International Maldives Travel Market 2019 launched

International Maldives Travel Market (IMTM) 2019 has been launched.

As a B2B travel and trade fair, IMTM brings together leading tour operators, travel agencies, destination management companies and other businesses related to the tourism industry from different parts of the world to explore opportunities and liaise with a major representation of the Maldives tourism industry, including resorts, hotels, guesthouse, liveaboards, local travel agents and tour operators.

IMTM 2019 was officially launched Wednesday evening by the Deputy Minister of Tourism Dr Naushad Mohamed at a ceremony held at Maagiri Hotel in capital Male. The ceremony was attended by government officials, heads of corporations, industry representatives, partners of IMTM and media partners.

The second edition of IMTM is planned to be held from June 22-23, 2019 at Farukolhufushi, Hulhumale, Phase 2. The event aims to host 50 hosted buyers (an increase of 56 per cent) and representative of 25 countries (an increase of 32 per cent), whilst achieving a trade visitor participation target of 300 representatives (an increase of 100 per cent) compared to 2018.

“Unlike the traditional fairs, IMTM used a different approach where international buyers were stationed in meetings booths. The local participants visited them as trade visitors which made it possible for IMTM to make it cost effective for the local trade visitors. Meetings were prescheduled through the online meeting booking portal developed by IMTM in-house technical team,” Hawwa Shiuna Khalid, the Managing Director of IMTM, said.

The first edition of IMTM 2018 was held from June 23-24, 2018 at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi resort. The inaugural event featured 32 hosted buyers representing 19 countries spread throughout five continents. The event also welcomed 127 trade visitors representing 44 resorts, 42 guesthouses, 21 liveaboards, three hotels, and 13 local travel agents and tour operators.

IMTM team has shared the feedback collected from the participants and hosted buyers after a post event survey conducted.

According to the findings, the main objective of participating in IMTM was to build new contacts, 80 per cent of the participants reported that business meetings conducted at IMTM was “valuable”. Forty per cent of the participants reported conducting 21-20 business meetings during the fair. A total of MVR 2.5 million worth of sales were generated at the two-day fair itself. Seventy-eight per cent of the participants said “yes” to participating in IMTM 2019.

Atlanta Tourism, a hosted buyer from Turkey, stated: For the first time it is a very successful organisation. Setups were traditional and well organised. We saw new properties and some alternatives for the traditional and local island tourism.”

Secret Paradise, a trade visitor, also commented: “I think you did an amazing job and you should be proud of what you achieved, even though there will be learning points and things you will want to do differently. I had more meetings with agents interested in the Maldives in the two days than would have done in two days at ITB/WTM at a very cost-effective rate, even with my overnight stays. I look forward to attending 2019.”

IMTM has also made a Request for Proposal (RFP) to accommodate the 50 hosted buyers that will visit IMTM 2019. The detail regarding the RPF is available from IMTM website and the deadline for RFP submission is January 20, 2019.

Registration for both hosted Buyers and local trade visitors are also open through IMTM website. The finalised list of hosted buyers will be published before May 16, 2019 and the deadline for trade visitor registration is May 23, 2019. Similar to last year, trade visitor fee is USD 250 per person per company.

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