Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) on Wednesday launched the Maldives Travel Awards 2017, branching out the prestigious annual awards into 3 editons, Guesthouses Edition, People’s Edition & Grand Gala.

At a ceremony held at Hulhule Island Hotel (HIH) Wednesday evening, MATATO launched a People’s Edition, which recognises successful pioneers and long serving individuals in the tourism industry, a Guesthouse Edition, which celebrates the outstanding performance of the up and coming guesthouse sector, and the Grand Gala, which is exclusive for winners in the categories for resorts, airlines and liveaboards.

  • People’s Edition: The Maldives Travel Awards – People’s Edition will be hosted at the gala night of Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) in July. It is aimed at recognising successful pioneers and long serving individuals in the travel industry.
  • Guesthouse Edition: This edition celebrates the outstanding performance of the guesthouse sector. Winners of the 15 categories will be announced at the closing evening of the Guesthouse Conference scheduled for September.
  • Grand Gala: This is the premier event of the Maldives travel industry and is a continuation of the past. It will be exclusive for winners in the categories for resorts, airlines and liveaboards. It will be hosted in November.
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MATATO President Abdulla Ghiyas Riyaz told the organisation’s members and sponsors attending the launching ceremony that three editions were introduced to recognise the rapid growth in the travel and tourism industry.

“One night is not enough to recognise the entire spectrum of tourism products in the Maldives,” he said. According to Ghiyas, international judges will also be enlisted for the first time this year.

Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) retained the Platinum Partner title for the seventh year in a row, while Dhiraagu, Alia Investments and Public Service Media (PSM) signed as Gold Sponsors, and Allied Insurance Company, Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) and Anantara Resorts Maldives as Silver Sponsors.

Print Lab signed as the Printing Partner and Everything Red signed as the Mobile Commerce Partner. Adaaran Resorts Maldives, whose Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi will host this year’s Grand Gala, was assigned as the Host Partner, while Hulhule Island Hotel was made the Luxury Hotel Partner. Corporate Maldives signed as the Business Media Partner for the event.

Initiated in 2012 by MATATO, Maldives Travel Awards celebrate and honour the best tourism and hospitality products in the Maldives, while fostering relationships with suppliers and local travel agents. From 20 categories in 2012, the awards have now expanded into three editions totalling 55 categories.

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