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Maldives wins big at World Travel Awards Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony

Maldives wins big at World Travel Awards Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony WTA president Graham Cooke, left, presents the trophy for Indian Ocean's Travel & Tourism Personality of the Year to Maldives minister of tourism, Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor

Hilton Hotels, Air Mauritius, Sun Island Resort & Spa, Seychelles and Lux Resorts were among the big names to emerge victorious at World Travel Awards 2013 Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony, held at the Paradise Island Resort & Spa, Maldives earlier.

The tourism industry elite, including senior vice presidents of leading travel companies, government ministers and tourism board chiefs, attended the idyllic island gala event hailed as ‘the Oscars of the travel industry’.

World Travel Awards celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year and is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade, celebrating those brands that are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence in product and service.

Air Mauritius was one of the shining stars on the night, capturing Indian Oceans Leading Airline.

Other award winners from across the region included Coco Privé Kuda Hithi Island, which took the title of Indian Ocean’s Leading New Hotel, One&Only Reethi Rah, which picked up Indian Ocean’s Leading Resort, and Baros, which took the titles for Indian Ocean’s Leading Water Villa Resort and Indian Ocean’s Most Romantic Resort.

Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Resort went to Gili Lankanfushi, while Let’s Go Maldives took Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Tour Operator.

A new Award for 2013, for Outstanding Services to the Tourist Industry, Indian Ocean, went to SriLankan Airlines.

The Maldives’ continued rise to tourism stardom was rewarded too, as it took home top honours for best Indian Ocean’s Best Airport, claimed by Maldives Airports Company for Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Indian Ocean’s Leading Tourist Board and Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination.

World Travel Awards president Graham Cooke said: “The Indian Ocean continues to serve as an example of a responsible eco-tourism region whilst offering the most unique hospitality products and services.

“It strives to set the highest possible bar to raise the standards of excellence in travel and tourism and it has been an honour to hold the first ever Indian Ocean World Travel Awards here.”