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World’s leading travel trade show kicks off in Berlin with record number of Maldives tourism reps

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Maldives has participated at the world’s leading travel trade show, ITB Berlin.

With a record number of 280 representatives from 106 companies from the Maldives, it is the largest event for the Maldives tourism sector as well. The Maldives contingent is led by Jameela Ali, the Maldives ambassador in Germany, Ahmed Shiaan, the Maldives ambassador to EU, and Haris Mohamed, the Acting Managing Director of Maldives Maldives and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).

During the fair, being held from March 7-11 at the Messe Berlin Exhibition grounds in German capital of Berlin, the Maldives is showcasing a variety of destination-specific experiences at a newly-designed 405 square metre, two-storey stand.

The brand new design of Maldives displays various aspects of the destination through colourful images. In a contemporary setting, traditional elements such as traditional swing and joali seats hand woven with rope and powder soft white sand from the Maldives are infused into the design to bring out a local touch.

For a taste of the Maldives, the Maldives stand is showcasing a gourmet food area with a variety of refreshments for a delightful experience for the visitors. This includes tastes of different local flavours of Maldivian snacks such as fried breadfruit and athu jehi (made from dried tuna).

A live cooking station demonstrating the art of making traditional roshi (Maldivian flat bread), which can be tried with rihaakuru (fish paste) and mashuni (tuna salad) is also set up at the stand. In addition, Maldivian sweets such as Addu Bendi (a tasty sweet from the southern part of Maldives; wrapped like a candy with banana leaf) are also being served to visitors.

Highlights of activities at the Maldives stand include experiencing the Maldives natural beauty through virtual reality, cultural dances by young Maldivian women in vibrant traditional wear, taking pictures and posting on social media at the photo corner where you can experience the ‘Sunny Side of life’.

In addition, the customary Maldivian Night will also be held on Wednesday evening at the Hotel Palace Berlin, by invitation of top travel trade, media and Maldives tourism industry partners.

More than 180 countries across five continents are participating at ITB Berlin this year. These include 10,000 exhibitors, 1,000 qualified top buyers, 28,000 convention visitors, and 109,000 trade visitors. There was a turnover of seven billion euros in business deals last year, according to the fair organisers.

ITB Berlin, through its B2B platform, provides vast opportunities for the Maldives industry partners to interact with trade visitors, and expand contacts and do business. It is also the place to showcase the offerings of Maldives and communicate destination information to the travel trade, media as well as the public.

Germany is currently the second largest source market to the Maldives. A total of 112,109 Germans chose Maldives for their vacation in 2017, which is a growth of 5.2 percent compared to 2016.

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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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