MMPRC to showcase Maldives in 17 global travel fairs in 2018
Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has announced plans to participate in 17 international travel fairs in 2018, in a bid to ramp up tourism promotion.
The fairs that the state tourism promotion company plans to take part in next year include:
- FITUR in Madrid, Spain (January 17-21)
- Boot in Düsseldorf, Germany (January 20-28)
- Fespo in Zurich, Switzerland (January 25-28)
- OTM in Mumbai, India (January 18-20)
- EMITT in Istanbul, Turkey (January 25-28)
- BIT Milan in Milan, Italy (February 11-13)
- Amour Asia Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand (February 14-17)
- ITB in Berlin, Germany (March 7-11)
- Routes Asia in Brisbane, Australia (March 18-20)
- MITT in Moscow, Russia (March 13-15)
- COTTM in Beijing, China (April 16-18)
- ATM in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (April 22-25)
- Tourism EXPO Japan (JATA) in Tokyo, Japan (September)
- IFTM Top Resa in Paris, France (September)
- TTG Incontri in Ramini, Italy (October)
- CITM in Shanghai, China (October)
- WTM in London, United Kingdom (November)
The corporation took part in 12 fairs this year.
Meanwhile, MVR 50 million (USD 3.3 million) have been allocated from the proposed budget for 2018 for tourism promotion.
The 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.
These concerns come as the world-famous holiday destination struggles to match an increased bed capacity.
Over the past five 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 over the next two years.
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 450 guesthouses in operation today.
The government has recently announced new steps to maintain a structured growth in tourism, including a slowdown in leasing islands for resort development and increased marketing efforts in key markets such as China and the Middle East in order to reach an ambitious target of a record 1.5 million tourist arrivals this year.
According to the latest statistics, total arrivals for the first nine months of the year increased by 5.7 percent to reach 998,009 compared to the 944,544 in the same period of last year.