MATATO gears up for second Maldives Travel Conference on Thursday

Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has announced plans to host the second edition of the Maldives Travel Conference on Thursday.

Organised jointly with world’s largest travel review portal TripAdvisor, the Maldives Travel Conference 2017 will take place at Bandos Maldives resort from 10.30am to 3.30pm.

The invitation-only conference will feature four keynote speeches by local and international experts, including Damian Cook, CEO of E-Tourism Frontiers, Sarah Mathews, Head of Destination Marketing at TripAdvisor, Halona Padiachy, Director at Pacific Asia Travel Association, and Dr Abdulla Mausoom, General Manager of Sun Island Resort and Spa.

During the conference, experts will share their insights on five key topics, including destination review, evolution of travel, 2017 global travel trends and Maldives destination insights, best practices for digital marketing, and travellers’ path to purchase and the right attribution.

Additionally, TripAdvisor will run a full-day workshop during the conference on latest digital trends, destination insights, brand safety and crisis management.

MATATO successfully introduced the Maldives Travel Conference in 2016 as part of its Maldives Travel Awards platform.

The first edition of the conference was themed on destination marketing, and featured prominent keynote speakers who represented leading travel institutes in the world. It was attended by more than 150 travel professionals, including hoteliers, travel executives and representatives from key stakeholders.

The 2017 Maldives Travel Conference will be followed by the Grand Gala of the Maldives Travel Awards, which will be held in Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi resort Thursday evening.

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.

The Guesthouse Edition, held in the island of Maafushi on October 30, expanded on the recognitions awarded to guesthouses by MATATO as part of the Maldives Travel Awards, and celebrated the outstanding performance of the guesthouse sector.

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