Maldives Association for Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) honoured the travel and tourism industry with first ever Maldives Travel Awards.
The grand awarding ceremony was held on 28th September 2012 at Paradise Island Resort. Awards for 21 categories including resorts, hotels, liveaboards and aviation were awarded trophies. The event began with awarding of appreciation plaques to Mr. Abdulla Jabir, Mr. Yoosuf Riffath and Mr. Maleeh Jamal for their contribution to the development of MATATO.
The event included entertainment items popular Maldivian artists including Unoosha, Barchi, Ritte, Mummu, Mira and Furadhan. The ceremony closed with the rhythms of DJ Paidey.
Senior management members of top hotel chains in Maldives attended the event. Members of the executive board of MATATO and the Minister of State for Tourism, Arts and Culture also attended the event.
This year’s judging panel and expert panel, appointed by MATATO, was made up of Dr. Mahamood Shougee (Former Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation), Dr. Ahmed Adham Abdulla (CEO of MTCC), Ms. Zeenaz Hussain (Dean of Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Studies), and Mr. Ghaly Murthala (Tourism Development Consultant for FJS Consulting Pvt Ltd).
“This is a dream come true for us here at MATATO and sets the precedence for many awards to come. We believe this is just the beginning and hopefully we have learnt a lot from this year’s first experience and this will help us built better and more comprehensive awards for 2013.” said Mr Mohamed Khaleel, President of MATATO.
Maldives Association of Travel Agents & Tour Operators (MATATO) was found in 2006 and currently, the association represents more than 70 travel agents and tour operators in the Maldives. The mission of the association is taking travel and tourism industry of the Maldives forward through unity, empowerment, collective bargaining and co-operation.
The association is very proud in taking MATATO international and this will help build the brand of the association, allow its members to be recognised internationally and the association has also started joint partnership initiatives with various travel agents associations around the globe and recently was named the official Association Partner for World Travel Market, London 2012.
“We urge all stakeholders to support local travel agents and especially the hotels, to give preference to local agents and allow us to play on fair grounds with other international operators. We also request more local agents and hotels to join us as members, and this will add to our synergy and betterment of this organisation” added Mr Khaleel, President of MATATO.
MATATO is the exclusive organizer of Maldives Travel Awards, and this year’s event was managed and organized by High Rise.
> Leading Luxury Hotel - Hulhule Island Hotel
> Leading Wellness & Spa Resort - Six Senses Laamu
> Leading Business Hotel - Paradise Island Resort
> Leading Cruise Brand - Voyages Maldives
> Leading Budget Hotel - Adaaran Club Rannalhi
> Leading Cruiser - Dhaainkanbaa
> Leading Luxury Resort - Anantara Kihavah Villas
> Leading Resort Website - Adaaran Select Meedhupparu
> Leading Beach Resort - LUX Maldives
> Leading Liveaboard Website - Island Pearl
> Most Romantic Resort - Naladhu Maldives
> Most Supportive Resort given by MATATO members - Sun Island Resort & Spa
> Leading Dive Resort - Sun Island Resort & Spa
> Leading Domestic Airport - Villa Maamigili Airport
> Leading Surf Resort - Chaaya Island Dhonveli
> Leading International Airline - Emirates
> Leading ECO Resort - Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
> Leading Family Resort - Centara Grand Island Resort & spa, Maldives
> Leading Meeting & Conference Resort - Sun Island Resort & Spa
> Leading Meeting & Conference Center - Sun Island Resort & Spa
> Leading Wellness & Spa Brand - Chavana Spa
A tourism personality award of lifetime achievement was awarded to Mr. Ibrahim Gasim as his achievements and contribution to the development of the hospitality industry in Maldives.
“MATATO thanks all the sponsors for their assistance and support in making the first Maldives Travel Awards a grand success. We also thank all the nominees and congratulate all the winners, and hope that more resorts, hotels, Liveaboards, airlines and airports will participate in next year’s awards” concluded Mr Khaleel, President of MATATO.