MATATO endorses SATA, becomes associate partner

Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has officially endorsed the annual South Asian Travel Awards (SATA).

In a statement, SATA Secretariat said Tuesday that MATATO has become an Associate Partner of the brand. MATATO has ensured its full support and input in making SATA a success, it added.

“The organisers of SATA, High Rise and MATATO share a profound history and friendship over the years, and you have supported our efforts in making our projects a reality,” MATATO’s Secretary General Ibrahim Munaz was quoted as saying in the statement.

Founded in 2006 by a group of enthusiastic tour operators in Maldives, MATATO remains the only association in the country representing local travel agents and tour operators. The non-profit organisation has been engaged in various activities, including advocacy, training and workshops, travel trade fairs in many parts of the world, media fam trips, government lobbying, travel conferences and forums, publications and destination marketing. It also organises the highly-acclaimed Maldives Travel Awards, the only recognition in the Maldives’ tourism and hospitality industry.

Launched last year, SATA has been endorsed by regional tourism authorities and organisations, including the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Sri Lanka (FCCISL), Colombo Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Confederation of Associated Tour Operators (India), Association of Travel Agents (ATA) Maldives, Association of Travel and Tour Operators India (ATTOI), Association of Professionals in Tourism (APT, India), Kerala Hotel General Managers Club (KHGMC), Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Liveaboard Association of Maldives (LAM).

SATA is the first ever regional travel awards endorsed by multi national associations, providing the tourism sector of the South Asian Region with recognition towards their facilities and service excellence. It aims to encourage and raise service standards in the region’s tourism industry.

The awards’ first edition, which wrapped up with a gala ceremony at the iconic Mount Lavinia Hotel in Sri Lanka, saw an overwhelming support with more than 260 nominations. Major travel media organisations, including Maldives Insider, Asian Traveller, Asian Geographic, Asian Diver and Floating Asia were appointed media partners of SATA 2016.

This year’s edition of SATA will take place in the Maldives in October. Nominations are open until May 30 for 34 major categories in 10 segments.
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