Gold Medal Introduces New Overwater Villa Safety Guidelines For The Maldives
Advice will help agents book with confidence
May 5, 2021 Gold Medal has rolled out 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 a pioneering audit and review of all of the Maldivian properties sold across its extensive resort portfolio 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 over open water 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, based on the ages of the kids they want to take with them.”
The guidelines provide accommodation owners with clarity over what is expected in terms of the presence of the barrier to the edge of decking, childproof locks or latches on the access door to a villa deck, 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 – amongst other factors. 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 finally as being suitable for young people aged 16 and above.
Birmingham continued: “The Maldives is only going to get more popular as families realise it is within their price range now. Along with being the biggest seller of room nights to the destination to the trade here, we’re also home to greatest level of expertise. 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 – to ensure the new requirements were incorporated in to the design of its Family Ocean Villas and enable the suitability of this new accommodation for children of all ages.
Sébastien Doussin, Vice President of Ground Services at dnata Travel Group, commented: “With its new and existing private island resorts continuing to add more extensive family-friendly facilities and entertainment, and with families recognising its increased affordability as a holiday destination, the islands of the Maldives are only going to become more attractive to UK travellers. We’re delighted to see accommodation owners and industry representatives already adopting dnata Travel Group guidelines and using them as the basis of a new standard. This can only help to ensure that agents and consumers are fully informed when researching Maldives properties of choice, ultimately enhancing the all-round Maldives experience for travellers of all ages.”
ABOUT GOLD MEDAL:
Gold Medal, along with its Pure Luxury, Cruise Plus and Incredible Journeys sub-brands, is the UK’s leading trade-only worldwide tour operator and provides support to over 3,000 travel agents and travel agent consortia members annually. It was founded in 1978, and is now head-quartered in Leyland, Lancs. It is part of the dnata Travel Group, a worldwide travel services provider.