SATA announces partners, Maldives Insider named official travel media partner

South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) has officially announced partners for this year’s edition, with Maldives Insider becoming an official travel media partner.

At a ceremony held at Champa Central Hotel in Maldives capital Male Saturday morning, SATA signed a partnership agreement with the hotel, which has been named the hospitality partner for the Maldives. Under the partnership agreement, Champa Central Hotel will host all evaluations and nominee presentations from the Maldives.

Champa Central Hotel signed up as the SATA hospitality partner for Maldives. PHOTO/ HIGHRISE

Sun Online retained the official online media partner title for the second year, while Maldives Insider, MV Hotels and The Islandchief were named official travel media partners. State broadcaster Public Service Media (PSM) was assigned as the official TV partner, with its Maldives TV agreeing to live broadcast the SATA gala ceremony.

Maldives Insider signed up as an official travel media partner of SATA 2017. PHOTO/ HIGHRISE
Sun Online signed up as the official online media partner of SATA 2017. PHOTO/ HIGHRISE
The Islandchief signed up as an official travel media partner of SATA 2017. PHOTO/ HIGHRISE

Meanwhile, The Chancery Pavilion, located in the Indian IT hub of Bangalore, has been chosen as the hospitality partner for central and northern India. A separate hospitality partner would be assigned later for south India.

Speaking at the ceremony, SATA’s Vice President Suraj Khan said the brand has been widely recognised by stakeholders from all sectors of the travel and tourism industry in South Asia. The significant increase in nominations received for this year’s edition is a testament to the value created by the brand for the entire industry, he added.

“Properties nominate themselves. This shows the confidence they have in SATA,” Khan said.

Officials from SATA speak at the ceremony held at the Champa Central Hotel in Maldives capital Male on Saturday to sign agreements with partners of SATA 2017. PHOTO/ HIGHRISE

More than 414 nominations from the Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal have been received for the 39 categories included in this year’s edition. Online voting is ongoing, and will complement the judging by a panel of experts.

Launched last year by Maldives-based event management company Highrise, SATA has been endorsed by regional tourism authorities and organisations, including the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Sri Lanka (FCCISL), Colombo Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), Confederation of Associated Tour Operators (India), Association of Travel Agents (ATA) Maldives, Association of Travel and Tour Operators India (ATTOI), Association of Professionals in Tourism (APT, India), Kerala Hotel General Managers Club (KHGMC), Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Liveaboard Association of Maldives (LAM).

SATA is the first ever regional travel awards endorsed by multi national associations, providing the tourism sector of the South Asian region with recognition towards their facilities and service excellence. It aims to encourage and raise service standards in the region’s tourism industry.

The awards’ first edition, which wrapped up with a gala ceremony at the iconic Mount Lavinia Hotel in Sri Lanka, saw an overwhelming support with more than 260 nominations. Major travel media organisations, including Maldives Insider, Asian Traveller, Asian Geographic, Asian Diver and Floating Asia were appointed as media partners of SATA 2016.

This year’s edition of SATA will take place in the Maldives in October.

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