Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition open for nomination

Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has opened nomination for the Maldives Travel Awards – Guesthouse Edition.

MATATO said any guesthouse in operation for at least a year can send in completed application forms by September 10 via email or the official website. Nominations will be accepted from travel agents, travel organisations and registered travel businesses in Maldives, it added.

Nominations are open for 12 categories, including:

  • Leading Guesthouse
  • Leading Food and Beverage Guesthouse
  • Leading Guesthouse / Diving and Water Sports
  • Leading Eco-Friendly Guesthouse
  • Leading Business Guesthouse
  • Leading Heritage Guesthouse
  • Leading Adventure Guesthouse
  • Most Innovative Guesthouse Concept
  • Leading Guesthouse Brand
  • Leading Transport Service Provider
  • Leading Guesthouse Island
  • Leading Beach Island

Additionally, MATATO will award recognitions in three categories, including:

  • Leading Business Development Partner for the Guesthouse Industry
  • Newcomer of the Year
  • Most Supportive Guesthouse

According to MATATO, nominees will be evaluated and shortlisted to five contenders in each category based on their rating on TripAdvisor, which accounts for 40 percent of the total score. Shortlisted properties will then be announced and featured for popular vote, which accounts for the remaining 60 percent of the final score, it said.

Introduced this year, the Guesthouse Edition builds on the recognitions awarded to guesthouses by MATATO as part of the Maldives Travel Awards, and celebrates the outstanding performance of the guesthouse sector.

The Guesthouse Edition will be hosted during the Guesthouses Maldives Conference 2017 on September 23.

Maldives, known world over for its upmarket tourism industry, has resorts in the hundreds spread across the archipelago. The industry has in recent years expanded to introduce more affordable segments, including guesthouses and liveaboards. Some 330 guesthouses have started operations over the past five years as the number of travellers that choose to stay in guesthouses rise.

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.

After the Guesthouse Edition in capital Male in September, the Grand Gala will be held in Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi resort in November.

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

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