Guesthouses Maldives Conference rebranded as trade-oriented Guesthouses Maldives Expo

Annual Guesthouses Maldives Conference will be rebranded as Guesthouses Maldives Expo next year, in an attempt to position the platform as a travel trade fair, organiser Maldives Getaways announced Saturday.

At the second Guesthouses Maldives Conference held at Paradise Island Resort, Dr Sunny Umar, COO at Maldives Getaways, said the first Guesthouses Maldives Expo would take place in May 2018. More local and international travel agents would attend the expo, he added.

“It will purely be a trade oriented fair, where guesthouse owners will be able to interact and talk business with a number of travel agents from the Maldives and abroad,” Sunny said.

The second Guesthouses Maldives Conference was attended by officials of 170 guesthouses across the Maldives. Fifty local and international travel agents specialising in budget travel as well as representatives of leading online travel agents such as Expedia and Booking.com were also in attendance.

An impressive lineup of industry professionals and experts joined the conference as keynote speakers.

The one-day conference also saw networking sessions where guesthouse owners and travel agents exchanged ways to expand their partnerships. Hospitality suppliers and technology companies also promoted their products that are targeted towards the budget travel market and the guesthouse industry.

Maldives, known world over for its upmarket tourism industry, has resorts in the hundreds spread across the archipelago. The industry has in recent years expanded to introduce more affordable segments, including guesthouses and liveaboards. Some 330 guesthouses have started operations over the past five years as the number of travellers that choose to stay in guesthouses rise.

The annual Guesthouses Maldives Expo is aimed at bringing together owners and key stakeholders from the guesthouse industry along with budget travel agents to discuss ways to expand their collaborations. Through the expo, the organisers target to find ways to bring in 500,000 tourists to guesthouses across the Maldives by the year 2020.

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