Former Vice President of Maldives Mohamed Waheeduddin has received the Lifetime Achievement Award for services to Maldivian hospitality industry at the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) Travel Awards Gala 2017. Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) Travel Awards Gala 2017 saw awards conferred to personals working in the Maldivian tourism industry in 27 categories.
MATATO Maldives Travel Awards was initiated in 2012 to recognise and to celebrate the commitment, excellence and expertise in the Maldivian tourism industry. MATATO Travel Awards Gala 2017 was officiated by the Minister of Home Affairs Azleen Ahmed.
Addressing the gala night, President of MATATO Abdulla Giyas Riyaz revealed plans to establish the nation's first ever Tourism Data Centre.
Noting that MATATO plans to participate in 19 travel trade shows in 2018 and he revealed that Maldives Travel Awards would be organised in two editions next year
While the most prestigious award of the gala night, Life Time Achievement Award in recognition for his services to Maldivian hospitality industry was conferred to Former Vice President and Founder of Bandos Maldives Mohamed Waheeduddin, Velana International Airport was conferred the Life Time Achievement in Service.
While Cheval Blanc Randheli won the award for Leading Luxury awards, Huvafenfushi Maldives won the award for the Most Romantic Resort, Kandima Maldives won the Newcomer Award at the Gala event.
MATATO Travel Awards Gala 2017 also conferred awards for categories such as the Leading Designer Resort, Leading Private Island, Leading Eco Resort, Leading Wellness and Spa Resort, Leading Dive Resort, Leading Liveaboard, Leading International and Local Carrier and for Leading Food and Beverage Outlet. The winners of the Gala Edition described the award as a boost to the services they provide and expressed the importance of such recognition.
MATATO Travel Awards 2017 saw major changes to the format of awarding this year such as the addition of People's Edition and Guest House Edition. This includes online voting opportunity for specific categories of awarding.
The awards were conferred based on both online voting and reviews made by the TripAdviser. A record breaking amount of 100,000 votes were received for the Gala Edition alone.