Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) held its annual “Maldives Travel Awards”, the largest travel awards event in the archipelago, late Sunday where Bandos Island Resort bagged the highest number of awards while Conrad Maldives Rangali Resort was chosen as the Leading Luxury Resort.
The MATATO Maldives Travel Awards 2016 Gala Event was held at Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort where Bandos Island Resort won all four categories it was nominated for with Leading Family Resort, Leading Dive Resort, Leading Meeting and Conference Resort and Leading Local Hotel/Resort Brand.
Following close behind Bandos was Conrad Maldives Rangali Resort which won the second highest number of awards in addition to the most prestigious honour of Leading Luxury Resort. Conrad also took home the awards of Leading F&B Resort and Leading International Hotel and Resort Brand.
The resorts that won the other awards were:
Leading Private Island and Leading Designer Resort – Velaa Private Island
Leading Romantic Resort and Leading Human Resource Management (new award) – Adaaran Prestige Villas
Leading Beach Resort – Anantara Kihavah Villas
Leading All-Inclusive Resort – Centara Grand Maldives
Leading Eco Resort – Sun Island Resort and Spa
Leading Surf Resort – Anantara Dhigu
Leading Wellness and Spa Resort – The Sun Siyam Irufushi
The Travel Awards also celebrated the industries of guesthouse, hotel. safari and water sports in the Maldives with:
Leading Airport City Hotel and Leading F&B Outlet, Bar/Restaurant (new award) – Hulhule Island Hotel
Leading Guesthouse and Leading Innovation in Guesthouse Design – Reveries Diving Village
Leading Business Hotel – Hotel Jen
Leading Wellness and Spa Brand/Chain – Araamu Spa
Leading Liveaboard – Voyages Gurahali
Leading Liveaboard Brand – Carpe Diem Maldives
Leading Activity Water Sports Centre – Active Water Sports
Leading Dive Centre – Maafushi Dive
Awards for achievement in aviation and transportation were also given at the Gala Event with:
Leading Domestic Airline – Flyme of Villa Air
Leading International Airline – Sri Lankan Airlines
Leading Domestic Transport Provider and Leading Travel Website – iCom Tours
Organised by the Maldives’ leading event management firm Think Associates, this year’s travel awards saw 246 contenders contesting in 35 categories including five new awards introduced this year.
Leading CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Programme – Soneva Fushi
Leading Human Resource Management – Adaaran Prestige Vaadhoo
Leading Guesthouse Island – Maafushi
Leading F&B Outlet – Hulhule Island Hotel
Leading Airport Lounge – Lee Lee Lounge
MATATO Maldives Travel Awards aims to encourage the progress and quality of the Maldives’ tourism industry.
Speaking at the Gala Event, MATATO’s President Abdulla Giyas celebrated the company’s achievement in hosting five successful travel awards. He noted that aside from being the most prestigious travel award in the archipelago, the Maldives Travel Awards is also recognised on the international scale.
Giyas also lauded the contribution of tour operators and travel agents to the Maldives’ tourism sector, appreciating the indirect benefits they bring to the industry including more job opportunities and instigating new industries.
“We need to take advantage of the opportunities available in the tourism sector and face challenges with confidence,” he declared.
The MATATO Maldives Travel Awards 2016 was sponsored mainly by Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) with additional partners Allied Insurance, Fuel Supplies Maldives, Public Service Media (PSM), Dhiraagu, Hotel Jen, Eithad Airways, State Trading Organisation (STO), POP JOY and Coca Cola. The online media partner was Mihaaru.