The nomination period for the highly anticipated second edition of the Maldives Tourism Awards 2023 has been extended until 1 p.m. on 31 July. Nominations for the awards were opened on 1 June, with the initial deadline set for 16 July.
In an announcement, the Ministry of Tourism said the deadline was extended to “provide the opportunity for as many interested candidates as possible.”
As per the ministry’s guidelines, the evaluation process will take into account applications covering the timeframe from 1 June 2022 to 31 May 2023, utilising specific criteria for assessment.
The inception of the awards coincided with the golden jubilee of the Maldivian tourism industry and took place on 3 October 2022, where a grand total of 12 award categories were presented, recognising 27 deserving recipients. However, this year’s award ceremony is set to be more extensive, with a total of 59 awards spread across five major categories. These categories encompass various aspects of the tourism industry, including the performance of tourist resorts, guest houses, hotels, and vessels, as well as other tourism facilities such as travel agencies, dive centres, and water sports centres.
Nominations are open for all the awards except for the Resort of the Year and Guesthouse of the Year categories.
The primary objective of the Maldives Tourism Awards, as stated by the tourism ministry, is to acknowledge and recognise tourist establishments that uphold high standards and best practices in providing services and facilities to their employees. The awards also aims to appreciate and commend tourism sector establishments and professionals who consistently deliver exceptional experiences and uphold the esteemed brand image of the Maldives. Additionally, the awards serves as a means to encourage contributions made by tourism establishments and stakeholders to the local community, social responsibility, and sustainability initiatives.
According to the tourism ministry, facilities and individuals within the Maldives tourism sector, including tourist resorts, hotels, guesthouses, vessels, travel agencies, dive centres, and water sports centres, are eligible to apply for the Maldives Tourism Awards. To be considered suitable, these entities must have a minimum service record of one year, catering to both tourists and locals in the tourism sector of the Maldives
The General Guideline for Applicants, available on the ministry’s website, specifies that tourist resorts, hotels, guesthouses, and vessels can apply for multiple awards within their respective categories. However, a separate proposal must be submitted for each award. The guidelines state that proposals will be deemed complete only if they include all the required documents outlined in the criteria for the relevant award.
If a specific document mentioned in the criteria is not applicable to a particular establishment or facility, the proposal should acknowledge its inapplicability, and no points will be awarded for that criterion. In the category of Tourism Personalities/Professionals, nominations can be filed by third parties or applicants can self-nominate.
In cases where tourist resorts are located within the same lagoon and operate collectively, sharing operational services, they can apply for the awards as a unified establishment under a common business name used for marketing purposes. In such instances, the proposals should include the names of all the resorts within the cluster and individual applications from the resorts within the defined cluster will not be accepted. Moreover, hotels that operate with a business model similar to resorts are required to apply under the resort category.
The ministry says any application will be disqualified if it is discovered that the submitted proposal contains false information. Likewise, applications that are incomplete will also face disqualification. Should an applicant wish to withdraw their application after submission, an official written request must be sent via email to the ministry. Upon receipt of the email request, the ministry will process the withdrawal accordingly.
For individuals nominated or applying in the Personalities/Professional category, it is imperative that they have not been convicted of a criminal offence in any court of law, nor are they currently under investigation by a relevant government authority.
As per the ministry, the applications will be evaluated by a panel of experts. The evaluation process will encompass the period from 1 June 2022 to 31 May 2023. To be eligible for an award, applicants must attain a minimum score of 75% out of the total possible score.
For the Staff Accommodation Award, Staff Dining Experience Award, Excellence in Staff Recreation and Well-being Award, and Employee Healthcare Award, points will be allocated based on the three levels of staff. Managerial staff will be assigned 20% of the weighted points, mid-management will receive 30%, and general team or line staff members will be allocated 50% of the points.
The ministry highlights the possibility of conducting inspections and interviews, as recommended by the evaluation panel if deemed necessary. Establishments are obligated to make suitable arrangements and provide assistance for these inspections. Within each award category, the top three establishments or professionals with the highest scores will be chosen as finalists and informed prior to the award ceremony. The ultimate winner will be exclusively announced during the ceremony.
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