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JA Resorts appoints Anthony Ross as new CEO

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Dubai-based hospitality firm JA Resorts and Hotels has appointed Anthony Ross as the company’s new CEO.

The Australian hotelier and corporate strategist started his tenure in January with the established hospitality company known for offering “heartfelt hospitality” and “casual luxury” in the Middle East and Indian Ocean.

Ross has over 30 years’ leadership experience in the hospitality sector, spanning roles on multiple continents. Prior to joining JA Resorts & Hotels, he was CEO at the Indonesia-based Aryaduta Hotel Group, and held the Executive Vice President position at Preferred Hotels and Resorts, where he oversaw 120 hotels in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region.

As a former unit general manager, in addition to developing and operating his own luxury lodge in New Zealand, Ross also contributes an ownership approach and in-depth understanding of hotel operations. Apart from managing independent hotels in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia, he spent several years with Swire Hotels where he subsequently became the group’s Area General Manager for China.

Ross holds a bachelor’s degree in business, catering and hotel management from Victoria University in Melbourne.

“The team has done a great job in delivering ‘Heartfelt Hospitality’ and ‘Casual Luxury’ across our diverse portfolio from the gorgeous JA Manafaru in the Maldives, to our Dubai resorts and Bateaux Dubai. We aim to enhance how our guests experience both brand values, expand and deepen our reach and eventually bring heartfelt hospitality to new destinations in the region and beyond,” the new CEO was quoted in a statement, as saying.

In the Maldives, JA Resorts and Hotels runs the private island resort of JA Manafaru.

Accessible via a 75-minute seaplane flight from the main Velana International Airport or by a 45-minute domestic flight to Hanimaadhoo Airport followed by a 35-minute luxury speedboat transfer, JA Manafaru is a peaceful haven situated in the northernmost atoll of Haa Alif, where world-class service is delivered amidst dazzling turquoise waters, white sand beaches, distinct Maldivian architecture and lush vegetation.

A total of 83 villas and suites, each with their own private plunge pool are dotted throughout the spacious island.

Additionally, find island bliss with over eight spa treatment rooms at the award-winning Calm Spa, gourmet galore at one of seven restaurants and create lasting memories with water sports such as scuba diving, jet skiing and kayaking.

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Maldives celebrates arrival of 2024’s 1 millionth tourist

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Maldives on Thursday welcomed the one millionth tourist to visit this year.

The one millionth tourist is a Thai named Sutapa Amonwivat, who arrived from Singapore with her husband and two children. This is her second visit to Maldives.

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and the Ministry of Tourism gave a warm welcome to Sutapa at the Velana International Airport (VIA) Thursday afternoon. She was welcomed at the VIA by tourism minister Ibrahim Faisal, MMPRC Managing Director Ibrahim Shiury and senior officials of various relevant agencies.

After welcoming her with traditional offerings, she was presented with various gifts by the ministry, MMPRC, customs, immigration, Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) and Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA).

Maldives reached one million tourists in June, three weeks earlier than last year. The number of tourists reached one million on July 16, 2023.

Maldives expects to reach 2 million tourists this year.

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New air route connects Chongqing to Maldives

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Chongqing Airlines on Monday began its inaugural flights to Maldives.

The Chongqing-Male route, scheduled three times a week, is expected to strengthen the bonds between China and the Maldives, opening up exciting new opportunities for tourism and cultural exchange.

The inaugural flight was welcomed upon its arrival at Velana International Airport (VIA) in Maldives, where local officials and tourism representatives expressed their enthusiasm for this new development.

“We warmly welcome our friends from China to our beautiful islands. This new connection strengthens our bonds and opens up new opportunities for tourism,” the tourism ministry said on X.

Maldives currently welcomes four airlines from China, including China Eastern, Beijing Capital Airlines, Xiamen Airlines.

In January, Maldives government urged tourism stakeholders in both Maldives and China to ramp up efforts to restore China’s position as the primary source market for Maldives tourism, a status held before the onset of Covid-19.

China, being the largest source market for Maldives tourism before the pandemic, saw a resumption of tourist arrivals from January 2023 after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. In 2023, the Maldives welcomed 187,118 Chinese tourists, marking a significant recovery in numbers. This year, the Maldives has welcomed the most number of tourists from China, with over 107,940 or 11.5 percent of total arrivals by June 12. 

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CROSSROADS Maldives Introduces Weixin Pay at resorts for seamless guest experience

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CROSSROADS Maldives has introduced WeChat Pay, widely known as Weixin Pay in China, across its world-class resorts, SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives. This payment option is made available to enhance the convenience and overall experience for guests from China, making their stay in the Maldives more enjoyable and hassle-free.

Understanding the needs of the diverse guests, CROSSROADS Maldives has integrated WeChat Pay into operations, allowing guests from China to easily and securely conduct transactions using a payment method familiar to them. The introduction of WeChat Pay is a testament to CROSSROADS Maldives’ dedication to enhancing guest satisfaction by offering exceptional experiences at every turn. What is also expected through this initiative is that the guests could benefit from better foreign exchange rates, translating to better savings on their expenditures during their stay.

The option is available for guests in-house conveniently at both resorts as well as across the Marina at CROSSROADS Maldives where a wider variety of unparalleled dining and retail experiences are available for all guests. The day visitors from China will also therefore equally benefit from this new introduction at the Maldives’ premier multi-island integrated leisure destination.

SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, is a vibrant tropical escape that offers unique and locally inspired experiences. The resort features spacious rooms and villas, a variety of dining options, and an array of recreational activities designed to cater to the desires of modern travellers. Guests can escape to the island’s SAiisational natural beauty, enjoy water sports, and indulge in spa treatments, all while relishing the personalised service that defines Hilton’s Curio Collection.

Hard Rock Hotel Maldives brings the iconic Hard Rock spirit to the tranquil shores of the Maldives. This family-friendly resort offers a perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment, featuring music-inspired experiences, live performances, and the brand’s signature amenities. With luxurious accommodations, diverse dining options, and a plethora of activities for all ages, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives ensures an unforgettable holiday experience for every guest.

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