Aminath Suzan has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) – in a move described by the top tourism association as a significant stride towards diversity and leadership within the institution.
The appointment was announced by MATATO in a statement on Saturday.
Suzan, the former Managing Director of Hotels and Resort Construction, holds the distinction of being the first female Executive Board member of the Maldives National Association of Construction Industry (MNACI) and also an Executive Board member of National Federation of Maldivian Employers (NFME).
Suzan holds an MBA from the University of Cumbria, United Kingdom.
In her earlier days, Suzan hosted television programs at the state broadcasting channel, TVM.
She commenced her career in the banking sector, where she served as the face of Premier Banking in HSBC Maldives for seven years. Transitioning to the construction industry, she achieved remarkable milestones, leading one of the major resort development companies in the Maldives.
She represented the Maldives as the chief delegate in the 43rd International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors’ Associations’ (IFAWPCA) Convention in South Korea, and served as the Chief Executive for the organization of the 45th IFAWPCA Convention held in the Maldives.
In a male-dominated construction industry, Suzan shattered barriers, demonstrating that women can excel in the field. In 2019, Women in Management Maldives recognized her services with their award, emphasizing the importance of empowering women in professional spheres.
In its statement on Saturday, MATATO noted that in a country where tourism contributes significantly to the GDP, only 5 percent of local women are employed in the Maldives tourism sector.
The association said that this underrepresentation underscores the urgent need for gender equality and empowering women in key industries.
“As a pivotal player in the Maldives' tourism landscape, MATATO recognizes the importance of fostering an inclusive environment and promoting opportunities for women in tourism,” said MATATO. “Aminath Suzan's appointment as CEO reflects MATATO's commitment to gender diversity and leadership in the tourism sector.”
MATATO’s President Abdulla Ghiyas said that empowering women is not just a moral imperative, but a fundamental necessity for fostering sustainable growth in Maldives’ vital industries, especially tourism.
“Aminath Suzan's appointment stands as a testament, demonstrating our commitment to breaking down gender barriers and fostering a more inclusive and dynamic tourism sector in the Maldives. With 2024 set as our target year for local travel agents, we firmly believe Suzan will play a pivotal role in achieving this goal," he said.