Maldives wins WTA’s “World’s Leading Island Destination 2013”

The Maldives has been awarded the title of “World’s Leading Island Destination” at the 2013 World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Finale hosted at the La Cigale Hotel in Doha, Qatar last week.

This is the third time the Maldives has won the prestigious travel award. The WTA is hailed as the “Oscars of the Travel Industry.”

The Maldives competed against Bali in Indonesia, Barbados, Cook Islands, Crete in Greece, Jamaica, the Madeira Islands, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Sicily in Italy, St. Lucia, and Zanzibar in Tanzania this year.

Maldivian resorts also scooped a number of awards in various categories with Hulhule Island Hotel winning the World’s Leading Airport Resort 2013, and Conrad Maldives Rangali Island winning the World’s Leading Water Villa Resort 2013.

Baros Maldives won recognition as the World’s Most Romantic Resort 2013 and World’s Leading Island Villas 2013.

The Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC) said the awards highlight the “uniqueness” of Maldives and recognizes the Maldives as a world-class luxury destination.

On November 25, the Maldives reached one million tourist arrivals for the first time in a calendar year. Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb said the “victory had been made possible amidst boycott campaigns and other such obstacles.”

The political turmoil following the controversial transfer of power in February 2012 had caused growth in the tourism industry to stall, but growth is expected to pick up this year.

Maldivian pro-democracy activists previously made headlines around the world after hijacking the MMPRC’s official hashtag and slogan “Sunny Side of Life” in 2012 and the official hashtag of London’s World Travel Market in November this year to call attention to police brutality in the Maldives.

The Maldives dominated this year’s Indian Ocean World Travel Awards (WTA) event held in May, scooping a number of prizes including ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Green Resort 2013′ and the ‘Indian Ocean’s Most Romantic Resort 2013′.

World Travel Awards celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year.