|Sea view of Maldives. (Poeple's Daily Online/ Li Yangyang)|
COLOMBO, Dec 6 (Xinhua) -- The Maldives has been awarded the title of "World's Leading Island Destination" at the 2013 World Travel Awards (WTA) in Qatar, local media reported on Friday.
This is the third time the Maldives has won the prestigious travel award. The WTA is hailed as the "Oscars of the Travel Industry," Minivan News reported.
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.
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 PR Corporation (MMPRC) said the awards highlight the "uniqueness" of Maldives and recognizes the Maldives as a world-class luxury destination.
Last month the Maldives reached 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 travelers to the Indian Ocean islands.
Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb said the "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 growth is expected to pick up next year.