Maldives main Velana International Airport crowned Indian Ocean’s Leading Airport

Velana International Airport has been crowned the best airport in Indian Ocean.

At the African and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony of the World Travel Awards, which took place at the Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) in South Africa on October 6, the Maldives main airport won the award for Indian Ocean’s Leading Airport. 

Velana International Airport is the main international airport in the Maldives. It is located on the island of Hulhule, just a 10-minute boat ride from the capital island of Male.

The airport has one operational asphalt runway, which measures 45 metres in width and 3,200 metres in length, along with four water runways used for seaplane operations. There are three passenger terminals, including an international terminal, a domestic terminal and a waterdrome seaplane terminal.

Government has launched a USD 800 million mega project to expand and upgrade the Maldives’ main gateway to cater to at least seven million passengers per annum. The project involves building a brand new runway, passenger terminal, a seaplane terminal and other support facilities, including a fuel farm that can store 45 million litres and a 120,000 tonne cargo facility.

The airport is a key infrastructure that supports the Maldives multi-billion dollar tourism industry. Expansion of the airport is expected to boost tourist arrivals to the island nation as it aims to attract at least two million tourists by 2020.

World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

Each year, World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region. World Travel Awards Gala Ceremonies are widely regarded as the best networking opportunities in the travel industry, attended by government and industry leaders, luminaries and international print and broadcast media.

The 2018 African and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony marked the sixth leg of the WTA Grand Tour 2018 – a series of regional events to acknowledge the world’s outstanding travel brands. Events on the tour include Ras al Khaimah (United Arab Emirates), Athens (Greece), Hong Kong, Guayaquil (Ecuador) and Montego Bay (Jamaica).

The regional winners will progress to the Grand Final 2018, which is being hosted in Lisbon (Portugal) on December 1.

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