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Published on Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Gold Medal issues new overwater villa guidance for the Maldives

Gold Medal has introduced new safety guidelines for its overwater villa product in the Maldives, which sees the properties it sells categorised according to age-range suitability.

This follows an audit and review of all of the Maldivian properties sold across its extensive resort portfolio.

It has been working with its health and safety partner Intertek Checkpoint over the last couple of years, which in turn has contributed to the development of ABTA's new guidelines for overwater villas for the UK industry.

Tricia Birmingham, Trading Director, Gold Medal, commented: "Prior to these guidelines being produced, we had a blanket policy to prohibit bookings in Maldives hotels with overwater villas if anyone under the age of 12 would be travelling in the group."

"With the growing popularity of the destination, and its gradual shift to the mainstream family market, we're delighted to be leading the way in ensuring agents can be confident they're making the appropriate recommendations and booking the correct properties for their clients."

The guidelines give accommodation owners clarity over what is expected in terms of the presence of the barrier to the edge of decking and childproof locks or latches on the access door to a villa deck.

It also covers whether there is an overwater hammock on the villa deck, and the existence of child safety signage mandating adult supervision when on the villa deck at their property.

Gold Medal's inventory of properties in the Maldives with overwater villa room types are now categorised as open to all ages, suitable for children aged 8 or over, for those aged 12 or over, or being suitable for young people aged 16 and above.

Birmingham added: "It can only help ensure we're supporting our agent partners when safely labelling, marketing and selling the destination to families in the future." 

Similar guidelines have been rolled out across all of dnata Travel Group's UK travel brands, and the enhanced expertise of the group in this area has seen it work directly with Pullman Hotels and Resorts in the Maldives in the pre-opening stages of its Pullman Maldives Maamutaa Resort.

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