Voting for Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition opens with 90 nominees

Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has opened voting for the Maldives Travel Awards – Guesthouse Edition.

Nominations closed on September 10, following which they were evaluated and shortlisted to eight contenders in each category based on their rating on TripAdvisor, which accounts for 40 percent of the total score.

Properties were shortlisted in 12 categories, including:

Leading Guesthouse

  1. Kaani
  2. Arena Beach
  3. Hotel UI Inn
  4. Serene sky Guesthouse
  5. Velana Beach
  6. Plumeria Sea View
  7. Crystal Sands Hotel
  8. TME Retreats Dhigura

Leading Food and Beverage Guesthouse

  1. Plumeria Sea View
  2. Crystal Sands Hotel
  3. Arena
  4. Velana Beach
  5. Kaani
  6. Season Paradise
  7. Hotel 78
  8. Castle Inn

Leading Guesthouse / Diving and Water Sports

  1. iTouch Blue and Venus Villa
  2. Maafushi Dive
  3. Active Maldives Private Limited
  4. Rasdhoo Dive Club
  5. Rasdhoo Dive Lodge
  6. Beach Stay Maldives
  7. Shamar Guesthouse and Dive
  8. Kalhu Muraka Guesthouse

Leading Eco-Friendly Guesthouse

  1. TME Retreats Dhigurah
  2. Beachwood Hotel and Spa
  3. Canopus Retreats
  4. Island Way Etos
  5. Season Paradise
  6. Coconut Tree Hulhuvilla Beach
  7. Salt Beach
  8. Serene Sky Guesthouse

Leading Business Guesthouse

  1. Lonuveli Hotel
  2. Airport Beach
  3. Hotel UI Inn
  4. Ocean Grand
  5. Clear Sky Inn Hulhumale
  6. Coconut Tree Hulhuvila Beach
  7. Eureka Airport Inn
  8. Azoush Tourist Guesthouse

Leading Heritage Guesthouse

  1. Ariston Dhangethi Inn
  2. Local Island Inn
  3. Vashafaru Inn
  4. Lagoon View Maldives
  5. Banyan Villa
  6. Hiyaa Ilaa
  7. Mirian Sky Hotel
  8. Jupiter Sunrise Lodge

Leading Adventure Guesthouse

  1. Manta Inn
  2. Asia Inn Villa Retreat
  3. Detour Beach View
  4. Reveries Diving Village
  5. Boutique Beach All-Inclusive Diving Hotel
  6. Batuta Maldives Surf View Guesthouse
  7. Stingray Beach Inn
  8. Rasdhoo Dive Club

Most Innovative Guesthouse Concept

  1. Velana Beach
  2. Season Paradise
  3. Shallow Lagoon
  4. Tropical Village
  5. Casa Mia Maldives
  6. Masaaree Boutique Hotel
  7. White Shell Island Hotel and Spa
  8. Airport Beach

Leading Guesthouse Brand

  1. Kaani
  2. Arena Beach
  3. Hotel UI Inn
  4. Plumeria Hotel and Resorts Private Limited
  5. WhiteShell Island Hotel and Spa
  6. Serene Sky Guest Maldives
  7. LVIS Blancura Hotel

Leading Transport Service Provider

  1. iCom
  2. Nasru Speed
  3. Navi Speed

Leading Guesthouse Island

  1. Maafushi
  2. Thoddoo
  3. Rasdhoo
  4. Dhigurah
  5. Keyodhoo
  6. Felidhoo
  7. Hangnaameedhoo
  8. Bodufolhudhoo

Leading Beach Island

  1. Fulidhoo
  2. Dhigurah
  3. Thoddoo
  4. Vashafaru
  5. Dharavandho
  6. Thinadhoo
  7. Dhangethi
  8. Kelaa

Additionally, MATATO will award recognitions in three categories, including:

  • Leading Business Development Partner for the Guesthouse Industry
  • Newcomer of the Year
  • Most Supportive Guesthouse

The shortlisted properties have now been put up for popular vote, which accounts for the remaining 60 percent of the final score. Votes can be cast online until October 28, and the winners will be announced at a special function to be held on October 30 in the island of Maafushi in Kaafu atoll.

MATATO President Abdulla Ghiyas speaks at a function held on Wednesday to mark the World Tourism Day. PHOTO/ IBRAHIM ASAD

Introduced this year, the Guesthouse Edition builds on the recognitions awarded to guesthouses by MATATO as part of the Maldives Travel Awards, and celebrates the outstanding performance of the guesthouse sector.

Maldives, known world over for its upmarket tourism industry, has resorts in the hundreds spread across the archipelago. The industry has in recent years expanded to introduce more affordable segments, including guesthouses and liveaboards. Some 330 guesthouses have started operations over the past five years as the number of travellers that choose to stay in guesthouses rise.

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.

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.

As the first event held under the Maldives Travel Awards brand, Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi hosted the People’s Edition on July 13, where 10 individuals were recognised for their immense contributions to the development of the Maldives tourism industry.

After the Guesthouse Edition next month, the Grand Gala will be held in Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi resort in November.

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

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