Maldives Travel Awards Recognised 10 Individuals as ‘Tourism Personality of the Year’
Maldives Travel Awards by MATATO wrapped its first edition of the year - Maldives Travel Awards People’s Edition which recognised and awarded the outstanding 10 individuals for their tremendous contributions to the Maldives Tourism Industry and its growth. The event took place on 14th July 2017, at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi, at the Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) Gala Night with invitees from the Maldives Tourism Industry.
Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators, MATATO, launched Maldives Travel Awards 2017, with the introduction of two new editions. Maldives Travel Awards People’s Edition was the NGO’s new promise to recognising tourism leaders and contributors. Nominations were open for the People’s edition till end of June from any individual with the requirement of having five years experience in the tourism and hospitality industry. Third parties were allowed to submit their nominations on behalf of eligible individuals.
According to MATATO, 10 winners were selected among a panel of veterans from sectors across the industry, and awarded in the ceremony held at Adaaran Hudhuranfushi. The winners are referred to as ‘Tourism Personality of the Year’.
Maldives Travel Awards People’s Edition Winners 2017.
Aminath Mamshooga ( Tourism Personality of the Year - 2017 )
Well known in the Aviation Industry of Maldives, she started a career 24 years back in the Maldives. She is now part of the marketing department of Turkish Airlines Maldives operations. Mamshooga studied from various institutions, including the prestigious Emirates Aviation College, and is involved in training sales representatives to ensure top notch customer service.
Yousuf Riffath ( Tourism Personality of the Year - 2017 )
35 Years of tourism Industry, Founder of the well established Capital Travel & Tours. Riffath’s known for many of his achievements including founding and leading Maldives Association for Travel Agents & Tour Operators (MATATO), Liveaboards Association of Maldives ( LAM ) and has served as the President of the Maldives Chapter of American Society of Travel Agents and Association of Travel Agents. He also contributed as a Board Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).
Hussain ‘Sendi’ Rasheed ( Tourism Personality of the Year - 2017 )
Sendi has trained over 1,600 divers in his three decades of Service. Being the first and only PADI Dive Course Director in the Country, Sendi is a pioneering force in developing several industry standards, including the national diving regulations. He has also been involved in developing the Coastguard Diving Unit, the first locally-owned dive centre at a resort and the Marine Faculty of Villa College where he served as the dean for two years.
Rasa Sangheran ( Tourism Personality of the Year - 2017 )
A Sri Lankan born Chartered Accountant, Rasa serves as the Director of Finance at One&Only Reethi Rah. In his 15-year long service to the Maldives’ tourism industry, Rasa has made Reethi Rah the most tax compliant resort in the Maldives. He has taken several notable steps to empower both local and expat employees, including modifying the minimum wage and average service charge, and equal pension benefits for all employees at Reethi Rah.
Qaisar Naseem ( Tourism Personality of the Year - 2017 )
Qaisar has climbed up the ranks from a receptionist to become one of the top positions in a resort. He has won several local and international recognitions for his leadership and dedication to teamwork, including the award for the best General Manager in Indian Ocean by World Luxury Hotel Awards.
Renato W. Chizzola ( Tourism Personality of the Year - 2017 )
A global hospitality leader. Renato is the General Manager of Cheval Blanc Randheli and the Vice President of Operations, Asia and the Middle East for Cheval Blanc, LVMH Hotel Management. His insights has helped in hotel’s RevPAR, LQA score and service charge in the region. He has won several accolades, including the friendliest General Manager award by Traveller Made, Science of Talent by Talent Plus and a Personal Recognition award by Entrée Travel Publication.
Ibrahim ‘Don’ Ali ( Tourism Personality of the Year - 2017 )
Since starting his career in 1979 at the age of 17 as an office cleaner in Baros Maldives, Ali has overseen the development and renovation of several tourist facilities in the Maldives, including the construction of resorts from scratch. A self-taught man except for a few short courses abroad, Ali was appointed General Manager of Mookai Hotel and Mookai Suites in capital Male in 2013, after overseeing their development.
Abdul Rasheed ‘Absy’ Ali ( Tourism Personality of the Year - 2017 )
A voice loved by Maldivians and tourists alike, Absy has dedicated most part of his four-decade long entertainment career to promoting the Maldives’ culture amongst tourists. A founder of popular bands, Amazon Jade, 20th Century BC, Out of Door Maldives. Absy has released a solo studio album which has sold over 1,600 copies to tourists. He continues to perform two regular gigs a week with Out of Door Maldives, entertaining tourists and helping them connect with the local culture and lifestyle.
Ali Rasheed ( Tourism Personality of the Year - 2017 )
As the director of Marketing and Sales in of the leading operator, Villa Travels, Ali has contributed a lot to the companies vision and growth of the industry. Ali also contributed as an executive board member of Maldives Association of Tourism Industry and Maldives Advisory Council at the Ministry of Tourism. Ali has been an inspiration for many associates around the company and throughout the travel industry.
Zeenaz Hussain ( Tourism Personality of the Year - 2017 )
An educator and mentor, Zeenaz pursued a career in the kitchen at the Paradise Island Resort right after completing her studies at the Hotel School (now known as the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Studies). While working in the industry, Zeenas instructed at the Institute of Hotel and Catering Services as a trainee food production instructor before taking her first teaching job at the Hotel School in 1997. Since then she has been instrumental in producing the future generations of hospitality executives, which led to her appointment as the Dean of the Faculty in 2011.