Maldives beats rival Indian Ocean destinations to defend prestigious World Travel Awards titles

Maldives and several of its properties on Saturday bagged the most prestigious awards at the Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony of the World Travel Awards, further cementing the island nation’s place as the most sought after holiday destination in the world.

The prestigious Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony took place at the five-star Sun Aqua Vilu Reef resort, with hospitality leaders from across the region in attendance to discover who amongst them has been voted the pinnacle of the travel industry.

At the ceremony, the Maldives once again beat rival Indian Ocean destinations, including Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion Islands, to defend the awards for Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Destination, Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination and Indian Ocean’s Leading Dive Destination.

With the latest win, the Maldives has secured the Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination award for the 11th time, Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Destination for the fifth time and the Indian Ocean’s Leading Dive Destination for the third time.

The Maldives main Velana International Airport was named Indian Ocean’s Leading Airport for the 10th year, while Maldives-based resort brand Coco Collection won Indian Ocean’s Leading Boutique Hotel Brand award and Ace Travel Maldives won Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination Management Company award. Additionally, Trans Maldivian Airways, which operates the world’s largest seaplane fleet, was named Indian Ocean’s Leading Seaplane Operator, and Simply Maldives as Indian Ocean’s Leading Travel Agency.

Adil Moosa, Managing Director of the Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), receives the Indian Ocean’s Leading Airport award at the World Travel Awards Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony held at the Sun Aqua Vilu Reef resort in Maldives on Saturday. PHOTO/ WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS

Individual properties in the Maldives were also big winners, including:

  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Dive Resort: Anantara Dhigu Maldives
  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Family Resort: The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives
  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Hotel: LUX* South Ari Atoll
  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Hotel Suite: Royal Island Suite at JA Manafaru
  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Leisure Hotel: Hulhule Island Hotel
  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Hotel Villa: The Royal Residence at Jumeirah Vittaveli
  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Island Resort and Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury New Resort: The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Resort: Milaidhoo Maldives
  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Villa Resort: Velaa Private Island
  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Water Villa: Grand Water Villa at One&Only Reethi Rah
  • Indian Ocean’s Leading MICE Hotel: Kurumba Maldives
  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Private Island Resort: COMO Cocoa Island
  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Resort: Gili Lankanfushi
  • Indian Ocean’s Leading Water Villa Resort: Sun Aqua Vilu Reef
  • Indian Ocean’s Most Romantic Resort: Baros Maldives
Mohamed Musthafeez, Resort Manager at Baros Maldives, receives the Indian Ocean’s Most Romantic Resort award at the World Travel Awards Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony held at the Sun Aqua Vilu Reef resort in Maldives on Saturday. PHOTO/ WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS

Maldivian Idol hosts Moosa Waseem and Aminath Lamha Latheef – two of the most familiar faces on Maldivian television – compered the event, which also allowed attendees to get in touch with authentic Maldivian culture through traditional dances such as Bandiya and Maafathi. The main act for the evening was performed by leading Maldivian singer Unoosha.

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.

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