The first ever Guesthouse Edition of the Maldives Travel Awards was held at Maafushi Island on the 30th October 2017. The awarding ceremony organised by Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), offered recognition exclusively to the Guesthouse Industry of the country.
Maafushi was chosen as the prime location for the first ever Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition, due to the island being birthplace of guesthouse tourism, and still remains as one of the most popular guesthouse island in the country.
Over 250 invitees from the industry, including guesthouse owners, suppliers and service providers attended the awarding ceremony officially titled 'Dhiraagu Presents Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition.'
Awards were presented in a total of fifteen categories, for which winners were selected based online votes which accounts for 60 percent, and ratings on TripAdvisor which accounts for 40 percent of the total score.
The winners of the first Dhiraagu Presents Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition are:
- Leading Guesthouse: Arena Beach Hotel
- Leading Food and Beverage Guesthouse: Velana Beach
- Leading Guesthouse/Diving and Water Sports: Active Dive
- Leading Green/Eco-Friendly Guesthouse: TME Retreats Dhigurah
- Leading Business Guesthouse: Hotel UI Inn
- Leading Heritage Guesthouse: Local Island Inn
- Leading Adventure Guesthouse: Reveries Diving Village
- Most Innovative Guesthouse Concept: Velana Beach
- Leading Guesthouse Brand: Kaani Hotels
- Leading Transport Service Provider: Nevi Speed
- Leading Guesthouse Island: Maafushi
- Leading Beach Island: Kelaa
- Leading Business Development Partner for the Guesthouse Industry: Dhiraagu
- Newcomer of the Year: Veli Vilaa
- Most Supportive Guesthouse: Arena Beach and Kaani Beach Hotel
For the first time ever, MATATO has seperated different segments of the travel award into three categories;
- People's Edition: recognizing successful innovators and individuals who have served in the tourism industry for a long amount of time. It was held on 13th July at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi.
- Guesthouse Edition: celebrating the outstanding performance shown by the guesthouse sector of the tourism industry. Held on 30th October at Maafushi Island.
- Grand Gala: exclusively for winners under the categories of resorts & hotels, airlines, and liveaboards. Expected to take place in November 2017.