By generating employment and securing a revenue stream of foreign currency, tourism has remained the largest economic industry in Maldives. With its numerous resorts of unmatchable bliss and natural beauty of its beaches and climate, Maldives has succeeded in attracting tourists from all over the world.
The flourishing industry which began during the 1970s, offers tourists its crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and extraordinary underwater scenery. Diving, surfing, and snorkeling are some of the many water sports offered by Maldivian resorts.
Despite the large amount of resorts and their uncontested success, most of the Maldivian resorts have remained expensive and aimed at the extremely rich and wealthy. While some may argue that the bottom end resorts should be affordable to even the middle class tourists, others refuse to accept that it may indeed increase the popularity of the small island resorts.
The true colors of the rich and unique Maldivian history and culture have also been filtered out of the industry. In fact it can be said that the Maldivian tourism industry has failed to present to the tourists, our heritage. While the industry has grown, even without the cultural tourism, the small nation has its very own cluster of remnants and relics.
The historic sites, covered beneath dunes of sand, slowly giving away to the destruction of time should be preserved and presented to tourists. In the same manner that one wishes to see the magnificence of the Roman cathedrals, Maldives can provide artifacts that can mesmerize even those who have witnessed the pyramids and sphinxes of Egypt. There is no reason why we shouldn’t promote our history using our unique wet lands, old trees that have lived for decades, and palaces such as the one in Utheemu.
Cultural tourism will open up new opportunities to expand the industry to the islands and it will also assist in preserving the historic sites. With the increase of popularity and demand for such sites the industry itself will invest in the protection and preservation of such locations.
Innovative ideas and realistic designs are necessary to sustain the industry. An underwater restaurant has been successfully implemented in the Maldives. Why can’t the idea be expanded? Perhaps the future holds better possibilities of constructing underwater resorts. To sustain our natural gift we need to test out new ideas and refine existing ones.
Tourists should be granted the opportunity to experience the local life. They should be given a chance to see the country for what it really is. They should be allowed to see who we really are. While we proudly claim our own language, belief system and culture, we must show it to the outside world. We must let the world see this beautiful nation as we see it through our own eyes.
When the light shimmers through the clouds, shining over the sunny side of life, the veil must be lifted. Secrets of our unity must be spilled. Relics must be dug out. After all it is paradise, and paradise has nothing to hide.
JA Resorts & Hotels welcomes Khumar Askerova as Director of Sales and Marketing for the Indian Ocean
JA Resorts & Hotels has announced the appointment of Khumar Askerova as the new Director of Sales and Marketing for the Indian Ocean region. Khumar brings with her an impressive 25 years of experience in sales and marketing within the hospitality industry, and a key appointment to the regional team.
The appointment will see Khumar overseeing sales for the company’s Indian Ocean flagship property JA Manafaru in the Maldives and two properties in the Seychelles, the boutique JA Enchanted Island and luxury villa residencies at JA Enchanted Waterfront.
Khumar is a seasoned sales specialist with a diverse background in the hospitality sector. Fluent in English, native in Russian and Azerbaijani, with a good command of Portuguese and Turkish, Khumar’s multilingual skills underscore her ability to connect with a global audience.
Khumar’s most recent role as the Regional Director of Sales & Marketing at COMO Hotels saw her successfully manage a portfolio of key partners, and her expertise extends to new hotel openings, where she has played pivotal roles in the launch and success of four upper-scale Marriott hotels.
Additional Maldivian experience was gained whilst Khumar was Group Director of Sales & Marketing at Lily Beach Hotels also in the Maldives, where she led a cluster team, overseeing sales, reservations, marketing, and revenue for two islands in the Maldives.
Robert El Khoury, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at JA Resorts & Hotels comments, “We are confident that Khumar’s wealth of experience, strategic vision, and leadership qualities will contribute to the ongoing success and growth of our unique properties in the Indian Ocean. We warmly welcome her to our team and look forward to further developing our international presence with Khumar’s global expertise.”
Khumar holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from Baku State University. She has also obtained certificates in Executive Revenue Management & Strategic Pricing from the Institute of Hotel Management and eCornell Hotel Revenue Management Certificate.
JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa promotes Mohit Dembla to General Manager
JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, renowned as a haven for families and multigenerational travel, has announced the promotion of Mohit Dembla to the position of General Manager.
Mohit Dembla, a seasoned hotelier with extensive experience in the hospitality industry, began his career with The Oberoi Group and later contributed his expertise to prestigious brands including Taj Hotels, Kempinski Hotels, and Minor International across India, the Seychelles, and the Maldives. In 2014, Mohit joined Marriott International as Complex Front Office Manager at Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre and Courtyard by Marriott Hyderabad. His journey with Marriott International continued in 2018, when he joined JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa as Resort Manager for the grand opening.
Through his tenure at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, Mohit has played a key role in developing and implementing strategies that set the tone for the resort’s success. His dedication, leadership, and commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences have been integral to the resort’s growth. Demonstrating exceptional managerial skills, he has overseen day-to-day operations and made significant contributions to the resort. His promotion to General Manager is a recognition of his outstanding performance, vision, and ability to lead the team in a dynamic and competitive industry.
Mohit’s leadership centers on fostering a people-first culture, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and teamwork throughout all departments, which has contributed to the resort’s success, consistently delivering exceptional experiences to valued guests.
As General Manager, Mohit Dembla will continue to prioritize teamwork, excellence, innovation, and guest satisfaction. He expressed his gratitude, stating, “I am honored to take on the role of General Manager at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa. This resort holds a special place in my heart, and I look forward to continuing my journey here with an exceptional team, crafting unforgettable moments for our guests.”
THE OZEN COLLECTION welcomes new General Managers: Elisabeth Alleyne at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO and Monica Coppetta at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI
Elisabeth Alleyne and Monica Coppetta, join as the General Managers at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO and OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, respectively, continuing with the progressive brand’s tradition of women leading the resorts.
THE OZEN COLLECTION, an exceptional hospitality brand by Atmosphere Core, is thrilled to announce the appointment of two new General Managers: Elisabeth Alleyne at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO, effective from October 2023, and Monica Coppetta at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, effective from November 2023. In their new roles, these two veteran leaders will continue to build upon the strong brand foundation of REFINED ELEGANCE, positioning their respective resorts as the destination of choice for sophisticated global travelers.
Elisabeth Alleyne, a Swedish-Barbadian National, brings over two decades of diverse hospitality experience across Europe, the Caribbean, and in leading luxury cruise liners. A passionate leader, Elisabeth is adept at running smooth operations, regardless of the size of the property. She will play a pivotal role as the General Manager of OZEN LIFE MAADHOO, and says, “My leadership style involves inspiring colleagues with creativity, innovation, and dedication, ensuring opportunities for skill building, internal promotions, and professional development. I will always be hands-on and visible in operations, making sure our guests have an unforgettable visit.”
Italian hotelier Monica Coppetta possesses a strong business acumen, a drive for results, and the ability to articulate luxury, having worked in global boutique and luxury environments for over two decades. With a proven track record in delivering results, whether from the perspective of profit, process, or people, Monica is a perfect fit for the role of General Manager at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI. She states, “I like to connect emotionally with my team, inspiring them to bring their best every day. Creating an inclusive work environment is very important to me, one where women – and all colleagues – are heard, cared for, and have equal opportunities.”
From the very beginning, influential female leaders have shaped the brand. Women are integral to the workforce at THE OZEN COLLECTION, and both properties have always had women General Managers. This appointment further adds to the stellar female senior leadership already in place at Atmosphere Core.
“We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion across the company’s portfolio of three brands and eight resorts. And I am delighted to welcome the two talented and dedicated hoteliers, Elisabeth Alleyne and Monica Coppetta to our team.” says Ashwin Handa, the Senior Vice President of Operations at Atmosphere Core.
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