Maldives wins best island destination in world award

Maldives wins best island destination in world award

The Maldives has been awarded the title of "World's Leading Island Destination" at the 2013 World Travel Awards in Qatar, media reported Friday.

This is the third time the Maldives has won the prestigious travel award. The World Travel Awards are hailed as the "Oscars of the Travel Industry".

The Maldives competed against Bali in Indonesia, Barbados, Cook Islands, Crete in Greece, Jamaica, the Madeira Islands, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Sicily in Italy, St. Lucia and Zanzibar in Tanzania this year, reports Xinhua.

The Maldivian resorts also scooped a number of awards in various categories with Hulhule Island Hotel winning the World's Leading Airport Resort 2013 and Conrad Maldives Rangali Island winning the World's Leading Water Villa Resort 2013.

Baros Maldives won recognition as the World's Most Romantic Resort 2013 and World's Leading Island Villas 2013.

The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation said the awards highlight the "uniqueness" of Maldives and recognise it as a world class luxury destination.

Last month the Maldives recorded one million tourist arrivals for the first time in a calendar year.

More than a quarter of tourists to Maldives are from China with the country being the largest source of travellers to the Indian Ocean islands.

Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb said, "victory had been made possible amidst boycott campaigns and other such obstacles."

The political turmoil since February 2012 had caused growth in the tourism industry to stall, but it is expected to pick up next year. 

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