Vacations Expo wraps up with overwhelming support

Vacations Expo 2017 wrapped up Saturday evening as almost double the number of people from last year visited this year’s edition.

The annual expo, organised by leading local event management company Highrise, kicked off Thursday with 40 exhibitors, including local Islamic pilgrimage agents such as Musafireen and Hajj Corporation, local tour operators Kraken, Inner Maldives Holidays and Voyages Maldives, local guesthouses Vinorva, Reveries Diving Village, Kaani Hotels, Plumeria and Pebbles Inn, and local airlines Maldivian and Flyme.

Sri Lanka-based Kingsbury Hotel and Amaya Resorts, and Indian travel agent Holiday Kerala were also exhibitors.

Lanka Hospital and Durdans Hospital — leading multi-speciality hospitals in Sri Lanka that are popular amongst thousands of Maldivians that travel to the neighbouring country for medial treatment — and Thailand-based Bangkok Hospital also showcased their products.

Visitors at a stall at the Vacations Expo 2017. PHOTO/ MIHAARU

An official from Highrise told Maldives Insider that the expo, which was held at the National Art Gallery in capital Male, was attended by more than 3,800 visitors. It was almost double the number of visitors that attended the first edition of the expo held last year, he added.

“The brand has been well-received by the industry as well as the public,” the official said.

Exhibitors also offered exciting prizes for the daily ‘visit and win’ lucky draws. The prizes included return air tickets to destinations such as Sri Lanka, Abu Dhabi and Turkey, and complimentary stays at leading guesthouses across the country.

A lucky draw winner receives the prize at the Vacations Expo 2017. PHOTO/ MIHAARU

For the second year running, the Vacations Expo was sponsored by Inner Maldives Holidays, with MV Hotels serving as the Associate Partner. Unima Grand signed up as the Hospitality Partner, Amana Takaful Maldives as the Travel Insurance Partner, Ooredoo Maldives as the Telecom Partner, M7 Maldives as the Printing Partner, and Absolute Security and Advance Protection Private Limited as the Security Partner.

Maldives Insider and The Island Chief were assigned travel media partners, while local daily Mihaaru signed up as the news media partner and state broadcaster Public Service Media’s (PSM) Television Maldives (TVM) as the official TV partner.

Meanwhile, state tourism promotion company Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) gave their endorsement. Tourism Authority of Thailand also participated in the expo.

The annual travel trade show brings together leading travel companies, hoteliers, airlines, tour operators, travel agents, online travel companies, liveaboards, cruises, dive operators and other travel marketers under one roof. Exhibitors can display various attractive travel packages and services.

The expo’s organiser Highrise has successfully delivered several local and international events, including Maldives Travel Awards, Maldives Film Awards, Maldives Living Expo and Sounds of Maldives.

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