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Joint Meeting of the Two Commissions in Asia Pacific and UNWTO Regional Ministerial Conference




The 27th Joint Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Commission for East Asia and the Pacific (CAP) and the UNWTO Commission for South Asia (CSA)& UNWTO Regional Ministerial Conference on Positioning Tourism in a Wider Socio-Economic Contextwas hosted in Maldives from 3rd-4th June 2015, at Bandos Island Resort& Spa, Maldives. Countries from East Asia and South Asia were represented in the commission meeting, with affiliated members and numerous international organizations.

The Opening Ceremony held on 3rd June 2015 at Bandos Island Resorts & Spa, was enhancedby the presence of His Excellency President Abdul Yameen Abdul Gayoomas the Guest of Honor, and comprisedof some very special and important events for the Maldives tourism industry. This includes the Visit Maldives 2016 Year Campaign being nationally launched by His Excellency Yameen Abdul Gayoom. This campaign is a destination marketing initiative by the Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation (MMPRC) with the objective of increasing tourist arrivals to the Maldives. This event was followed by the endorsement of the Open letter campaign by the Maldives, during the ceremony where the Dr. TalebRifai, Secretary General of UNWTO presented the open letter to His Excellency President Yameen Abdul Gayoom. This campaign is a joint effort by UNWTO and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTCC) to maximize travel and tourism’s contribution economic growth and development. By accepting this open letter, His Excellency endorsed this campaign geared towards encouraging world leaders to acknowledge tourism’s potential to generate growth, development and employment.

The Ministerial Conference on Positioning Tourism in a Wider Socio-Economic Context was held in conjunction with the Joint Commission meetings with two main objectives:

To take stock of the event to which UNWTO’s Open Letter initiative has achieved its main objective of advocating that countries duly recognize the socio-economic contribution of tourism to their national economies;
And to examine national policies that will engender strategies to ensure that the projected growth in tourism demand will translate into socio-economic benefits for non-tourism sectors of the Asia-Pacific economies.

Ministers of Tourism, Deputy Ministers and senior government officials discussed and debated the next steps in strengthening government awareness and support to enable advancement of the tourism sector. Stimulating discussions enabled open sharing of national and regional insights, experience and expertise from various tourism experts. The main focus of the Joint Commission Meeting and the Ministerial Conference was on the developments in the world tourism industry, remarks and milestones achieved by the tourism industry and also the challenges and obstacles faced by the industry and how to overcome those challenges were also discussed.

Honorable Minister of Tourism, Mr. Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor, hosted a special Gala Dinner on 3rd June, honoring and welcoming the delegates to the Maldives. Ministers, senior government officials, Maldivian tourism industry pioneers and a huge number of industry participants also attended the dinner and were part of this social function. A very significant ceremony also took place during the dinner, where Maldivian Industry leaders signed the Private Sector Commitment to Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET) and the five prominent enterprises and associations signing this commitment included the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), Crown &Champa Resorts, Sun Island Resorts & Spa, Centara Hotels & Resorts Maldives and Canareef Resort Maldives. Private By signing this commitment they pledge their commitment to observe the principle of the Code; respecting human rights and cultural heritage, protecting the environment and vulnerable groups, working towards social inclusion, gender equality, and accessibility – that is, abiding by highest moral values that we as a society have accepted as fundamental in the 21st century.

The CAP-CSA Joint Commission meeting is UNWTO’s principal annual event in the Asia Pacific Region, and the meetings took place in Bandos Island Resort & Spa on 4th June 2015. The Joint Commission Meeting was chaired by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State, Culture and Tourism, India and was co-chaired by Mr. Rolando Cañizal, Assistant Secretary of Tourism, of Philippines. Honorable Minister of Tourism, Mr. Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor lea the delegation from Maldives for the joint commission meeting. Key topics discussed during the meetings this year included UNWTO’s program of work for the region, Asia’s use of TripAdvisor as a source of consumer’s data and other statutory issues related to the UNWTO Asia-Pacific Member States.Mr. Mohamed Umar Maniki, Chairman of MATI, honoring the delegates and extending them to warm hospitality of Maldives, hosted a farewell dinner on the evening of 4th June at Bandos Island Resorts & Spa. The efforts of the chairman were complimented with participation from senior government officials and tourism industry leaders in this social gathering.

The events were concluded with a special technical tour organized by Ministry of Tourismfor the delegates on 5th June 2015, aimed at exposing the participants to the unique Maldivian tourism products and the Maldivian hospitality. The first half of this technical tour included a photo flight excursion, where the delegates took a tour of the Male’ atoll area in the Twin Otter seaplanes of Trans Maldivian Airways, flying over the pristine lagoons and islands of Maldives, taking a closer look at the scenic details enabling them to truly appreciate the beauty of the paradise on earth.This was followed by a high tea organized by Kuramathi Island Resort, where the locals where exposed to the outstanding Maldivian hospitality.


Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives renews partnership with Maldives National University to grow local talent



Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives and Maldives National University (MNU) has announced their partnership’s renewal by signing a Memorandum of Understanding for the third successive, two-year term on Wednesday 15 May, 2024.

The collaboration provides a platform for Maldives young and emerging talent, to nurture and develop skills through hands-on experience and practical exposure designed to reinforce learned theory.

Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is pleased to offer internships, training programmes and other collaborative efforts to students from Maldives National University (MNU).

Speaking about the partnership, Mr Mark Eletr, General Manager, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives said,

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Maldives National University to tap into a pool of fresh, talented individuals eager to make their mark in the hospitality sector. This partnership which is now in its fifth year, aligns with our vision of nurturing future leaders in the industry and ensuring we remain at the forefront of service excellence.”

Mark further explained the importance of embracing the younger generation,

“The hospitality and tourism sector offers unique opportunities and through specially curated learning programmes and guest-facing experiences, we hope that the industry’s excitement and diversity encourage students to embark on careers within the sector,”

Located in the South Male atoll just 40 minutes from the airport by boat, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is a beautiful island paradise. White sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms and turquoise waters form the backdrop for a wide variety of leisure pursuits and some of the best diving in the Maldives. Guests can choose from Garden and Beach Villas, two-storey Beach Houses and the popular Overwater Villas for their stay. Families are well catered for with the Kandoo Kids’ Club and a full activities programme. Six food and beverage outlets ensure healthy appetites are satisfied and the flavours of the Maldives are explored. For those guests who desire the ultimate in relaxation, sun loungers and hammocks are located around the island and the Kandooma Spa by COMO Shambhala offers the ultimate in tranquillity and escape for body and mind. Visit

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Join Ifuru Island Maldives’ exhilarating ice, bubbles challenge



Are You Ready? The Ice & Bubbles Challenge awaits your arrival at Ifuru Island.

Are you ready for the ultimate chill thrill of indulgence and adventure? Then put on your explorer hat and jet off to Ifuru Island for the Ice & Bubbles Challenge! Imagine: you’ll be basking in the breathtaking Maldives scenery while putting your might to the test with a 6-minute polar plunge, clutching a flute of bubbly like a boss. Once you conquer the challenge, you’ll savour the delicious bubbly and feel like a true champion!

Picture yourself lounging poolside, surrounded by swaying palm trees, white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters, while also pushing your endurance to the limit. And as a badge of honour, guests are gifted with a trendy Ice Bath and Bubbles Challenge t-shirt to flaunt their fearless spirit. The current record for the Ice & Bubbles Challenge is a brave 22 minutes, and we’re daring you to beat it!

Cold-water immersion can speed up your muscle recovery, reduce inflammation, and give you a boost of energy. Plus, you’ll feel like a true hero after conquering the challenge and basking under the warm Maldivian sun.

So, what are you waiting for? Rally your friends and come join us on Ifuru Island Maldives for an unforgettable adventure that’s sure to create magical memories that will last a lifetime!

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Lily Beach Resort wins big at World Travel Awards 2024



Lily Beach Resort & Spa has once again solidified their stance as a premier destination being awarded the prestigious title of “Maldives’ Leading All-Inclusive Resort” at this year’s World Travel Awards. As the first all-inclusive property in the Maldives and a leading one at that, Lily Beach has no doubt gained recognition worldwide for their top-notch All-Inclusive package – the Platinum Plan. Additionally, Lily Beach also won Tripadvisor’s Travellers Choice Award as well for being one of the best rated hospitality establishments in the world where the resort is part of the top 10% in terms of best rated in hospitality.

Marking their 30th anniversary this year, Lily Beach Resort & Spa has redefined luxury travel with its unparalleled amenities and genuinely exceptional service. The resort’s Platinum Plan offers a truly comprehensive experience that leaves no detail overlooked before and during their stay in paradise. Guests gain access to the resort’s Luxury Seaplane lounge (when opting to fly via Seaplane) and after a 25-minute scenic journey, it’s time to explore the endless experiences to be had at Lily Beach and start making unforgettable memories.

At the resort’s heart lies keeping guests well satiated with exceptionally tantalising food and drinks. Dining at the resort is no small feat, as Lily Beach offers Four restaurants and Four bars for guests to choose from. International themed cuisines and delicious drinks are served within the restaurants and bars, giving guests an array of choices to select from during their stay. Especially the resort’s partnership with premium liquors like Taittinger being included in the Platinum Plan and fresh ingredients being imported from around the world, makes dining and drinks a delight at Lily Beach.

After enjoying food and drinks, getting active and diving into recreational experiences is a must while in the Maldives. Guests are provided with snorkelling equipment, allowing them to explore the vibrant underwater world, and have access to all non-motorised water sports activities for endless lagoon fun. In the Platinum Plan, guests are offered a generous selection of choosing three excursions to enjoy out of four options during each stay. These adventures are, exploring the beauty of the resort’s house reef with our expert guides, enjoying the best of sunset by going on a cruise or opting to go fishing for dinner, or for the culturally inclined to explore a neighbouring local island.

To add on a bit of zen to the active experiences, complimentary group sunrise yoga sessions are held six days a week, offering a serene start to the day, with additional premium yoga experiences available for those seeking further relaxation.

On top the these, a vast list of excursion and private dining experiences are available to choose from for both families, and couples, so that their holidays are bound to be a memorable, eventful one at Lily Beach.

The resort’s commitment to offering endless experiences includes offering weekly entertainment from live music and DJs to cultural nights and experience cultural dances like Maldivian Bodu Beru and Balinese Dance. But that is not all, guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to being able to enjoy a wide range of recreational options at Lily Beach. Just to name a few the resort offers tennis, table tennis, billiards tables, gym, beach volleyball, football pitch, children’s playground, and various indoor games. For younger guests, the Turtle Kids Club offers a plethora of activities and surprises designed to entertain and engage. There is a Kid’s pool at Vibes bar, where parents can keep a watchful eye on the children as the enjoy.

Even whilst residing at any of the nine various villa options to choose from guests are spoilt when it comes to amenities. Each villa features a premium mini bar, replenished daily with beer, wine, water, snacks, a selection of tea and coffee, a variety of juices, and soft drinks.

Apart from this, Lily Beach also is well-known for its prime location in South Ari atoll, where the marine-protected area SAMPA lies, just a mere few minutes away from the resort. SAMPA is a protected site as it is considered an aggregation point for the majestic Whale Sharks and Manta Rays. As a result, surprise visits by Whale Sharks and Manta Rays are often frequented alongside the resorts own house-reef – which is easily accessible from the resort. If not, guests are always welcome to join the snorkelling and diving excursions that bring them up close to these magnificent, beautiful underwater creatures.

These exceptional experiences and awards underscore Lily Beach’s commitment to delivering a superior, all-inclusive vacation experience like no other that caters to every guest’s desires.

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