Connect with us


New analysis says Maldives challenges short-term, will remain highest rate-yielding Asia Pacific market



Despite increased pressure on the resort market due to a large influx of new supply, Maldives will remain as one of the highest rate-yielding markets in Asia Pacific, global hospitality consulting firm Horwath HTL has said.

In its market outlook for the Maldives, Horwath HTL said foreign tourist arrivals have grown at a 10-year compound average annual growth (CAAG) rate of 8.1 per cent from 2008 to 2018. Though 2018 recorded an increase in foreign arrivals to 1.48 million, YoY growth was at a slower pace of 6.8 per cent due to several factors, including a downturn in the Chinese market and increased political turmoil, it added.

Horwath HTL highlighted the slight shift in demographics in recent years following a decline in Chinese arrivals and an increase in key European arrivals. In 2018, Europe accounted for almost 49 per cent of total foreign arrivals due to a robust increase in arrivals YoY from Italy (18.5 per cent), Germany (4.8 percent), and the United Kingdom (10.2 per cent), it said.

“Placement of countries in the top ten have mostly remained the same compared to 2017, except that the USA overtook Japan to claim eighth place on the back of a larger leap in YoY arrivals. Additionally, Australia replaced South Korea in the tenth place after significant growth in tourist arrivals by about 36 per cent YoY,” the report read.

2018 saw highest supply increase

Horwarth HTL stressed that hotel bed capacity saw the greatest increase YoY in 208, growing by 21 per cent, with the number of registered beds for 2018 totalling to 43,025.

Kaafu Atoll, comprising both North and South Male Atolls, has consistently accounted for the largest share of beds in a single atoll in the Maldives (40 per cent in 2017). The second most concentrated single atoll by bed capacity in 2017 was Alif Atoll (Ari Atoll). Alifu Dhaalu (South Ari) Atoll accounted for about 12 per cent of beds whilst Alifu Alifu (North Ari) Atoll accounted for another eight per cent.

Whilst Baa atoll has become popular for resort development given its UNESCO Biosphere Reserve tag, other atolls that are fast developing include Raa atoll, Dhaalu atoll, and Haa Alifu Atoll. In 2017, bed capacity YoY increased by 99 per cent, 52 per cent, and 48 per cent, respectively.

“With the abundance of resorts in Baa atoll, developers are now looking at its neighbour to the north – Raa atoll. Due to its relatively untouched marine life, developers are now flocking to the atoll for its interesting underwater topography and marine life,” the report read.

Luxury resorts away from Male perform better

According to Howarth HTL, ultra-luxury resorts (above USD 1,000 per night) situated away from Male atoll have historically achieved higher rates than those within Male atoll, albeit at the expense of lower occupancy levels.

“Higher rate premiums are often justified by the more exclusive location of resorts further away from Male atoll, as well as the less polluted waters when situated further away from the capital city of Male,” the report read.

“Rate-wise, since 2015, other atoll resorts have achieved higher rate premiums over Male atoll resorts.”

Howarth HTL found that resorts in Male atoll within the USD 600-1,000 ADR category had experienced a large decline in their historically high occupancy levels over the last five years whilst occupancy of resorts in other atolls had been more stable. Rate-wise, Male atoll resorts had achieved a higher average ADR than resorts in the other atolls despite their overall ADR growth in the past five years being negative (-1.7 per cent) compared to the positive growth (1.2 per cent) of resorts in the other atolls, it said.

Howarth HTL noted that ADR of resorts in both Male and other atolls that are in the below USD 600 category has seen overall declines in the last five years (-2.4 per cent and -0.4 per cent YoY, respectively). This was attributed to the rising competition from cheaper guesthouses.

“In 2018, other atoll resorts with an ADR of above USD 1,000 achieved the highest RevPAR among all categories. This was largely on the back of higher overall ADR. Meanwhile, Male atoll resorts with an ADR of below USD 600 achieved the lowest RevPAR performance due to its low overall rate despite a higher average occupancy,” the report read.

Short-term challenges, market correction to occur 

This year will see a large influx of supply into the resort market, with 17 new openings (2,175 keys) overall. The luxury, upper upscale and upscale segments will see ten, six and one new additions, respectively.

Male atoll itself will contribute 581 more keys in 2019. Dhaalu atoll trails behind for 2019, with an anticipated 536 keys. Gaafu Alifu Atoll is third (331 keys), followed by Raa atoll (312 keys), then Baa atoll (226 keys). The remaining 37 per cent of new supply will be spread out over 2020 and 2021.

Howarth HTL stressed that the large influx of new supply is expected to put pressure on the resort market in the short to mid-term, with occupancy falling to 55 per cent in the above USD1,000 category, 70 per cent in the USD 600-1,000 category and 65 per cent in the below USD 600 category. Rate-wise, the market should not expect large bouts of growth given the stiffer competition compared to five years ago, it said.

“However, the market should remain as one of the highest rate-yielding markets in Asia Pacific. As supply growth tapers and demand continues to grow because of the destination’s unique geography, we should expect overall resort market occupancy to improve in the long run,” the report read.

This report comes amidst concerns by private organisations representing industry stakeholders such as the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) over the lack of effort and budget to promote the Maldives as a destination.

These concerns come as the world-famous holiday destination struggles to match an increased bed capacity.

Over the past few 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 more than 130. That number is set to increase as another 20 resorts are expected to open 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 500 guesthouses in operation today.

The previous government announced 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.

Meanwhile, the new government has pledged to ramp up tourism promotion.

Reflecting the new government’s pledge, the state budget for 2019 includes MVR 104,200,000 (USD 6.7 million) for tourism promotion, up from MVR 34,733,333 (USD 2.2 million) this year and the previous year.


‘Get Charged and Win’ promotion: Four draws, countless winners, more to go



The ‘Get Charged and Win’ promotion, which launched with great fanfare on June 23, continues to captivate audiences across the nation with its promise of incredible prizes and adrenaline-pumping excitement. As Coca-Cola moves forward, the company has announced not one, but four draws that have rewarded lucky winners with exciting prizes!

The ‘Get Charged and Win’ promotion has been a huge success, with dozens of lucky winners taking home amazing prizes, such as Benelli motorbikes, helmets, and Charged drink cases. The promotion, which started on June 23, has been attracting customers from all over the Maldives, who have been enjoying the refreshing taste of Charged caffeinated beverage and the thrill of scratching their cards to reveal their codes.

So far, four draws have taken place, each one broadcasted live on Television Maldives (TVM) at 9:30pm. The winners of the Benelli motorbikes were Mohamed Adam, MD Musharraf, Mohamed Rasel Hossain and Ahmed Zahir who were ecstatic to receive their prizes and thanked Charged for making their dreams come true. The winners of the helmets and drink cases were also delighted with their rewards and encouraged others to join the promotion.

But don’t worry if you haven’t won yet, because there are still more chances to win! The ‘Get Charged and Win’ promotion is not over yet. That means you still have time to grab your favourite Charged drink, scratch your card, and send your code to 2626 via SMS.

As the exciting journey continues, there are two main draws left in this thrilling event, scheduled for September 24 and October 20. You could be the next lucky winner of a Benelli Leoncino 250 motorbike! But the excitement doesn’t stop there; be sure to keep an eye out for the daily draws, with winners announced regularly on the @ChargedMaldives Instagram page. You could stand a chance to win a Charged branded helmet, or a Charged drink case.

Charged, a ground-breaking addition to Coca-Cola Maldives’ beverage portfolio, is available in 250 ml, in 100% recyclable aluminium cans, in line with our packaging strategy to use 100% recyclable packaging material. The caffeinated beverage is now widely available at major retail outlets, hotels, restaurants, and cafes throughout the Maldives.

Continue Reading


JEN Maldives Malé by Shangri-La unveils Oro’s 100% Arabica Rose Coffee



JEN Maldives Malé by Shangri-La has introduced a special coffee to their collection – Oro’s 100% Arabica Rose Coffee. This latest addition to the menu of Jen’s Kitchen On-the-Go aims to provide coffee lovers with the unique and delicate taste of Oro’s Arabica Rose.

The hotel was alive with excitement on Thursday evening with the launch of Oro’s 100% Arabica rose. Media personnel and coffee enthusiasts were treated to an exclusive tasting experience of freshly brewed Arabica Rose Coffee along with some tasty finger foods.

The highlight of the evening was a lucky draw giveaway, extending an invitation for all the guests to participate and win a Skechers Maldives voucher and coffee voucher from Jen’s Kitchen On-the-Go.

Oro’s Arabica Rose Coffee is now available at Jen’s Kitchen on-the-go. It is the perfect spot to refuel with coffee, tea, freshly squeezed juices, or a light bite. Customers can now enroll to become a Shangri-La Circle Member and earn points with every purchase at Jen’s Kitchen On- the-Go and enjoy the rewards at Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts worldwide.

Continue Reading


Master Baker Steven to conduct IREKS Baking Art & Science training in Maldives



The return of IREKS Master Baker to the Maldives brings exciting news for the local baking community.

Kuala Lumpur-based Master Baker – Chef Steven Selvamuthu, will be conducting pro-bono culinary demonstrations and extensive training sessions from 19th August to 7th September, 2023. Bakers and Pastry Chefs in resorts and HORECA institutions can look forward to enhancing their skills and knowledge under his guidance.

Steven’s expertise in pastries, acquired through training in Gelato University in Italy and a Chocolate Master program in Switzerland, has been instrumental in providing the best solutions to IREKS’ customers in the Maldives.

IREKS, the renowned German company, is a global player in the industry, celebrated for their expertise in developing innovative baking ingredients and catering to the preferences of the health-conscious and quality-driven generation. IREKS provides high-quality bakery flour and ingredients, including baking improvers, specialty bread mixes, gluten-free mixes, vegan mixes, and confectionary mixes. With a growing awareness of the impact of food production on people and the environment, IREKS offers a diverse range of organic baking improvers and mixes for the efficient production of various organic quality baked goods. They exclusively source raw materials from controlled organic cultivation.

In addition to its range of flour mixes focused on multiple baking needs, IREKS also offers a wide “Free-from” range, accommodating various dietary preferences such as lactose-free, palm oil-free, additive-free, egg-free, sugar-free, or vegan options.

In particular, IREKS has been providing a comprehensive Gluten-Free range since 1995. Gluten, a protein that provides structure, is essential for making grains bakeable, and it would be a challenge to bake without its presence. At the same time, gluten-free baked goods are growing in demand – even from those who do not suffer from medical conditions (e.g.: celiac disease). In order to meet the high safety requirements in this specialised production process, gluten-free ingredients are carefully and meticulously selected and processed at IREKS’s state-of-the-art facilities in Germany.

So, this powerhouse of the baking profession, Master Baker Steven, will share his vast expertise with the resort bakers’ community during these demonstration sessions. Should you wish to participate in a training session, please contact Bestbuy Maldives.

Continue Reading


Copyright all rights reserved by Maldives Promotion House 2023.