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Sun Aqua Vilu Reef defends Indian Ocean’s Leading Water Villa Resort title at World Travel Awards

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Sun Aqua Vilu Reef has defended Indian Ocean’s Leading Water Villa Resort title at the 2018 World Travel Awards.

The award was presented at the African and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony of the World Travel Awards, which took place at the Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) in South Africa on October 6.

The resort won the same title at last year’s Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony of the World Travel Awards as well.

Sun Aqua Vilu Reef is a palm fringed paradise-like island located in Dhaalu atoll, a mere 35-minute seaplane flight away from the main Velana International Airport.

Hidden amongst the foliage are 62 shell shaped bungalows, (14 Beach Villas, 18 Deluxe Beach Villas, 10 Jacuzzi Deluxe Beach Villas, five Deluxe Beach Villas with Pool, and 15 Sun Aqua Pool Villas) with lava-stone pools, whirlpool bathtubs, private sundecks and day swing beds. A further 41 Water Villas (20 Reef Villas, nine Sunset Reef Villas, six Aqua Villas with plunge pools, five Aqua Suites with private swimming pool and a Grand Reef Suite) complete the accommodation offering with a select few even hiding inviting overwater hammocks.

Guests can be selective at Sun Aqua Vilu Reef and explore the spice and warmth of home style Maldivian cuisine, feast on gourmet organic and free-range produce grown on the resorts private Farm Island, sink their teeth into freshly caught, barbecued seafood or dine under the stars with private dining experiences.

A major focus, the Sun Aqua Spa at the Sun Aqua Vilu Reef consists of six private treatment pavilions each with open air flower baths, open showers, a hydrotherapy area and double treatment beds. On offer is also a salon, manicure/pedicure and a beautiful relaxation area. Encompassing the Five Element Theory — Wood, Fire, Metal, Earth and Water — the spa will offer a lengthy menu of Ayurvedic wellness rituals, pampering beauty therapies and massage techniques from around the world. It also offers a selection of signature therapies to help renew body and mind, including a rich scrub of coconut or coffee, a herbal Udavarthanam detox or a relaxing, fragrant flower bath.

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.

The 2018 African and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony marked the sixth leg of the WTA Grand Tour 2018 – a series of regional events to acknowledge the world’s outstanding travel brands. Events on the tour include Ras al Khaimah (United Arab Emirates), Athens (Greece), Hong Kong, Guayaquil (Ecuador) and Montego Bay (Jamaica).

The regional winners will progress to the Grand Final 2018, which is being hosted in Lisbon (Portugal) on December 1.

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Maldives celebrates arrival of 2024’s 1 millionth tourist

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Maldives on Thursday welcomed the one millionth tourist to visit this year.

The one millionth tourist is a Thai named Sutapa Amonwivat, who arrived from Singapore with her husband and two children. This is her second visit to Maldives.

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and the Ministry of Tourism gave a warm welcome to Sutapa at the Velana International Airport (VIA) Thursday afternoon. She was welcomed at the VIA by tourism minister Ibrahim Faisal, MMPRC Managing Director Ibrahim Shiury and senior officials of various relevant agencies.

After welcoming her with traditional offerings, she was presented with various gifts by the ministry, MMPRC, customs, immigration, Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) and Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA).

Maldives reached one million tourists in June, three weeks earlier than last year. The number of tourists reached one million on July 16, 2023.

Maldives expects to reach 2 million tourists this year.

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New air route connects Chongqing to Maldives

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Chongqing Airlines on Monday began its inaugural flights to Maldives.

The Chongqing-Male route, scheduled three times a week, is expected to strengthen the bonds between China and the Maldives, opening up exciting new opportunities for tourism and cultural exchange.

The inaugural flight was welcomed upon its arrival at Velana International Airport (VIA) in Maldives, where local officials and tourism representatives expressed their enthusiasm for this new development.

“We warmly welcome our friends from China to our beautiful islands. This new connection strengthens our bonds and opens up new opportunities for tourism,” the tourism ministry said on X.

Maldives currently welcomes four airlines from China, including China Eastern, Beijing Capital Airlines, Xiamen Airlines.

In January, Maldives government urged tourism stakeholders in both Maldives and China to ramp up efforts to restore China’s position as the primary source market for Maldives tourism, a status held before the onset of Covid-19.

China, being the largest source market for Maldives tourism before the pandemic, saw a resumption of tourist arrivals from January 2023 after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. In 2023, the Maldives welcomed 187,118 Chinese tourists, marking a significant recovery in numbers. This year, the Maldives has welcomed the most number of tourists from China, with over 107,940 or 11.5 percent of total arrivals by June 12. 

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CROSSROADS Maldives Introduces Weixin Pay at resorts for seamless guest experience

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CROSSROADS Maldives has introduced WeChat Pay, widely known as Weixin Pay in China, across its world-class resorts, SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives. This payment option is made available to enhance the convenience and overall experience for guests from China, making their stay in the Maldives more enjoyable and hassle-free.

Understanding the needs of the diverse guests, CROSSROADS Maldives has integrated WeChat Pay into operations, allowing guests from China to easily and securely conduct transactions using a payment method familiar to them. The introduction of WeChat Pay is a testament to CROSSROADS Maldives’ dedication to enhancing guest satisfaction by offering exceptional experiences at every turn. What is also expected through this initiative is that the guests could benefit from better foreign exchange rates, translating to better savings on their expenditures during their stay.

The option is available for guests in-house conveniently at both resorts as well as across the Marina at CROSSROADS Maldives where a wider variety of unparalleled dining and retail experiences are available for all guests. The day visitors from China will also therefore equally benefit from this new introduction at the Maldives’ premier multi-island integrated leisure destination.

SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, is a vibrant tropical escape that offers unique and locally inspired experiences. The resort features spacious rooms and villas, a variety of dining options, and an array of recreational activities designed to cater to the desires of modern travellers. Guests can escape to the island’s SAiisational natural beauty, enjoy water sports, and indulge in spa treatments, all while relishing the personalised service that defines Hilton’s Curio Collection.

Hard Rock Hotel Maldives brings the iconic Hard Rock spirit to the tranquil shores of the Maldives. This family-friendly resort offers a perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment, featuring music-inspired experiences, live performances, and the brand’s signature amenities. With luxurious accommodations, diverse dining options, and a plethora of activities for all ages, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives ensures an unforgettable holiday experience for every guest.

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