To commemorate the 50th anniversary of tourism, Maldives marked 3 October as National Tourism Day, the day when the first resort opened half a century ago. Earlier this year, the president declared 3 October as a public holiday hereafter to be celebrated as National Tourism Day.
Kurumba Village, the country’s first resort opened on the Vihamanafushi island on 3 October 1972.
As part of the celebrations, the Maldives Tourism Awards and appreciation awards were handed out to resorts and individuals who contributed to the development of the industry over the past 50 years.
To conclude the golden jubilee celebrations, the Ministry of Tourism hosted a ‘Tourism Golden Year Gala’ evening at Kurumba Maldives on 3 October. At the event, the president conferred ‘The President’s Tourism Gold Awards’ to 77 individuals, including the Speaker of the Parliament, former president Mohamed Nasheed, Vice President Faisal Naseem, and Tourism Minister Dr Abdulla Mausooom for their outstanding work to promote the country’s tourism sector. Awards were presented to the pioneers and leaders of Maldivian tourism industry as well.
Tourism Minister Dr Abdulla Mausooom presented the president with a commemorative plaque. Speaking at the ceremony, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih stated that the role of any government is to design national policies that can be implemented through the legislative system, and that the Maldivian tourism industry became world-renowned because the private sector had complete autonomy over its development.
He also expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all those involved in promoting the country’s tourism sector, including resort owners and operators, guesthouse and safari vessel operators, those who run dive centres, as well as travel agents, performing artists, and the employees in the tourism sector, and credited their efforts to the country’s economic success.
Recipients of the Maldives Tourism Awards:
- Best Resort: One&Only Reethi Rah
- Best Guesthouse: Sabba Summer Suite, N. Fodhdhoo
- Best Safari: Gurahali safari boat
- Best Travel Agency: Intour Maldives
- Best Water Sports Centre: Ocean Group Pvt Ltd
Resort category awards:
- Promoting local DJs – Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
- Promoting local artists – Hard Rock Hotel Maldives
- Promoting local performers – Vilamendhoo Island Resort
- Utilisation of local products – The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives
- Staff accommodation – JOALI Maldives
- Staff dining – Kurumba Maldives
- Recreation and healthcare – One&Only Reethi Rah
- Most number of female employees – JOALI Being
- Most number of locals employed – Bandos Maldives
- Safest workplace – SAii Lagoon Maldives
- Training and career development – Constance Halaveli Maldives
Guesthouse category awards:
- Best staff dining, healthcare and excellence in staff recreation – Sabba Summer Suite
- Most Maldivian employees and career development – Island Luxury, B. Fulhadhoo
- Safest workplace – Ithaa Dhigurah
Safari category awards:
- Best staff dining experience – Maldives Explorer
- Safest workplace – Gurahali safari boat