The region’s top and most prestigious travel and hospitality awarding body, the South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) has ended the 2020 Jury Evaluations in November, and is proud to announce its very first Virtual Award Ceremony.


This year, the South Asian Travel Awards will be held Virtually on December 15, 2020.


According to the SATA team, the decision to go virtual was taken after weighing all circumstances surrounding the global health crisis, particularly the challenges faced due to various international travel restrictions.


The SATA 2020 Virtual Awards Ceremony received over 1,000 nominations in 52 categories for Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Brands, Properties and Businesses to compete from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, in addition to Visitors Choice Awards and Special Recognition Awards.


Similar to the previous years, the SATA team selected a panel of multinational jury members for the evaluation of the nominated properties in 2020. Initially, it was planned for the members of the panel to travel to multiple cities in the region in order to evaluate properties and services. However, in light of the unprecedent challenges faced due to COVID-19, the SATA team and judges jointly decided to conduct evaluations virtually.


The partners of SATA were unveiled earlier this year at an official signing ceremony held at Maagiri Hotel. Key partners include; Gulf Craft Maldives as Platinum Partner, The Hawks Pvt Ltd as Gold Partner, Ooredoo Maldives as Digital Partner, Crowe Maldives as Auditing Partner and Maagiri Hotel as the Hospitality Partner.


SATA opens up for nominations at the start of each year, and interested Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Stakeholders, Properties and Businesses can compete in a wide array of categories in this esteemed regional award ceremony. Each nominee can apply for a maximum of 3 categories. 60% of the award is judged by a multi-national body of highly-acclaimed professionals and industry veterans, while 40% of the award is weighed in via Online Voting and through the performance of the property or business.


The South Asian Travel Awards has been recognising the best of South Asian travel and hospitality since 2016. The prestigious annual event honours stellar organisations and individuals with the aim to revive and raise service standards within the region’s tourism industry. The South Asian Travel Awards is endorsed by 16 regional and international bodies for its accredited work, including:


1.                   Association of Professionals in Tourism (APT),

2.                   Association of Tourism Trade Organizations, India (ATTOI),

3.                   Association of Travel Agents (ATA),

4.                   Colombo Chamber of Commerce (CCC),

5.                   Confederation of Accredited Tour Operators (CATO),

6.                   Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL),

7.                   Hotel and Restaurant Association of Bhutan (HRAB),

8.                   Kerala Hotel General Manager Club (KHGMC),

9.                   National Boating Association of Maldives (NBAM),

10.               Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO),

11.               Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation (MMPRC),

12.               Nepal Tourism Board (NTB),

13.               Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO),

14.               The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL),

15.               Bangladesh International Hotel Association (BIHA),

16.               The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO)


The SATA Team believes that “A nation must go on. The travel industry, especially, must prevail by working together during one of the most difficult times the world is facing. The market would be tough, however, lifting ourselves up and standing strong will only speed up recover. The impact is global and how we act locally would benefit the tourism industry of South Asia and around the globe.

 This year SATA celebrates its 5th year in recognizing the regions Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Previous editions were held at Amari Galle, Sri Lanka (2019), Taj Mahal Palace, India (2018), Equator Village, Maldives (2017) and Mount Lavinia Hotel, Sri Lanka (2016).