The Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) held the ‘50 years of tourism awards’ at Kurumba Maldives this Sunday. During this celebration which was held in order to celebrate those who have made an impact on the Maldivian tourism industry in the past 50 years, 57 awards were handed out.
This ceremony was also held to commemorate the country's tourism's golden jubilee. Tourism was introduced to the Maldives for the first time in 1972. Since its inception, tourism has grown to become one of the Maldives' most important industries, contributing significantly to the country's GDP.
Out of the 57 awards, two special awards were given to two former presidents Ibrahim Nasir and Maumoon Abdul Gayoom for their significant contributions to the tourism industry and its growth. In addition to this, four awards were given to Mohamed Umar Maniku, Hussain Afeef, Hon. Ahmed Naseem and Mr George Corbin- the pioneers of Maldives tourism.
Individual resorts, travel agencies, companies and resorts also received the awards such as Dhiraagu for expanding, strengthening and developing the telecommunications sector in the Maldives making the tourism industry more technologically advanced in the Maldives and Emirates Airlines for the role they played in integrating the tourism industry over the past 30 years by connecting the Maldives to the rest of the world by hosting flights to and from the Maldives.
In recognition of this year's Golden Jubilee of Tourism, MATI also organized a variety of activities, including a partnership between Chevening and the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), the publication of two coffee table books titled "Maldivian Resort Architecture - 50 Years of Island Resorts" authored by Mauroof Jameel and "50 Years of Tourism in the Maldives - the Pioneers, People, and Policies that Shaped the Industry".