MATATO urges govt to step up destination marketing efforts

Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has once again called on the government to ramp up its spending on destination marketing, as the world-famous tourist destination faces new challenges amidst heightened political turmoil.

Maldives has attracted a wave of bad publicity following the recent declaration and extension of a state of emergency. However, the political turmoil is strictly restricted to the capital city, away from the resorts and local islands that holidaymakers stay in.

In a statement, MATATO urged the government to spend more on destination marketing in order to minimise the negative press as well as cancellations.

“MATATO supports government’s efforts to bring more tourists and create more jobs for locals thus it is important that we find a parallel path with stake holders to stage a united effort for the sustainability of the country,” the statement read.

“MATATO is committed to doubling up our efforts this year and we will be announcing more marketing activities in the coming weeks but this alone will not bridge the PR challenges but there needs to be aggressive advertising and marketing in getting the right message across to holidaymakers.”

According to the non-profit, it will soon launch new marketing initiatives to promote the destination.

As part of the destination marketing efforts by MATATO, it has in the recent years increased the number of travel trade events that it takes part in. Last year, MATATO along with tourism industry representatives showcased the Maldives at 15 international travel shows and exhibitions.

MATATO has announced plans to participate in 19 international travel trade fairs and exhibition in 2018.

Meanwhile, MVR 50 million (USD 3.3 million) have been allocated from this year’s budget to promote tourism.

State tourism promotion body 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.

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