Maldives Travel Awards 2018 recognises top travel brands, hospitality leaders
Gala celebrations of Maldives Travel Awards 2018 took place Thursday evening, recognising the best of the Maldives travel industry.
The Maldives Travel Awards gala returned this year to Paradise Island Resort, which played host to the first ever gala of the premier travel event of Maldives in 2012.
The gala saw more than 200 travel industry professionals come together to celebrate the winners in 25 categories of the Gala Edition, which is exclusive for the resorts, airlines and liveaboards operating in Maldives. The winners include:
- Leading CSR Programme: Crown & Champa Resorts
- Property for Leading Human Resources Management: One&Only Reethi Rah
- Leading Meeting and Conference Resort: Paradise Island Resort
- Leading Dive/Water Sports Centre: Sun Siyam Diving
- Leading Wellness and Spa Resort: The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives
- Leading Airport Hotel: Equator Village
- Leading Dive Resort: Bandos Maldives
- Leading Eco-Resort: Six Senses Laamu
- Leading International Carrier: SriLankan Airlines
- Leading Surf Resort: Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort
- Leading Liveaboard: Horizon 3
- Leading Liveaboard Brand: Voyages Maldives
- Leading Local Hotel/Resort Brand: Sun Aqua
- Leading International Hotel/Resort Brand: Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas
- Leading All-Inclusive Resort: Hurawalhi Maldives
- Most Supportive Resorts: Paradise Island Resort
- Newcomer of the Year: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi
- Leading Family Resort: Amilla Fushi
- Leading Designer Resort: Kandima Maldives
- Leading F&B Resort: One&Only Reethi Rah
- Leading F&B Outlet: Le 1947, Cheval Blanc Randheli
- Leading Private Island: Naladhu Private Island Maldives
- Leading Beach Resort: Cocoon Maldives
- Leading Luxury Resort: Cheval Blanc Randheli
- Most Romantic Resort: Huvafen Fushi
The seventh edition of Maldives Travel Awards saw a record number of nominations in all major categories. More than 200 nominations were registered for the 25 categories.
Winners were selected based on a combined rating of scores awarded by a panel of judges and popular vote collected via SMS and online platforms. More than 250,000 votes were registered on both platforms in 2018. The panel of judges, representing six industry professionals, travelled to nominated properties over a period of one month to evaluate the nominees. Winners in some of the categories in the Gala Edition such as airlines are decided on popular vote alone.
This year, winners of Maldives Travel Awards People’s Edition were also be announced at the gala. The five exceptional travel professionals recognised in the People’s Edition include:
- Ali Ahmed – Director at Vista Company
- Ismail Hameed – Managing Director at Highrise Pvt Ltd
- Hussain Waheed – Airport Manager at One&Only Reethi Rah
- Mark Hehir – CEO and Curator at The Small Maldives Island Co.
- Qaisar Naseem – Group General Manager at Villa Hotels Resorts (Recognition for Outstanding Performance in Travel Industry)
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.
Like last year, MATATO is hosting three editions: 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.