The Maldives named the ‘World’s Leading Destination’ of 2020 at the World Travel Awards


The Maldives has received the ‘World’s Leading Destination’ award at the Grand Final of the World Travel Awards 2020, announced at a virtual event held on Friday 27th November, reports Clodagh Dooley

Dreaming about the destinations you might visit when it’s safe for us to travel abroad again? You might want to add the Maldives to your list, as the tropical paradise, located in the Indian Ocean, has been announced the ‘World’s Leading Destination’ at the World Travel Awards 2020!

This is the first time the Maldives has won the award in the history of the island nation. This category is also the most distinguished award of the World Travel Awards. The Maldives competed in this category with 22 other destinations including Dubai, Malaysia, Spain, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka.

Upon receiving the award, Minister of Tourism Dr. Abdulla Mausoom said, “The Maldives winning the ‘World’s Leading Destination’ award is a strong endorsement of the popularity of the Maldives amongst international tourists. This superb win reflects the strong determination and sound policies of HEP Solih and his administration, strive and strides of travel and tourism industry partners and employees, targetted #VisitMaldives promotion by industry partners and MMPRC, and of course, the warm smile of Maldivians. Congratulations!”

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The Maldives was also nominated for a staggering 40 categories at the Grand Final, with eight nominations in the destinations category, 53 nominations for 30 categories in Hotels and Resorts and three nominations for three world categories competing against world-class destinations, with several tourist establishments winning in these categories. These awards are:

  • World’s Leading New Resort 2020: Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa
  • World’s Leading Luxury Island Resort 2020: The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
  • World’s Leading Luxury Island Villas 2020: Baros Maldives
  • World’s Leading Honeymoon Resort 2020: JA Manafaru
  • World’s Leading Water Villa Resort 2020: Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
  • World’s Leading Seaplane Operator 2020: Trans Maldivian Airway
  • World’s Leading Airport Resort 2020: Hulhule Island Hotel

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the marketing plans of the government’s national tourism body, Visit Maldives, came to a complete halt, and the campaigns had to be shifted to digital platforms. But all travel and tourism partners began adapting to the new situation. The means of communication changed, but it enhanced the way for a more effective channel between agents, partners, and customers across various key markets.

Visit Maldives, alongside industry stakeholders and partners, continued working tirelessly to assure tourists of the safety measures and procedures in place, and keep them dreaming about the destination. Several marketing activities and campaigns were launched, providing a platform for tourists from around the world to relive the happiness and rediscover the wonders of the Maldives.

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All in all, Visit Maldives has carried out over 412 different types of marketing activities in 22 global markets. 314 activities were carried out during this pandemic as part of the crisis recovery plan; some of these include fairs (online as well as offline), webinars, FAM trips, online roadshows, outdoor campaigns, digital media campaigns and more.

Despite the challenges over the course of the year, this accomplishment is a remarkable testament of the love of tourists from around the world, as well as the massive effort and continuous contribution made by each and every one of the stakeholders, in order to revive and restore the industry in the Maldives.

Speaking on behalf of Visit Maldives, the Managing Director Mr. Thoyyib Mohamed, expressed his sincere appreciation and gratitude to everyone who voted for the Maldives and the tourism industry stakeholders. “We are beyond thrilled to receive the ‘World’s Leading Destination’ award for the first time in the history of the Maldives. 

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“This prestigious award means a lot to the Maldives, especially as we achieved this during these difficult times. Thank you, everyone, who voted for us. And thank you to the travel industry partners for the immense work carried out to accomplish this. I would like to thank His Excellency, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih for the support and close guidance especially in the recovery process of the nation and the tourism industry.”

For further information on the Maldives, visit




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