• Karl Sigurdsson

Maldives Voted ‘World’s Leading Destination’ For First Time

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

World Travel Awards unveils the 2020 winners of its global titles with the Maldives winning prestigious top destination accolade.


Maldives winners of world's best destination award

November 30th, 2020 - The Maldives beat off competition from 22 other destinations including Portugal, the winners of the award for the previous three years.

“Maldives winning World's Leading Destination award is a strong endorsement of the popularity of 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; targeted #VisitMaldives promotion by industry partners and MMPRC and of course the warm smile of Maldivians. Congratulations!”

Minister of Tourism Dr Abdulla Mausoom


The Maldives were also nominated for an impressive 40 categories at the Grand Final with 8 nominations in the destinations category, 53 nominations for 30 categories in Hotels and Resorts and 3 nominations for 3 world categories. There were 7 winners from the Maldives amongst these categories.

The World Travel Awards results follow a year-long search for the world’s top travel, tourism and hospitality brands. Votes were cast by travel industry professionals and the public, with the nominee gaining the most votes in a category named as the winner.


Graham Cooke, Founder, World Travel Awards, said: “Our World winners represent the best in global travel and tourism and my congratulations to each of them.


Portugal also performed strongly, with Madeira voted ‘World’s Leading Island Destination’, Lisbon named ‘World’s Leading City Break Destination’ and the Algarve picking up ‘World’s Leading Beach Destination’.


Russia’s imperial splendour was recognised with the award for ‘World’s Leading Cultural Destination’, and its cities emerging with top honours: Moscow was voted ‘World’s Leading City Destination’ and Saint Petersburg collected ‘World’s Leading Cultural City Destination’.


Greek Ministry of Tourism/GNTO was voted ‘World’s Leading Tourist Board’.

In the hospitality sector, Armani Hotel Dubai fended off a tough field to emerge as ‘World’s Leading Hotel’, while Sardinia’s Forte Village Resort claimed the trophy for ‘World’s Leading Resort’.


The blissfully remote Amanpulo, Philippines was named ‘World’s Leading Dive Resort’, and the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort took ‘World’s Leading Luxury Island Resort’.


Vietnam’s InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort gained recognition for its eco-credentials with ‘World’s Leading Green Resort’.


Royal Penthouse @ Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai was named ‘World’s Leading Hotel Penthouse’.


In the newcomer categories, Address Sky View, with its mesmerising panorama of Dubai’s skyline, secured ‘World’s Leading New Hotel’, while the barefoot chic paradise Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa picked up ‘World’s Leading New Resort’.


Brand winners include Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (‘World’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brand’), Sandals (‘World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company’) and Frasers Hospitality (‘World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’).


In the aviation sector, Etihad Airways lifted ‘World’s Leading Airline’, whilst ‘World’s Leading Airport’ went to Dubai International Airport.


Aeroflot - Russian Airlines was voted ‘World’s Leading Airline - Business Class’, Emirates as ‘World’s Leading Airline - Economy Class’, with ‘World’s Leading Airline - First Class’ scooped by Oman Air.


The results follow a year-long search for the world’s top travel, tourism and hospitality brands.


Votes were cast by travel industry professionals and the public, with the nominee gaining the most votes in a category named as the winner.

Graham Cooke, Founder, World Travel Awards, said: “Our World winners represent the best in global travel and tourism and my congratulations to each of them.


“They have all demonstrated remarkable resilience in a year of unprecedented challenges.”


He added: “The World Travel Awards 2020 programme received a record number of votes cast by the public.


“This shows that the appetite for travel has never been stronger.

“With hope and the tourism bounce on the horizon, our industry can look forward to a resurgent and bright future.”


Other winners include Madrid (‘World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination’); Royal Caribbean International (‘World’s Leading Cruise Brand’); Jamaica (‘World’s Leading Cruise Destination’); and Beaches (‘World’s Leading All-Inclusive Family Resort Brand’).


A full list of World Travel Award winners can be found here. For more information about the World Travel Awards see the official website.


About The Author


Karl Sigurdsson - Senior Contributor


Karl is a senior contributor at TravelIndustryReporter.com and knows the European travel industry inside out. Karl is a freelance travel writer specialising in the European market. Karl studied at both Stockholm University and Reading University.


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