Maldives crowned Asia’s Most Romantic Escape by Smart Travel Asia

Maldives has won Asia’s Most Romantic Escape award in the first ever Best of the Decade Awards organised by Smart Travel Asia.

The Smart Travel Asia Best in Travel Poll is a market research exercise that has run uninterrupted since 2005. It is an independent, free and fair reader poll covering airlines, airports, destinations and hotels.

With travellers having to press pause on their vacations due to Covid-19, Smart Travel Asia decided to tabulate a Best of the Decade Awards, drawn from their reader polls from 2010-2019, as opposed to previous years.

The total scores were checked from over the years, as well as the rankings, reader comments, feedback from focus groups and critical input from journalists. This resulted in the formation of a range of newer categories for romance, adventure, rooms, hotels, and also a list of few products on a commendation list.

The number of winners from their usual Top 25 was also cut down to 1-10, depending on the category. The range of winners closely mirrors age groups, changing travel habits and the hotel experiences now on offer.

Further to winning the Most Romantic Escape destination award, Maldivian resorts also won awards in different categories. They are:

  • Third in Best Spa Hotels: Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island
  • Fourth in Best Luxury Hotels (Asia): Cheval Blanc Randheli
  • Fourth in Top Rooms with a View: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
  • Ninth in Best New Hotels (2017-2019): Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

“First of all, I would like to congratulate all the winners from Maldives. As one of the most beautiful and romance-filled destinations in the world, we are honoured to have received these awards. It is a very significant award as it comes directly from travellers and readers through a voting poll,” Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), said.

“This will definitely increase our brand presence among newlyweds and honeymooners in the region, as well as raise our destination profile globally. We hope to see a surge in their arrivals in the coming days.”

The Maldives reopened its borders on July 15.

Resorts and hotels on uninhabited islands as well as liveaboard vessels were allowed to host tourists (please see a rolling list of resort reopenings here).

Guesthouses and hotels located on inhabited islands were to be allowed to reopen on August 1 but a surge in coronavirus cases in capital Male forced the authorities to extend a ban on guesthouse operations until October 15.

With the border reopening, 30-day free on-arrival visa is issued to all tourists with a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country.

There is no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival, but tourists have to complete an online health declaration form and provide a negative PCR test result taken at least 72 hours prior to their departure.

Visitors with symptoms of the Covid-19 respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or those travelling with someone who has similar symptoms are also tested at their own expense.

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