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Maldives, a Top Destination for Indians



Maldives Promotion House – With more Indians opting for foreign destinations for summer holidays, travel and tour operators are witnessing up to 65 percent increase in outbound traffic this season.

According to travel service providers such as STIC Travel,, Cox and Kings and Pearl Luxe, Europe and Southeast Asia are among the most sought after places, while there are also a few surprises as many Indians are flying to unexplored locations.

Many tour operators have remarked that although, a large number of travellers ask for affordable tour packages, luxury travel are also catching up in a major way among Indians.

“In the April to June period this year, the total international travel has grown up by 65 percent in case of in terms of number of people flying outside India,” Supplier Relation Executive Vice-President of Cleartrip, Noel Swain told PTI.

Maldives is one the most popular beach destination for Indians. “There is a keen interest in renting and even buying luxury villas in destinations such as Maldives by our clients,” Founder of Pearl Luxe, Taruna Seth said.

With an aim to cater to the growing demand for newer and unexplored destinations, companies are also launching customised packages. for instance has announced an experiential holiday package.

The total outbound travel in India is expected to see an increase of 25 to 30 percent in 2011, compared to last year. According to statistics 12.5 million Indians travelled overseas in 2010.

According to Maleeh Jamal, the Secretary General of Maldives Association for Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), India is an emerging market for Maldives and shows a lot of potential and success.

During 2010 Maldives welcomed 25,756 tourists from India with a 62.5 percent growth compared to 2009. After lowering Korea to the fourth place, India has become the third most important market in Asia for Maldives, after China and Japan.

Maldives is currently connected to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) with daily flights by Air India and Maldivian. Air India also operates daily flights from Bangaluru (Bangalore) to Malé. Further connections are also available from Sri Lankan via Colombo.

Kingfisher Airlines recently announced its plans to start flights to Malé from Mumbai and Bangalore. SpiceJet and IndiGo has also expressed their interest to start flights to Malé.


JOALI Appoints Özgür Cengiz as Global Wellness Development Director



JOALI, the luxury hospitality and lifestyle brand, has announced the appointment of Özgür Cengiz as its Tourism Group Global Wellness Development Director, effective February 15th, 2024.

Cengiz brings over 20 years of experience in the hospitality and wellness industry. His career began with the opening team of Turkey’s first wellness resort, Richmond Nua Wellness, followed by leadership roles at Jumeirah in Azerbaijan and One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives.

In 2016, Cengiz joined JOALI as the Resort Manager for JOALI Maldives, the brand’s first art-immersive resort. He then played a pivotal role in establishing JOALI BEING, the Maldives’ first wellbeing island, as its General Manager.

Under Cengiz’s leadership, JOALI BEING garnered global recognition as a leading wellness destination. He is credited with creating the unique concept, curating a team of specialists, and introducing a diverse range of treatments – solidifying JOALI’s position as a wellness powerhouse.

Cengiz’s dedication extends beyond JOALI. He served as the Maldivian ambassador for Global Wellness Day for seven years, is a respected speaker in international wellness forums, and judges the Global Spa & Wellness Awards. His innovative approach and solution-oriented mindset have earned him widespread respect within the industry.

Hakan Öztürk, Tourism Group Managing Director of Gürok Group (JOALI’s parent company), commented on the appointment, stating that Cengiz’s “extensive knowledge and passion will truly redefine the wellness offerings for the brand from a broader perspective” as JOALI expands its portfolio.

In his new role, Cengiz will oversee the wellness strategy for the entire Gürok Tourism Group, encompassing innovative activations, expansion plans, and strategic development for both JOALI BEING and JOALI BEING Cure.

Cengiz’s appointment strengthens JOALI’s commitment to providing exceptional wellness experiences and signifies their continued dedication to pushing boundaries within the industry.

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Sun Siyam Resorts Boosts PR & Communications Team with Appointment of Erika Magora for Sun Siyam Iru Veli & Sun Siyam Vilu Reef



Sun Siyam Resorts has announced a dynamic addition to its PR and Communications team with the appointment of Erika Magora as Cluster Assistant PR & Communications Manager for Sun Siyam Iru Veli and Sun Siyam Vilu Reef. With an impressive background in law from the UK, coupled with a diverse upbringing in the Philippines and Malaysia, Erika brings a unique blend of skills and experiences to our renowned luxury resorts.

Prior to joining Sun Siyam Resorts, Erika served as the key figure in managing Marketing Communications at the prestigious 5-star luxury resort, The Datai Langkawi in Malaysia. Her collaboration with international media, partners, and agencies has significantly contributed to the resort’s global presence. She has worked with top journalists, production crews and PR partners from the UK, Europe, Australia, America and Asian regions. Erika also has experience in sales and marketing when she played a pivotal role in the Asia Pacific region’s sales and marketing for Foodpanda, a leading delivery brand in Asia. 

I cherish the cultural diversity and distinctions of both properties that I work for. Sun Siyam Iru Veli fascinates me as it revels in its private luxury tranquility, attracting a premium market. In Sun Siyam Vilu Reef, the naturally playful environment and genuine warmth of the people that create an inviting haven for repeater guests, captivate me. Both are beautiful, each in its unique way. Embracing diverse media and markets adds excitement to my work. The pristine beach and sea in both places energize me, fueling my passion for what I do.” expressed, Erika.

Claudia Klingbeil, Group Director of PR & Communications at Sun Siyam Resorts said: “Erika’s appointment underscores our dedication to assembling a team of talented individuals who not only possess exceptional professional capabilities but also embody the diverse cultural tapestry that defines our global clientele. We are confident that Erika’s passion for communication, coupled with her international perspective, will elevate our PR and Communications efforts to new heights of success.”

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Harshal Kumar Appointed as Cluster Executive Chef for Hurawalhi Island Resort &  Kudadoo Maldives Private Island



Crown and Champa Resorts has announced the appointment of Harshal Kumar as  the Executive Chef for Hurawalhi Island Resort and Kudadoo Maldives Private Island.  With an illustrious culinary journey, spanning years of dedication and expertise, Harshal  brings a wealth of experience and innovation to his new role.Harshal’s journey began  with a graduation from the School of Hotel Management, HTMI Switzerland New Delhi,  laying the foundation for a remarkable career. He enhanced his skills at prestigious  establishments such as The Claridges Hotels New Delhi and V Qutab Hotels & Resort, 

Mahindra resorts, where he showcased his culinary proficiency and commitment to  excellence. 

Throughout his distinguished career, Harshal has garnered numerous accolades,  including being a gold medalist in the South American Chef Competition and  representing the Chef’s Culinary Forum of WACS. His talents have earned him global  recognition, with collaborations alongside renowned chefs such as Australian celebrity  chef Luke Mangan and Michelin-starred chef Dominik Kappelar. Notable highlights of  Harshal’s journey include his tenure with Gordon Ramsay for his pop-up restaurant,  Bread Street Kitchen, at Amilla Fushi Maldives, where he elevated culinary experiences  to new heights. His exceptional leadership and culinary vision led to his promotion to  Cluster Executive Chef for Kudadoo and Hurawalhi Island Resort in 2023. 

In his own words, Harshal reflects on his culinary journey: “I stand in the heart of the  kitchen, surrounded by the symphony of sizzling pans and the aromatic dance of herbs  and spices. It all began with a love for food – the magic of transforming simple  ingredients into extraordinary creations that tantalize taste buds and evoke emotions.” 

As Executive Chef, Harshal is poised to craft exceptional menus for the most  breathtaking undersea restaurant in the Maldives and to oversee culinary operations  at both Kudadoo and Hurawalhi. His passion for culinary excellence and dedication to  creating unforgettable dining experiences will undoubtedly elevate the guest  experience to new heights. 

Nestled amidst the pristine beauty of the Maldives, Hurawalhi Island Resort and  Kudadoo Maldives Private Island offer unparalleled luxury and tranquility. With pristine  lagoons and powdery white sandy beaches, these resorts provide the perfect backdrop  for unforgettable holiday experiences. 

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