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Maldives local travel agents honors the country’s first Travel and Tourism Awards

Maldives local travel agents honors the country’s first Travel and Tourism Awards (Forimmediaterelease.net) MALE, Maldives – The Maldives Association for Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) honored the travel and tourism industry with the first ever Maldives Travel Awards.

The grand awarding ceremony was held on September 28, 2012 at Paradise Island Resort. Awards for 21 categories including resorts, hotels, live-aboards 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 by 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 build better and more comprehensive awards for 2013,” said Mr. Mohamed Khaleel, President of MATATO.

The Maldives Association of Travel Agents&Tour Operators was founded 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 the travel and tourism industry of the Maldives forward through unity, empowerment, collective bargaining, and cooperation.

The association is very proud in taking MATATO international, and this will help build the brand of the association, allow its members to be recognized 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 organization,” 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.

Winners

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, live-aboards, airlines, and airports will participate in next year’s awards,” concluded Mr. Khaleel, President of MATATO.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lama Latheef (Ms.), Administration Executive, MALDIVES ASSOCIATION OF TRAVEL AGENTS AND TOUR OPERATORS (MATATO), 1st Floor, H, Reef View, Dhoohimeri Magu, Male' Maldives, Tel: 00960-3344929, Fax: 00960-3344909, Email: info@matato.org

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