With over 100 properties, 420 nominations and over 100,000 votes, the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators held the Annual Gala of the Maldives Travel Awards on Thursday, 23 November 2017 at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi.

The year marked a landmark milestone for the sixth year of the annual awards, as the Maldives Travel Awards received more than double the amount of nominations in previous years, as well as marking the first year of its partnership with one of the world’s biggest booking engines, TripAdvisor, revolutionizing how the winners are selected.

The Annual Gala, now marked as the premier edition of Maldives Travel Awards featured, tourist resorts, liveaboards, hotel brands and airlines honouring outstanding achievements in 27 categories in eight key areas.

The categories cover everything from destination, food and beverage, wellness, service experience, brand management and sustainability. This explores the full range of the tourism businesses and provides a comprehensive look at the most exceptional examples of the tourism industry in Maldives.

The winners of the of the 2017 Maldives Travel Awards are;

– Leading Luxury Resort: Cheval Blanc Randheli
– Most Romantic Resort: Huvafen Fushi
– Leading Private Island: Naladhu Private Island Maldives
– Leading Family Resort: One & Only Reethi Rah
– Leading Designer Resort: Soneva Jani
– Leading All-Inclusive Resort: Adaaran Prestige Water Villas
– Leading Meeting and Conferences Resort: Bandos Maldives
– Leading Food & Beverage Resort: One & Only Reethi Rah, Amilla Fushi
– Leading Food & Beverage Outlet: Le 1947 – Cheval Blanc Randheli
– Leading Wellness & Spa Resort: The Sun Siyam Irufushi
– Leading Spa Wellness & Spa Brand: Duniye Spa
– Leading Beach Resort: Velaa Private Island
– Leading Dive Resort: Angaga Island Resort and Spa, Kuredu Island Resort and Spa
– Leading Surf Resort: Adaaran Select Hudhuran Fushi
– Leading Dive/Watersports Center: Paradise Island Resort and Spa
– Leading Eco Resort: Soneva Fushi, Sun Island Resort and Spa
– Leading CSR Program: Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, Six Senses Laamu
– Leading HR Management: One & Only Reethi Rah
– Leading Local Hotel/Resort Brand: Crown and Champa Resorts
– Leading International Hotel/Resort Brand: Anantara Hotels and Resorts
– Leading Business Hotel: Hotel Jen
– Leading Airport/City Hotel: Equator Village
– Leading Liveaboard: Horizon 3
– Leading Liveaboard Brand: Voyages Maldives
– Leading International Carrier: Singapore Airlines
– Leading Local Carrier: Maldivian
– Leading Low-cost Carrier: Air Aisa

Winners in the 27 categories were selected with a combination of travelers’ reviews (40%) provided by Trip Advisor and popular vote (60%) collected through online platform and SMS portal. Additionally, MATATO also awarded five awards including two special awards honouring long-term service to the industry. They are;

– Newcomer of the Year: Kandima Maldives
– Most Supportive Resort: Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi
– Outstanding Commitment to Sustainability: Crown and Champa Resorts
– Recognition for Lifetime Achievement in Service: Velana International Airport
– Recognition of Lifetime Achievement in Service: Mohamed Waheed Deen

The evening marked a colourful close to 2017’s Maldives Travel Awards, the first time the awards were held as three separate editions; The People’s Award held on 13th July 2017, The Guest House Edition held on 30th October and The Annual Gala held on the 23rd of November.

This year’s Annual Gala was attended by over 300 top representatives from the Maldivian hospitality industry, along with special guest, Urvashi Rautela; Bollywood actress and International Beauty Queen, who was announced as the future Face of MATATO.