Maldives adopts structured growth policy to balance tourism demand, supply
Maldives has taken new steps to maintain a structured growth in tourism as the world famous holiday destination struggles to match an increased bed capacity.
Tourism minister Moosa Zameer told Financial Times’ FDI Intelligence that his government had slowed down leasing islands for resort development. It was to match supply with the demand in the face of increasing number of new resort openings, he added.
“That is why we are doing special work on marketing as well. Additionally, many structural changes have been made and debt-to-GDP ratios have improved tremendously over the past three years. So I think, as a result, the investor confidence is there,” Zameer was quoted as saying by the publication.
Over the past three years, dozens of uninhabited islands have been leased to local and foreign resort developers. Several international brands have entered into the market, increasing the number of resorts to 120. That number is set to increase as the government has announced the opening of some 20 new resorts by the end of this year.
Along with the new resort openings come the challenge of increasing demand from budget travellers who choose guesthouses over luxury resorts that the Maldives is known for. The guesthouse sector has rapidly expanded with over 300 guesthouses in operation today.
Government has come under fire from private organisations representing industry stakeholders such as the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) over the lack of effort and budget to promote the Maldives as a destination.
STR, a leading market research and analysis firm, has also reported decreases for the Maldives across three key performance metrics: Occupancy, ADR (Average Daily Rate) and RevPAR (revenue per available room).
In his interview with FDI Intelligence, Minister Zameer, however, assured that his government was making necessary investments to boost the tourism industry, which is the country’s main economic activity. One such measure he noted was an ongoing USD800 million project to expand the country’s main Velana International Airport.
“… We see there is keen interest from foreign and local investors to take advantage of the new government’s strategy to increase tourist arrivals and enhance the industry,” the minister said.
He also downplayed the effects of external shocks on the industry.
“Even when we had difficult political problems about five years ago, surprisingly we were not that badly hit because what happens in Male has very little bearing on the resort islands. There have been times when a specific market is targeted by something negative and it does have a short-term effect. We find that eventually the numbers come back,” Zameer said.
The minister’s comments come as the Maldives tries to recover the recent loss in important markets such as China and to court more travellers to cater an increased supply. The country has stepped up tourism promotion in China and in emerging markets such as the Middle East in an attempt to reach an ambitious target of a record 1.5 million tourists this year.
Maldives China Tourism Association announces first roadshow in China to boost tourism
The Maldives China Tourism Association (MVCTA), a non-governmental and non-profit organization dedicated to promoting tourism in the Maldives to the Chinese market, has announced its upcoming roadshow in China. Founded in 2023 and registered in the Maldives, the MVCTA aims to provide information about the Maldives as a destination to the Chinese public and strengthen ties between the travel industries of China and the Maldives.
The MVCTA’s efforts include participating in regional travel exhibitions and roadshows, advertising and promotions, organizing familiarization trips for the travel trade and media, and maintaining contacts with government tourism bodies, travel agencies, and associations in China. By working together with various stakeholders, the association strives to advance the Maldives’ travel and tourism industry and enhance the country’s tourism image in the Chinese market.
To further their promotional activities, the MVCTA is pleased to announce its first roadshow in China, scheduled to take place in September 2023. The roadshow will span four cities, namely Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, and Beijing, from the 15th to the 21st of September. This significant event aims to showcase the unique attractions and experiences the Maldives has to offer to Chinese travelers.
The MVCTA’s roadshow in China presents an excellent opportunity for Chinese travelers to discover the allure of this tropical paradise. As the association embarks on its inaugural roadshow, it anticipates a successful event that will contribute to the growth and development of tourism between China and the Maldives.
Following the resumption of outbound travel from China in January 2023, the Maldives has seen a significant resurgence in Chinese tourist arrivals. Prior to the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, China held the top position as the leading inbound market for the Maldives. Although currently ranked as the sixth largest source market, Chinese arrivals have already accounted for 5.8% of the total tourist influx to the Maldives, with an impressive 48,668 Chinese tourists visiting by June 6th, 2023. These figures are expected to surge further in the coming years, as China’s appetite for international travel continues to grow, cementing its crucial role in the Maldives’ thriving tourism industry.
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TTM Travel Summit 2023 unveils exciting new concept with interactive, engaging workshops
Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) has introduce an elevated concept for the highly anticipated TTM Travel Summit 2023. Building upon 6 years of success, this year’s summit promises an immersive and engaging experience, focusing on interactive brainstorming sessions and workshops that will shape the industry’s future.
TTM Travel Summit 2023 boasts a dynamic lineup of sessions and workshops designed to encourage active participation from industry stakeholders. With keynote presentations by industry experts and collaborative brainstorming sessions, the summit will explore crucial topics essential for advancing the tourism sector in the Maldives.
Attendees can anticipate thought-provoking discussions on the future of aviation in the Maldives, exploring emerging trends and challenges that will significantly impact the travel industry. The evolving role of travel agents in the digital era will also take centre stage, emphasising the importance of adapting to changing landscapes and embracing new strategies.
Another significant focus of the summit will be marketing the Maldives to new markets, with experts sharing insights on diversifying tourism products. Furthermore, participants will gain valuable knowledge on media and content strategies for effective tourism promotion, unravelling the secrets behind captivating travel stories and engaging content.
TTM Travel Summit is an exclusive invitation-only event that brings together thought leaders, industry shapers, and senior decision-makers professionally engaged with Maldives tourism. By fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange, the summit aims to propel the industry forward and pave the way for a thriving future in travel.
Registration for the TTM Travel Summit will be open from 1st July onwards, and industry professionals are encouraged to secure their spot early to be part of this groundbreaking experience.
Taking place from August 22nd to 24th, 2023, TTM Maldives 2023 will feature TTM Connect Meetings during the first two days at Meeruma Conference Facility, followed by the TTM Travel Summit and the prestigious TTM Awards & Gala Night on the final day at CROSSROADS Maldives.
Visit Maldives collaborates with SQ to showcase Maldives with familiarisation trip for Chinese market
Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/ Visit Maldives) concludes a familiarisation trip in collaboration with Singapore Airlines (SQ). The trip was held from 29th May to 4th June 2023. This familiarisation trip provided participants from the Chinese market with an immersive experience of the world-class Maldivian hospitality, focusing on affordable luxury and sustainability in the Sunny Side of Life.
The familiarisation trip commenced 31st May 2023, following the Visit Maldives Storytellers’ Conference 2023. It featured representatives from various publications and social media platforms, with a specific focus on the mass market. This trip generated extensive coverage that highlighted the unique geographical features of the Maldives and its one-island-one-resort concept, along with the exceptional experiences that have made the Maldives one of the world’s most sought-after holiday destinations.
With a estimated combined reach of 1,270,000, leading publications and platforms such as Travel+Leisure, City Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller 悦游, Voyage 新旅行, and 公众号:飞客 Flyer Tea provided coverage that reached a wide audience. During the trip, participants had the opportunity to engage with consumers on social media, share first-hand experiences of Maldivian hospitality through local life experiences, and promote the destination’s sustainability efforts. The trip showcased the range of unique experiences available in the Maldives, highlighting its position as a top destination and environmentally-friendly getaway. Through this trip, MMPRC aimed to not only reach a vast audience but also create a strong presence on various platforms and entice travellers to experience the unparalleled beauty and hospitality of the Maldives.
MMPRC aims to promote the Maldives as a safe and attractive destination for Chinese travellers through this activity. China has consistently been in the top 10 source markets for the Maldives in terms of arrivals pre-pandemic, and despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the market is showing promising signs of recovery. In the first quarter of 2023, 17,691 Chinese tourists visited the Maldives, and the Maldives aims to leverage its presence on various platforms to gain a competitive advantage over other destinations.
This familiarisation trip with Singapore Airlines is part of a broader marketing strategy that includes ongoing PR activities, social media promotions, joint campaigns with leading travel agencies, and more. MMPRC is dedicated to enhancing destination presence in the Chinese market and capitalising on the growing interest in travel opportunities post-pandemic.
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