ATA to showcase Maldives in 15 global travel fairs in 2018
Association of Travel Agents (ATA) Maldives has announced plans to participate in 15 international travel trade fairs and exhibition in 2018.
The fairs and roadshows that the non-profit plans to take part in next year include:
- New York Times Travel Show in New York, US (January 26-28)
- Travel and Tourism Fair in Bangalore, India (February 23-25)
- Maldives Baltic Roadshow in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia (March 13-15)
- Kazakhstan International Exhibition Tourism and Travel in Almaty, Kazakhstan (April 18-20)
- South Africa Maldives Trade Show in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town (May 16-23)
- Kotfa in South Korea (June 14-17)
- Thailand Travel Mart Plus in Pattaya and Chonburi, Thailand (June 13-15)
- Bali and Beyond Travel Fair in Bali, Indonesia (June 26-30)
- Scandinavian Countries Road Show in Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden (August)
- International Travel Expo in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (September 6-8)
- Travel and Tourism Fair in Ahmedabad, India (September 7-9)
- Luxperience in Sydney, Australia (September 16-19)
- Ukraine International Travel Mart in Ukraine (October 3-5)
- International Tourism and Travel Show in Montreal, Canada (October 19-21)
- Taipei International Travel Fair in Taipei, Taiwan (October 27-30)
ATA has already opened registration for the New York Times Travel Show.
Meanwhile, Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), another organisation representing local travel agents and tour operators, has also announced plans to take part in another 19 international fairs next year.
State tourism promotion company Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) will also separately participate in 17 fairs.
These new promotional efforts come at a time the Maldives struggles to match demand with 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, tourist arrivals to the Maldives over the year have crossed the one million mark.