MATATO readies for Maldives Travel Awards People’s Edition on Thursday

Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) is making final preparations for the Maldives Travel Awards – People’s Edition slated for Thursday evening.

The People’s Edition, the first event to be held this year under the Maldives Travel Awards platform, will recognise 10 individuals that have contributed immensely to the development of the Maldives tourism industry.

Nominations for the People’s Edition were open till June 30 from any individual with at least five years of experience in the Maldives tourism and hospitality industry. Third parties were also allowed to submit nominations on behalf of eligible individuals.

The winners, to be individually referred to as Tourism Personality of the Year, have been selected by a panel of veteran judges from different sectors across the industry, and would be announced at the Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) Gala Night at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi Thursday evening.

The awards ceremony will be compered by Moosa Waseem, one of the most popular TV personalities in the country, and MATATO’s Deputy Secretary General Asra Naseem.

Initiated in 2012 by MATATO, Maldives Travel Awards celebrate and honour the best tourism and hospitality products in the Maldives, while fostering relationships with suppliers and local travel agents. From 20 categories in 2012, the awards have now expanded into three editions totalling 55 categories.

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.

This year, MATATO has for the first time branched out the prestigious awards into three categories; the People’s Edition, which recognises successful pioneers and long serving individuals in the tourism industry, a Guesthouse Edition, which celebrates the outstanding performance of the up and coming guesthouse sector, and the Grand Gala, which is exclusive for winners in the categories for resorts, airlines and liveaboards.

The Guesthouse Edition will take place in capital Male in September with the Grand Gala following in November.

The non-profit will also combine the Grand Gala with the travel conference happening a day before at Bandos Island Resort, bringing an international audience of industry experts.

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