Maldives readies to kick-start much awaited resort project in south
Maldives is gearing up to launch a much awaited resort development project in the southern part of the country as a local contractor announced the closing of a deal for the leasing of the uninhabited island of Ismehela Hera in the southernmost Addu atoll.
Tourism minister Moosa Zameer told attendees of an investment forum in Addu on Saturday that a local company had won the bid for the island and had already paid the acquisition cost. The company is preparing to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project — a requirement by law for any major development project, he added.
“The island will be developed into a 150 bed resort,” Zameer said, during the investment forum held at the Equator Village city hotel in Addu.
Local media reported that the local company that won the bid for Ismehela Hera already has business interests in tourism and fish export, and serves as the local agent for several international airlines. The unnamed company has reportedly forayed into the insurance industry as well.
Development of a tourist resort on the island of Ismehela Hera has long been planned out with the project making headlines as recently as 2015 when the government announced that it was in talks with two foreign investors that had expressed interest in developing the island. Minster Zameer told local journalists at the time that the resort would have at least 600 beds.
The announcement was followed by the launch of Ismehela Hera Integrated Resort Development Project on April 28, 2015 by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. No progress, however, has been made since then.
The latest initiative to develop Ismehela Hera is part of a new push by the government to develop tourism in the southernmost Addu. A state owned enterprise launched a project last week to develop 3,000 guesthouse beds in Addu to cater to backpackers and budget travellers.
Maldives, known world over for its upmarket tourism industry, has resorts in the hundreds spread across the archipelago. The industry has in recent years expanded to introduce more affordable segments, including guesthouses and liveaboards.
Despite several new resort developments and a boom in guesthouse tourism in the Maldives, Addu as a whole has lagged behind for years in attracting tourism-related investments. The relatively large atoll, which has unique geographical features compared to other parts of the island nation, is home to only two of the some 120 tourist resorts in the Maldives; Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa and Canareef Resort Maldives.
However, tourism in the south has recently received a much needed boost from the launch of direct flights to Gan International Airport by SriLankan Airlines. Neighbouring Sri Lanka’s flagship carrier, which is particularly popular amongst tourists who travel to the Maldives from Europe, currently operates four weekly flights to Gan from Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo and is expected to increase frequency on the route to six flights per week from September.
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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