SATA evaluations begin in Maldives

Judging for South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) 2017 has begun on Wednesday.

SATA’s Hospitality Partner for Maldives Champa Central Hotel is currently hosting presentations by nominees from the Maldives.

After the evaluations in Maldives conclude on Saturday, the evaluation of nominees from Sri Lanka will be held from Saturday to Tuesday at Ramada Hotel in Sri Lankan capital Colombo, which has been appointed as the Hospitality Partner for Sri Lanka.

Nominees from South India will give presentations to the panel of judges from Wednesday to Sunday at The Chancery Pavilion in Indian IT hub of Bangalore, SATA’s Hospitality Partner for South India. Udman Hotels and Resorts by Ferns N Petals in Indian capital New Delhi, which has been appointed as the Hospitality Partner for North India, will host evaluations and presentations by nominees from North India from August 27-29.

Nominees from Nepal and Bhutan will give their presentations from August 29-31 at Hotel Mulberry in Nepalese capital Kathmandu, which has been appointed as the Hospitality Partner for Nepal.

More than 414 nominations from the Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal have been received for the 39 categories included in this year’s edition of SATA. Online voting is ongoing, and will complement the judging by a panel of experts.

SATA has recently announced the first batch of partners for this year’s edition, with Maldives Insider being named an official travel media partner.

This year’s edition of SATA will take place in the Maldives in October. Organisers are exploring the possibility of hosting it at the southernmost Addu atoll.

Launched last year by Maldives-based event management company Highrise, 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), Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), 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 as media partners of SATA 2016.

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