Evaluation of nominees from Sri Lanka for South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) 2018 began on Monday.
The evaluation sessions are being held at Ramada Colombo hotel.
Sri Lankan brands nominated to SATA 2018 include The Kingsbury, Cinnamon, Heritance, Uga Escapes, Royal Palms, Jetwing, Mövenpick, Sun Aqua, Centara, RIU, Saman Villas, Ishq Villa, Ramada, Anantara, Grand Hotel, Grand Kandyan, Find MyFare, Nivadu Deals, Casons, Lanka Sawari and BMICH.
Nominee evaluations are conducted by an all-women jury, which comprises Amal Goonetilleke from Sri Lanka, Rinku Madan from India and Hinna Khalid from Maldives.
According to organiser Highrise, evaluations will be held in six cities, including Male, Colombo, Bangalore, New Delhi, Kathmandu and Paro. During the evaluation, each property has to do a presentation of 10 minutes before a panel consisting of multi-national judges, it said.
Nominations for the third edition of SATA, which consists of 36 categories in 10 segments, closed in April with a record 500 plus nominations from the Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Bhutan.
Jumeirah, Soneva, Sun Siyam Resorts, Coco Collection, Villa Hotels, The Kingsbury, Amaya Hotels and Resorts, Adaaran Resorts Maldives, Heritance Hotels, Jetwing Hotels, Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, Marriott and Taj Hotels are some of the well-known brands that have been nominated for the awards.
SATA 2018 gala is scheduled to take place in India’s commercial capital Mumbai from September 14-15.
Launched in 2016 by Maldives based event management company Highrise, SATA has been endorsed by regional tourism authorities and organisations, including the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Sri Lanka (FCCISL), Colombo Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), Confederation of Associated Tour Operators (India), Association of Travel Agents (ATA) Maldives, Association of Travel and Tour Operators India (ATTOI), Association of Professionals in Tourism (APT, India), Kerala Hotel General Managers Club (KHGMC), Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Liveaboard Association of Maldives (LAM).
SATA is the first ever regional travel awards endorsed by multi national associations, providing the tourism sector of the South Asian region with recognition towards their facilities and service excellence. It aims to encourage and raise service standards in the region’s tourism industry.
The awards’ first edition, which wrapped up with a gala ceremony at the iconic Mount Lavinia Hotel in Sri Lanka, saw an overwhelming support with more than 260 nominations. Major travel media organisations, including Maldives Insider, Asian Traveller, Asian Geographic, Asian Diver and Floating Asia were appointed as media partners of SATA 2016.
More than 414 nominations from the Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal were received for the 39 categories included in the 2017 edition of SATA, which took place at the southernmost Maldives atoll of Addu in October.