MATATO steps up Maldives Travel Awards promotion, partners with Indian PR firm

Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has partnered with Indian PR firm Think Strawberries to promote Maldives Travel Awards in India, as the organisation seeks to step up promotion of its prestigious brand.

In a statement, MATATO said Sunday that an agreement was signed with Think Strawberries at the ongoing India International Travel Mart (IITM) Bangalore Edition, where the Maldives is being showcased by the organisation along with nine industry stakeholders.

Under the agreement, Think Strawberries will conduct several activities in India to promote the Maldives Travel Awards platform. The firm will also facilitate MATATO in bringing in renowned travel writers from India to the Maldives for the Grand Gala in November.

“MATATO this year has deployed various strategies to promote the association and its activities, and one of the key strategies is the promotion of the Maldives Travel Awards which is today seen as the most prestigious tourism event in the Maldives,” the statement read.

With offices in London, Paris, Brussels, Madrid, New York and Caribbean, Think Strawberries is a thought leader in promoting global travel products in the Indian market and MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. The firm has earlier provided its sales and marketing expertise to the Maldives state tourism promotion company Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).

According to MATATO, a series of networking and PR events, titled Road to Maldives Travel Awards, will also be conducted in the region as well as at various travel trade fairs that MATATO takes part in. Additionally, major partnerships with leading travel publications and media will be announced in the build up to the Grand Gala, it said.

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.

This year, MATATO has for the first time branched out the prestigious awards into three categories; the 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.

As the first event held under the Maldives Travel Awards brand, Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi hosted the People’s Edition on July 13, where 10 individuals were recognised for their immense contributions to the development of the Maldives tourism industry.

Meanwhile, the Guesthouse Edition will take place in capital Male in September, with the Grand Gala following in November.

The non-profit will also combine the Grand Gala with the travel conference happening a day before at Bandos Island Resort, bringing an international audience of industry experts.

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