Nominees for Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition 2019 are announced today with 96 nominations in 14 competing categories. More than 65 Guesthouse properties are listed for the Awards, including 07 Islands, who are competing for Leading Guesthouse Island and Leading Beach Island category. Nominees for the Guesthouse Edition, feature properties across the country from far North to the South, bringing together a collection of Guesthouses that projects the diversity of the destination.
Guesthouse Edition was first introduced in 2017, as an exclusive platform to celebrate tourism in local communities. Winners in the Guesthouse edition are selected with a combination of the popular vote (40%) and traveler ratings (60%) provided by world’s largest travel website Tripadvisor. Votes are collected online through the Maldives Travel Awards website, www.travelawards.com. SMS votes are collected from both networks, Ooreedoo and Dhiraagu. Voting for the Guesthouse Edition 2019 will begin on 15th September 2019 and will continue for a period of 15 days.
As a major switch from previous years, in 2019 MATATO will be presenting the Leading Guesthouse Award to four winners selected from four different locations of the country, namely South, North, and Central Maldives. Leading Guesthouse in Hulhumale’ will also be presented as a separate category. This change is intended to give significance to each region of the country where Guesthouse businesses are thriving.
“We have brought a significant change to how we present the Leading Guesthouse Award, which of course is the most sought after title among, the rest. This change will allow more guesthouse to come forward, gives them an opportunity to compete to get noticed” Abdulla Suood, President of MATATO said. “This change will also allow us to extend the marketing exposure of the Awards to otherwise distant corners of the destination, where Guesthouse businesses are struggling to be on the map.”
Up until 2016, MATATO recognized the leading properties and services in the guesthouse industry, through 05 categories Awarded during the Travel Awards Gala Night. In 2016 MATATO received 42 Nominations in Guesthouse categories, while this number more than doubled in 2017 and tripled in 2018. As the momentum of growth for this industry strengthened, MATATO recognized the need for a separate platform to market and promote the achievements in this sector which, impressively, is fully driven by local entrepreneurship and community engagement.
In 2017, MATATO also decided to host the Award functions for Guesthouse edition, in one of the prominent islands for the industry, to take the island to international limelight. This year the event is scheduled to take place in Thoddoo island in October.