Kenya, Tanzania, S/Africa, Morocco, Mauritius destinations win big for Africa; as 2016 World Travel Awards unveil global hospitality champions in the Maldives

Posted: December 4, 2016 in general

wta-maldivesKenya, Tanzania, Mauritius, Morocco and South Africa stood out in the roll call of over 130 category winners during the Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2016 of the prestigious World Travel Awards (WTA) which held, Friday in Malé, the Maldives.

The event which took place at the Sun Siyam Iru Fushi in the Maldives in front of an audience of over 250 hospitality leaders from around the world was also an occasion for the WTA to recognise two global hospitality icons with the title of ‘Tourism Pioneer.’

The title is a discretionary award, reserved for those few individuals and organisations which can truly be said to have had a transformative impact on global hospitality; those innovators who blaze a trail for others to follow.

While the Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, in Morocco bagged the World’s Leading Beach & Casino Resort; the

World’s Leading Beach Resort prize went to the Andilana Beach Resort, Madagascar; World’s Leading Boutique Hotel was won by the Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, South Africa and the World’s Leading Exclusive Private Island award to the Thanda Island, in Tanzania.

Others include: World’s Leading Fine Dining Hotel Restaurant to Luke Dale Roberts X the Saxon, South Africa;

World’s Leading Luxury Island Resort to the Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa, Mauritius; World’s Leading Luxury Lodge-Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Tanzania; World’s Leading Private Game Reserve-Shambala Private Reserve, South Africa; World’s Leading Safari Lodge-Thanda Safari, South Africa; World’s Leading Safari Resort-Legend Golf & Safari Resort, South Africa.

Also recognised was Abu Dhabi flag-carrier Etihad Airways, taking the title of World’s Leading Airline for the eighth time in succession.

“It has been a real honour to return here to the Maldives, and in particular to bring the Grand Final to Sun Siyam Iru Fushi for the first time. We have seen the best of international tourism recognised here at the resort tonight.

“More than 1.1 million votes were cast during our Grand Tour 2016, both from members of the public and from within the hospitality industry, and these voices have been heard.

“My congratulations to all of our winners this evening and I look forward to greeting many of you next year as we begin our search anew,” remarked World Travel Awards President Graham Cooke.

Host Maldives was recognised by voters from around the globe as the World’s Leading Beach Destination.

HNA Tourism Group shone the spotlight on the rapid development of Chinese hospitality, taking the title of World’s Leading Integrated Tourism Group.

Partners for the Grand Final 2016 included Sun Siyam Group, Trans Maldivian Airways, SriLankan Airlines, Ooredoo, and St. Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development.

Meanwhile, the World Travel Awards Academy has recognised renowned for being one of the most energetic and visionary businessman in the Maldives, Sun Siyam Resorts Chairman and Managing Director, the Honourable Ahmed Siyam Mohamed, was the first recipient this year.

Since the inception of his first company he has carefully developed his business to create a thriving resort chain in less than two decades. Today, he is a well-respected businessman in the country and a much loved philanthropist.

He continues to inspire and guide over 3,000 dedicated and motivated employees and has earned the respect and admiration of all his staff and business partners.

Also honoured with the prestigious title at the Grand Final 2016 was Trans Maldivian Airways and its Chief Executive, Mister A.U.M Fawzy.

The carrier has played a vital role in the development of tourism in the destination.

Having joined the company he now leads in 1995 as part of the finance team, Fawzy has since climbed up the corporate ladder to become leader of the world’s largest seaplane company.

Under his stewardship the company has gone from flying a handful of passengers each year, to transferring over one million passengers to over 60 partner resorts across the Maldives.

He has without a doubt played a pivotal role in the development of tourism in the Maldives archipelago, with a fleet of 45 aircraft binding the nation together like never before.

World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.

Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

Each year World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective successes within each key geographical region.

World Travel Awards Gala Ceremonies are widely regarded as the best networking opportunities in the travel industry, attended by government and industry leaders, luminaries, and international print and broadcast media.

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