The South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) has honoured veteran hotelier Mohamed Umar ‘MU’ Manik with a special award in recognition of his services to the tourism industry. The SATA Awards ceremony was held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Bangalore in October, however, since Manik could not attend the ceremony, SATA presented Manik with the plaque during a special ceremony at Kurumba Maldives on Thursday. Manik is a a co-founder of Kurumba Maldives, the first resort to open in the country.

Speaking at the ceremony, Manik said he was pleased to have received the recognition. The tourism industry is 51 years old and the industry has grown so much through hard work, he said, adding that he hopes the tourism sector will continue to grow.

Manik, who has played a significant role in shaping the tourism image of Maldives, was thanked by SATA for his efforts in the development of tourism in the country. SATA also recognised Manik’s sustained determination, productive services, and tireless efforts which have set a benchmark in the development of the sector.

The South Asian Travel Awards are one of the most prestigious tourism awards in the South Asia region. Maldivian properties have won 31 awards this year, including 14 gold awards and 17 silver awards.

This is the seventh year that the awards have been held. Six South Asian countries competed this year, with over 15 international and government agencies supporting SATA’s efforts to promote tourism in the South Asia region.