Maldives Travel Awards recognises top guesthouses
Top establishments in the Maldives booming guesthouse industry have received recognition, as Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) hosted Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition 2018 in the satellite town of Hulhumale on Friday.
Over 250 invitees, including guesthouse owners, suppliers and service providers, attended the event, which was officially called Alia Presents Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition 2018.
Awards were presented in 11 categories, for which 111 parties were nominated. The winners include:
- Leading Guesthouse: Reveries Diving Village, L. Gan
- Leading Food and Beverage Guesthouse: Velana Beach, K. Maafushi
- Leading Guesthouse / Diving and Water Sports: Fulidhoo Dive and Water Sports, V. Fulidhoo
- Leading Eco-Friendly Guesthouse: Nolhi Escape, HDh. Nolhivaranfaru
- Leading Business Guesthouse: UI Inn, Hulhumale
- Leading Heritage Guesthouse: Detour Beach View, ADh. Hangnaameedhoo
- Leading Adventure Guesthouse: Shallow Lagoon Rasdhoo, AA. Rasdhoo
- Leading Transport Service Provider: Nevi Transfer Service
- Leading Guesthouse Brand: Kaani Beach Hotel
- Leading Guesthouse Island: AA. Ukulhas
- Leading Beach Island: AA. Ukulhas
Additionally, MATATO awarded recognitions in three categories, including:
- Leading Business Development Partner for the Guesthouse Industry: Allied Insurance
- Newcomer of the Year: Villa Rosa Maldives, AA. Feridhoo
- Most Supportive Guesthouse: Crystal Sand, K. Maafushi
Winners for the Guesthouse Edition were selected from a combination of popular vote (60 percent) and traveller ratings (40 percent), which was based on data provided by world’s largest travel website Tripadvisor.
Introduced last 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.
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 600 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.
Like last year, MATATO will host three editions: 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.
MATATO will also combine the grand gala with the travel conference happening a day before, bringing an international audience of industry experts.