Maldives Showcase 2018 kicks off in Sri Lanka
Maldives Showcase 2018 began in Sri Lanka on Thursday.
The first edition of Maldives Showcase, a new platform launched jointly by Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) and leading local event management company Highrise, was inaugurated by Trevor Rajaratnam, President of Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka. MATATO President Abdulla Giyas also participated in the ceremony.
Held at the Taj Samudra hotel in Sri Lankan capital Colombo from July 26-27, the event is attended by officials from 40 Maldivian companies, including resorts, guesthouses and travel agents as well as local arts, crafts, food and souvenir brands.
Travel industry of Sri Lanka has been invited to the event, which is set to witness Maldivian cultural performances such as Boduberu acts. Free holiday packages to the Maldives will also be offered to lucky draw winners amongst visitors.
Maldives Showcase is an annual event that focuses on four major areas: tourism, trade, talent and taste. During the event, Maldives-based stakeholders and professionals from those sectors have the opportunity to come together with their peers from the host country for networking sessions and other promotional activities.
Sri Lanka, which is home to the largest diaspora of Maldivians, is a destination of choice amongst Maldivian leisure and businesses travellers alike. The neighbouring island nation also houses the regional offices of several companies with business interests in the Maldives.
MATATO, a non-profit representing local travel agents and tour operators, participates in several international travel trade shows every year.
Maldives recorded 1.3 million tourist arrivals in 2017 with a total of receipts around USD 3 billion. With the rapid changes in global travel markets, Maldives continues to strengthen its foothold as one of the leading tourist destinations in the world and is on course to achieving an ambitious target of two million tourist arrivals by 2020.
While tourism remains the leading economic activity in the country by far, fisheries has been a traditional contributor to the economy. New industries are also opening up due to a push by the government to diversify the economy in order to build resilience.