MATATO opens bidding to host Maldives Travel Awards

Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has opened bidding to host the gala ceremony of Maldives Travel Awards 2017.

The bidding was opened at the ITB Berlin fair that concluded last month. MATATO said more information and bid documents would be available from the organisation’s secretariat, located on the first floor of H. Reef View in capital Male.

Initiated in 2012 by MATATO, Maldives Travel Awards celebrate and honour the best tourism and hospitality products in Maldives, and foster relationships with suppliers and local travel agents.

In the past, the gala night has been hosted in some of the scenic resorts in the Maldives such as Paradise Island Resort, Coco Boduhithi, Olhuveli Beach Resort and Kurumba Maldives. Its international edition took place in at Dusit Thani Dubai.

The association has earlier announced plans to branch out the awards into three editions this year. They are:

  1. People’s Edition: The Maldives Travel People’s Award Edition will be hosted at the gala night for Travel Trade Maldives ( TTM) in July. It is aimed at recognising successful pioneers and long serving individuals in the travel industry of Maldives.
  2. Guesthouse Edition: This edition will be introduced this year to celebrate the outstanding performance of the guesthouse sector. Winners of the 15 categories will be announced at the closing evening for the Guesthouse Conference, organised by Maldives Getaways and scheduled for September.
  3. Grand Gala Night: This is the premier event of the Maldives travel industry and is a continuation of the past. It will be exclusive for winners in the categories for resorts, airlines and liveaboards. It will be hosted in one of the country’ leading resorts in November or October.

This year, MATATO plans to combine the grand gala with the travel conference happening a day before the awards, bringing an international audience of industry experts to these events. MATATO also signed an agreement last year with Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the largest travel organisation in the region, to have MATATO events supported and endorsed by PATA.

In 2016, the awards saw unprecedented judging transparency with a service agreement signed with KPMG to tally the final results.

Some of the travel trade fairs participated by MATATO such as SATTE New Delhi, BITB New Delhi, MATTA Malaysia, MAKTA Finland, PATA Mart Jakarta, Riyadh Fair, Luxury Leisure Moscow have been used to promote these awards and its winners. Several other fairs attended by the state owned tourism promotion company Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) such as ITB Berlin, WTM London and ATM Dubai were also used by MATATO to promote the winners.

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