The Maldives was presented with a host of impressive travel industry awards in 2017, confirming its status as one of the most desirable tourist destinations in the world amid ambitious plans to increase its offering in 2018.

Recent awards include the coveted Condé Nast Traveller ‘Best Islands For Places To Stay’ award as well as Best in Travel’s ‘Best Holiday Destination’, where it came second overall in Asia. The Maldives was also awarded three World Travel Awards: the ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Destination’, the ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination’ and the ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Dive Destination’. Furthermore, the Maldives also scooped the ‘Reader’s Choice Dive and Travel Awards’ first prize for best ‘Dreaming Area’.

Commenting on the multiple awards, the Minister of Tourism, Moosa Zameer said: “It is such a privilege and an honour to win these prestigious awards. These awards are a symbol of admiration and acceptance of the Maldives by visitors and are a great achievement for the joint efforts and hard work done by the government and the tourism industry of the Maldives. We will strive to further improve and expand our destination and at the same time maintain our brand positioning. The Maldives will remain a unique destination.” He also confirmed that the initiative Visit Maldives had been very successful, resulting in an 8% growth in tourist arrivals in 2017.

The awards come at a good time for the Maldives’ tourism industry, with no less than 27 resorts opening in the country since 2013. There are plans for a further 23 resorts to open their doors in 2018 and 2019, including the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Maldives and the Italian-designed Baglioni Resort Maldives. In early 2018, the LUX* North Malé Atoll resort will open, offering tourists penthouse residences, luxury yachts and sweeping ocean views. Additional resorts due to open include properties from RIU Hotels & Resorts, Pullman Hotels, Mövenpick, and Atmosphere at Sangeli.

These resort projects are in line with President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s goal to develop 50 new resorts within his five-year term, generating 18,000 new job opportunities.

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