Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has opened voting for Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition 2018.
In a statement, MATATO said voting will be conducted until July 31. Online votes will be collected through the Maldives Travel Awards website, while SMS votes will be accepted from from both Oreedoo and Dhiraagu networks, it added.
“Winners in the Guesthouse edition are selected with a combination of popular vote (60%) and traveler ratings (40%) provided by world’s largest travel website Tripadvisor,” the statement read.
Nomination for the Guesthouse Edition closed on May with 111 entries in 15 categories, representing more than 60 businesses operating in the guesthouse sector.
MATATO and Guesthouse Association of Maldives (GAM) will jointly host a gala ceremony in August in the satellite town of Hulhumale, which is home to a majority of the guesthouses in Maldives, to announced the winners.
Introduced last year, the Guesthouse Edition builds on the recognitions awarded to guesthouses by MATATO as part of the Maldives Travel Awards, and celebrates the outstanding performance of the guesthouse sector.
Maldives, known world over for its upmarket tourism industry, has resorts in the hundreds spread across the archipelago. The industry has in recent years expanded to introduce more affordable segments, including guesthouses and liveaboards. Some 600 guesthouses have started operations over the past five years as the number of travellers that choose to stay in guesthouses rise.
Initiated in 2012 by MATATO, Maldives Travel Awards celebrate and honour the best tourism and hospitality products in the Maldives, while fostering relationships with suppliers and local travel agents. From 20 categories in 2012, the awards have now expanded into three editions totalling 55 categories.
Like last year, MATATO will host 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.
MATATO will also combine the grand gala with the travel conference happening a day before, bringing an international audience of industry experts.