out also ranked Via Provenza in Medellin as the sixth-coolest street in the world. The street’s vibrant energy, friendly spirit, and entrepreneurial culture, make it a must-visit destination.

In conclusion, Medellin’s recognition as the Best Emerging Destination in South America by the World Travel Awards is well-deserved. The city has made significant strides in becoming a global tourist destination with excellent connectivity, cultural attractions, events and festivals, and a friendly, entrepreneurial culture. Medellin has come a long way from its troubled past and is now a bustling, vibrant city that attracts visitors from all over the world.


Hi, I'm Bart Dubbelman, a 32-year-old travel writer from the Netherlands. I've been passionate about exploring new cultures and destinations since my parents took me on trips across Europe as a child. Over the years, I've honed my writing skills and have become an experienced travel blogger, sharing my adventures and tips with fellow travelers.

My writing style is engaging and informative, providing practical insights and relevant information that inspire others to venture out and discover the world. I've written for various travel magazines and websites.

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