MATATO to launch Maldives Travel Awards 2017 on Wednesday

This year’s edition of the prestigious Maldives Travel Awards will be officially launched on Wednesday, organiser Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has announced.

According to MATATO, a ceremony will be held at the Hulhule Island Hotel on Wednesday evening to launch the awards. The ceremony will be attended by stakeholders from all sectors of the travel and tourism industry, it added.

Initiated in 2012 by MATATO, Maldives Travel Awards celebrate and honour the best tourism and hospitality products in Maldives, while fostering 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 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 of Travel Trade Maldives ( TTM) in July. It is aimed at recognising successful pioneers and long serving individuals in the travel industry.
  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 of the Guesthouse Conference 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, bringing an international audience of industry experts. The non-profit 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. A record number of nominations were also received with the grand gala in Olhuveli Beach and Spa resort attended by dignitaries from relevant government authorities and the tourism industry.

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