Top regional hospitality brands set to gather in Maldives south for SATA Gala Retreat

South Maldives is all set to host a grand celebration of the best of tourism in the region, as the South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) hosts its annual gala.

The SATA 2017 Gala Retreat will be held at Equator Village in Addu. The retreat will be stretched to three days starting Friday, with SATA Opportunity networking event, SATA Gala and Awards ceremony, and a tour of Addu for the participants.

Top hospitality brands operating in all the participating countries are competing for the awards, with India represented by The Leela, Thaj Whitefield, Forest Canopy, Intersight, Mulberry Holidays, Holiday Kerala, Courtyard Marriot, Fragrant Nature, Sheraton Grande and Spice Jet.

Sri Lankan brands vying to be recognised at a regional level include Cinnamon Hotels, Movenpick and SriLankan Airlines.

Shangri-La, Barahi, Mulberry, Himalaya Airline, Annafurna and Tashi Namgay Resort are competing from Bhutan and Nepal.

Equator Village.

Brands nominated from the host Maldives include Soneva, Amilla Fushi, Jumeira, Villa Hotels, LUX*, Adaaran Resorts, Voyages Maldives, Inner Maldives Maldives, Cocoon Maldives, John Keells Maldives Resorts, Summer Island Maldives, Embudu Village and Maldivian Airlines.

More than 414 nominations from the Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal were received for the 39 categories included in this year’s edition of SATA. Online voting and judging by a panel of experts concluded in September.

According to SATA Secretariat, official auditors Crowe Horwath Maldives LLP has notified the winners by direct communication. Travel for all international nominees are coordinated by Inner Maldives Holidays and accommodation by One Tours Company, it said.

SATA has earlier announced the partners of this year’s edition, including:

  • Platinum Partner: Ooredoo Maldives
  • Gold Partner: Hawks Private Limited
  • Silver Partner: Male Aerated Water Company, Asia Forwarding and Stage Core
  • Official Host: Equator Village
  • Hospitality Partner for Maldives: Champa Central Hotel
  • Hospitality Partner for South India: The Chancery Pavilion
  • Hospitality Partner for North India: Udman Hotels and Resorts by Ferns N Petals
  • Hospitality Partner for Sri Lanka: Ramada Hotel
  • Hospitality Partner for Nepal: Hotel Mulberry
  • Travel Media Partner: Maldives Insider and The Islandchief
  • Online Media Partner: Sun Online
  • TV Partner: Maldives TV
  • Travel Partner: MVHotels
  • Videography Partner: Visual Beams from NERN Private Limited
  • Photography Partner: Digital Studio
  • Auditing Partner: Crowe Horwath Maldives
  • Exclusive Insurance Partner: Allied Insurance

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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