Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has announced the nominees for the Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition 2019, with 96 nominees in 14 categories.
More than 65 guesthouses have been nominated for the awards, including seven islands contesting in the ‘Leading Guesthouse Island’ and ‘Leading Beach Island’ category. Nominees include properties from across the archipelago, bringing together a collection of guesthouses that projects the diversity of the destination.
Winners in the Guesthouse Edition are selected based on a combined score, which takes into account their ratings on TripAdvisor (60 per cent) and popular vote (40 per cent) collected through online and SMS voting platforms.
Voting for the Guesthouse Edition will begin on September 15 and will continue for a period of 15 days.
As a major shift from previous years, MATATO will be presenting the ‘Leading Guesthouse Award’ to four winners selected from four different parts of the country, including South, North, and Central region. The leading guesthouse in the satellite town of Hulhumale will also be recognised as a separate category.
“We have brought a significant change to how we present the Leading Guesthouse Award, which of course is the most sought after title amongst, the rest. This change will allow more guesthouse to come forward, gives them an opportunity to compete to get noticed,” Abdulla Suood, President of MATATO, was quoted in a statement, as saying.
“This change will also allow us to extend the marketing exposure of the awards to otherwise distant corners of the destination, where guesthouse businesses are struggling to be on the map.”
Winners of the Guesthouse Edition will be announced in October at a special function to be hosted in the island of Thoddoo in Alif Alif atoll.
In 2017, the Guesthouse Edition received more than 175 nominations and registered a record number of 176,000 votes.
Initiated in 2012 by MATATO, the Maldives Travel Awards celebrate and honour the best tourism and hospitality products in the Maldives whilst fostering relationships with suppliers and local travel agents. From 20 categories in 2012, the awards have now expanded into three editions totalling 55 categories.
MATATO hosts 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.