The Maldives has once again been crowned the ‘World’s Leading Destination’ at the World Tourism Awards (WTA), marking the country’s fourth consecutive win of this prestigious recognition. The announcement was made at the WTA gala event hosted at Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab on 1 December 2023. The Maldives triumphed over 17 globally acclaimed destinations, including Dubai, Indonesia, New Zealand, Spain, and Vietnam.

“This award further solidifies the Maldives’ consistent excellence and unmatched charm that distinguishes us as the top destination in the world,” the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) said in a statement. The MMPRC also clinched the title of World’s Leading Tourist Board 2023 for the second year in a row.

The MMPRC statement further read, “These wins are testament to the Maldives’ exceptional standing in the global tourism landscape and the enduring appeal of the Sunny Side of Life to travellers worldwide.” It added, “This exceptional fourth consecutive win reaffirms the Maldives’ commitment to delivering unparalleled experiences, and we extend our gratitude to our visitors, industry partners, and stakeholders whose steadfast support has been pivotal in achieving this milestone.”

The Maldives was also nominated in several other categories, including World’s Leading Beach Destination 2023, World’s Leading Dive Destination 2023, World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination 2023, World’s Leading Island Destination 2023, and World’s Most Romantic Destination 2023.

The MMPRC revealed that it had conducted 348 promotional activities this year until 23 November, reaching a staggering 4.5 billion people worldwide. According to the MMPRC, this effort has “significantly bolstered the Maldives’ visibility as the ultimate tourist destination across continents.”

Established in 1993, the World Travel Awards are the most prestigious global travel and tourism honours programme. It is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence and acknowledges, rewards, and celebrates excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry.

In addition to its other accolades, the Maldives received the newly introduced Global Tourism Resilience Award at the event. This award is given to the five leading destinations and countries that have demonstrated strategic capacity to recover swiftly and thrive after disruptions.