Excitement builds ahead of TTM hotelier summit
Excitement is building for the hotelier summit to be held during the upcoming Travel Trade Maldives fair, as organisers Maldives Getaways make final preparations for the much awaited event.
As a major component of the Maldives first ever international travel trade show, the hotelier summit will be hosted on July 12 from 9am to 1pm at the main convention centre of Dharubaaruge in capital Male.
Tourism industry pioneer Mohamed Umar Maniku will deliver the keynote address, while motivational speaker Paul McNeive will also address the summit.
According to Maldives Getaways, the keynote address and the motivational speech will be complemented by four panels, where local and international experts will discuss topics that are of relevance to the Maldives tourism industry.
The first panel will focus is on airport development, airlines and LLCS. Panellists include local seaplane operator Trans Maldivian Airways CEO AUM Fawzy, state-owned airport operator Maldives Airports Company Limited’s (MACL) Chief Development Officer Lionnel Maugis, flagship carrier Maldivian’s Head of Engineering Ibrahim Iyas and General Manager of Addu International Airport Ibthisahama Ahmed Saeed.
During the second panel, environment minister Thoriq Ibrahim, top UN official in the Maldives Shoko Noda, Sales Account Manager at Global Marine and Energy Lubricants Lim Meng Hou, General Manager of Sun Island Resort Dr Abdulla Mausoom, and Crown Company Director Ahmed Nazeer will discuss sustainable tourism development.
The third panel will discuss travel trends and technology. Panellists include Booking.com’s Hotels Area Manager Tarun Naidu, Permanent Secretary at the tourism ministry Dr Ahmed Salih, local telecom giant Dhiraagu’s CEO Ismail Rasheed, Senior Market Manager for Maldives at Expedia Abhay Khanna and TripAdvisor’s South Asia Manager Bharat Nagpal.
During the fourth panel, American Express India CEO Majoj Adlakha, Head of Commercial at AirAsia Spencer Lee, Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) President Abdulla Ghiyas and Tripfez’s Head of Business Development Haikal Idris will focus on destination marketing, social media and the role of tour operators.
“With just a few days to go until TTM, we are putting the final touches in place and we look forward to welcoming the entire tourism industry into one place and to discuss the future of Maldives,” Dr Hussein Sunny Umar, Chief Operating Officer at Maldives Getaways, was quoted in a statement as saying.
More than 100 professionals from the tourism industry have confirmed to attend the hotelier summit. Confirmed attendees include resort and hotel general managers, resident managers, key hotel owners, international travel trade stakeholders and travel industry professionals.
Bank of Maldives (BML) has signed up with Maldives Getaways, which is a local PR firm, as the platinum partner of TTM, making the country’s largest bank the title sponsor of the hotelier summit. The summit will officially be called, “BML Hotelier Summit Maldives 2017”.
The hotelier summit is aimed to act as a platform for stakeholders of the industry to meet in one place to discuss the future of tourism in the Maldives. It offers a solution-oriented platform that facilitates face to face meetings, networking activities and information exchange amongst the most elite assemblage of hotel owners and general managers.
With the Maldives government on course to achieving its electoral pledge of developing at least 50 new resorts in its first five-year term, global tourism is also seeing an ever increasing growth. A major focus of the hotelier summit is to address such matters and discuss ways in which demand would meet the ever growing supply planned for the tourism industry of the country while looking at the future.
Set to be held at Dharubaaruge from July 12-13, TTM will connect Maldivian tourism industry stakeholders with a global network of travel agents. Over 100 professionals representing travel agents, tour operators, industry experts and travel media have confirmed their attendance, while more than 100 resorts and hotels have confirmed their participation as exhibitors.
A tourism career fair will also be held as part of TTM, providing job seekers, students, employers, training institutions and government agencies an opportunity to network. The career fair will be exhibited by resorts, liveaboards, leading hotel chains and service providers in the tourism industry.
TTM gala night, to be held at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi resort, will host Maldives Travel Awards: People’s Edition, which recognises 10 outstanding individuals from the hospitality industry.
Maldives recorded 1.2 million tourist arrivals in 2016 with a total of receipts around USD 2.5 billion. With the rapid changes in global travel markets, Maldives continues to strengthen its foothold as one of the leading tourist destinations in the world. While tourism still remains the leading economic industry in the country by far, innovative new approaches in marketing are required to ensure the sector remains at the top.
TTM aims to facilitate the tourism industry of Maldives to reach the ultimate target of two million tourists with over USD 3.5 billion in receipts by the end of 2020.