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Vacations Expo 2018 kicks off with 24 exhibitors



Vacations Expo 2018 kicked off Thursday with 24 exhibitors.

The annual expo, organised by leading local event management company Highrise, was inaugurated by UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Maldives Shoko Noda. Top officials from Highrise and the travel industry attended the ceremony held Thursday afternoon.

The entrance free expo is being be held till the end of Saturday at the National Art Gallery in capital Male. It is open for public from 2-6pm and from 8-11pm on Thursday and Saturday, and from 4-6pm and from 8-11pm on Friday.

Twenty-four exhibitors have participated at the expo, including Thailand Tourism, Malaysia Tourism, Singapore Tourism, and Hotels and Restaurants Association Bhutan. Local and regional travel agencies and tour operators such as Inner Maldives Holidays, Ace Aviation Services, Travel Connections Maldives, Tripverin, Maldives Hajj Corporation, Al Manasik Maldives, Moodhu Holidays, Tropical Discoveries Sri Lanka as well as local guesthouses, including Airport Beach Hotel, Divers Lodge, Koka Villa, Araamu Holidays and Spa, Velana Hotels, Dhigurah Retreat Beach, and Kaani Hotels have also exhibited at the expo.

Bangkok Hospital, Allied Insurance Company of the Maldives, local telecom giant Dhiraagu, Atoll Scuba dive centre, TheKitchen restaurant, and Women Entrepreneurs Association of Maldives are also exhibitors.

Visitors have the chance to win lucky draw prizes, including umrah pilgrimage trips from Maldives Hajj Corporation and Al Manasik Maldives, complimentary stays from exhibiting guesthouses, PADI open water dive courses, and attractive insurance packages from Allied Insurance. Air tickets from Bangkok Airways, Singapore Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, AirAsia, Qatar Airways and Scoot as well as special holiday packages to Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Bhutan are also on offer.

For the third year running, the expo is sponsored by Inner Maldives Holidays, with Thailand Tourism and Allied Insurance as co-sponsors. Absolute Security and Advance Protection Private Limited has signed up as the security partner, while Asaree Services serves as setup partner, Monarc as printing partner, UNICA as sounds and lights partner, Dhiraagu as digital communications partner, and TheKitchen as catering partner.

Maldives Insider and The Island Chief have been assigned travel media partners, while local daily Sun Online has signed up as the online media partner and Raajje TV as the official broadcaster.

The annual travel trade show brings together leading travel companies, hoteliers, airlines, tour operators, travel agents, online travel companies, liveaboards, cruises, dive operators and other travel marketers under one roof. Exhibitors can display various attractive travel packages and services.

The expo’s organiser Highrise has successfully delivered several local and international events, including Maldives Travel Awards, Maldives Film Awards, Maldives Living Expo and Sounds of Maldives.


Maldives celebrates arrival of 2024’s 1 millionth tourist



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



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



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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