Travel Trade Maldives 2018 kicks off with second Hotelier Summit

Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) 2018 kicked off Monday with a summit dedicated to tackle the most pressing issues in the world-renowned holiday destination.

Economic minister Mohamed Saeed inaugurated the six-day, multi-event trade fair organised by local PR firm Maldives Getaways. He attended the TTM Hotelier Summit 2018 held at Bandos Maldives resort as the chief guest, and spoke about the importance of such an event to the country.

Maldives Getaways CEO Dr Hussain Sunny Umar provided the opening remarks at the event, followed by the keynote address by Ahmed Nazeer, the Secretary General of Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI).

Meanwhile, Ibrahim Ziyath, CEO of Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), commended Maldives Getaways on successfully organising the event on such a grand scale and highlighted the long-standing relationship between MTCC and Maldives Getaways.

Ibrahim Ziyath, CEO of Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), speaks at the TTM Hotelier Summit 2018. PHOTO/ MALDIVES GETAWAYS

Raufuddeen Saeed, Sub Inspector of Police, addressed the attendees on tourists safety in the Maldives. Dr. Marcus Lee, Chairman of Association of SME Business Owners (ICIF), spoke about turnaround strategies to increase Chinese visitors, which is a major market for the Maldives tourism industry.

The summit then progressed to four panel discussions, covering an array of topics ranging from growth of airport and airlines, government and national strategies to boost tourism, hotel revenue and automation, and sustainable tourism development.

A panel discussion held during TTM Hotelier Summit 2018. PHOTO/ MALDIVES GETAWAYS

Panelists included renowned figures such as Dr Ahmed Salih, Permanent Secretary at the tourism ministry; Mohamed Shahid, Managing Director of Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC); Lionnel Maugis, Chief Development Officer at Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL); Shubham Moondhara, Manager for Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA); Sheeraz Rasheed, Seaplane Manager at Maldivian; and Abdul Hameed Abdul Ghafoor, Managing Director of All H Maldives (ATSC Agents for AirAsia in Maldives).

Graeme D’Arcy Ryan, Hotel Area Manager at Booking.com; Najib Khan, CEO of Ooredoo Maldives; Anil Kumar Prasanna at Co-Founder and CEO of AxisRooms; Savi Godakanda, Senior Market Manager for Maldives at Expedia; Juergen Steinemetz, Chairman of eTurboNews; Feizal Samath, Correspondent at TTG Asia; and Daksh Sharma, Co-Founder and Managing Director of TravHQ Media also participated as panelists.

Industry stakeholders at TTM Hotelier Summit 2018. PHOTO/ MALDIVES GETAWAYS

Over 100 resorts and hotels from the Maldives have confirmed their participation at TTM 2018, while more than 250 international buyers and media representatives will attend the show to be held on Tuesday at the main convention centre of Dharubaaruge in capital Male. Premium Exhibitors include Adaaran Resorts, Angiri Resorts, Crown and Champa Resorts, Bandos Maldives, and Villa Hotels and Resorts.

The annual gala of TTM will take place on Wednesday evening at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi resort.

As part of TTM 2018, the first ever Maldives Supplier Expo will be held from Friday to Saturday. More than 50 suppliers will have one-on-one prescheduled meetings with officials from procurement, accounts, finance, and F&B departments of more than 100 resorts.

TTM, which was launched last year by local PR firm Maldives Getaways, aims to facilitate the tourism industry of Maldives to reach the ultimate target of two million tourists per year with over USD 3.5 billion in receipts by the end of 2020.

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