Maafushi Island named Leading Guesthouse Island at Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition
Maafushi Island has been named the Leading Guesthouse Island at the MATATO Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition 2017, as Arena Beach Hotel takes away the award for the Leading Guesthouse. The gala event of the awards, sponsored by Telecom provider Dhiraagu, was held in Maafushi Island. 96 nominees competed in 12 categories, where for the first time, MATATO brought a platform exclusively for Guesthouses, to recognise and display the innovative achievements of this industry.
A total of 15 winners were announced as three of these were selected and award by MATATO. Winners in 12 categories were selected with a combination of Travellers’ Review (40% provided by TripAdvisor – the world largest travel website, and popular vote (60%) collected through an online platform and SMS portal. According to MATATO, more than 70,000 votes were registered when voting closed; 32,000 votes were registered online and another 50,000 people voted through SMS.
The full list of the winners of MATATO Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition are;
- Leading Guesthouse: Arena Beach Hotel
- Leading Guesthouse Brands: Kaani Hotels and Arena Hotels
- Leading Guesthouse Island: Maafushi Island
- Leading Beach Island: Kelaa Island
- Leading Guesthouse / Diving and Water Sports: Active Water Sports
- Leading Heritage Guesthouse: Local Island Inn
- Leading Food and Beverage Guesthouse: Velana Beach
- Leading Business Guesthouse: Hotel UI Inn
- Leading Transport Service Provider: Nevi Speed
- Leading Adventure Guesthouse: Reveries Diving Village
- Leading Green / Eco-friendly Guesthouse: TME Retreats Dhigurah
- Most Innovative Guesthouse Concept: Velana Beach
- New Comer of the Year: Veli Villa Dhiffushi
- Most Supportive Guesthouse: Kaani Hotels and Arena Beach Hotel
- Leading Business Development Partner for Guesthouse Industry: Dhiraagu
Up until 2016, MATATO recognised the leading properties and services in the guesthouse industry, through 5 categories awarded during the Travel Awards Gala Night. According to MATATO, it received 42 nominations in guesthouse categories in 2016, while this number more than doubled in 2017.
As the momentum of growth for this industry strengthened, MATATO recognised the need for a separate platform to market and promote the achievements in this sector which, impressively, is fully driven by local entrepreneurship and community engagement. More than 250 professionals from the travel industry attended the award night in Maafushi.
Hosted as a separate edition exclusive for the resorts, the Gala Edition for Maldives Travel Awards is scheduled to November 23. Voting for the Gala Edition commenced on October 20 after nominations period closes on October 15. Across three editions of Maldives Travel Awards MATATO will be giving away a total of 55 recognition for the Travel Industry in 2017.