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Maldivian digital media pro Shafraz to speak at world’s premier travel blogger event



Renowned Maldivian digital media professional Mohamed Shafraz Hafiz has been announced as a speaker at one of the premier travel blogger events in the world.

Shafraz, who currently serves as the Deputy Director of Digital Marketing and Social Media for Kandima Maldives, will join 12 other highly skilled professionals at TBEX Europe 2020, to be held from March 10-13, 2020 in Catania, Sicily, Italy.

He will share the stage with Paul Johnson, Editor of ‘A Luxury Travel Blog‘, the world’s premier blog that targets luxury travel. The duo will talk about how to pitch to luxury hotel brands.

One of the most highly experienced and innovative digital media professionals in the Maldives, Shafraz had previously served as a consultant for Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), the country’s official tourism promotion body.

He also describes himself as a destination promoter, new media explorer, author, social media nut and a proud father.

As a tourism promoter, Shafraz says he follows three key principles: integrating and converging different to optimize for the best result; making use of social media platforms as an honest marketing and sales tool; and always being on the lookout for new technology that seems to be changing daily whilst always being open to thinking out of the box.

The first round of speakers at TBEX Europe 2020 is a collection of 12 highly skilled professionals who will provide travel media – including tourism brands, content creators, influencers and vloggers – with constructive information, tools, and innovative strategies for success in the current travel and tourism space.

In addition to Shafraz and Johnson, the conference will feature:

  • Eulanda and Omo Osagiede: co-founders of Hey! Dip Your Toes In, an award-winning blog which promotes creative digital content with a focus on global travel and food culture.
  • Catharina Fischer: one of the leading experts in influencer marketing and a digital leader with over 10 years of experience in tourism.
  • Lou Mongello: host of WDW Radio, an award-winning podcast (once ranked #2 overall on iTunes and named Best Travel Podcast for nine consecutive years) about the Disney Parks and movies, Marvel, and Star Wars.
  • TJ Lee: host of the Cutest Travel & Food Show on Youtube with more than 300K subscribers and 1.6 million monthly views.
  • Anton Diaz: founder of Our Awesome Planet, the number #1 food and travel media in the Philippines with millions of followers and readers.
  • Fiona Anderson: a PR professional with over 20 years of experience, spanning corporate, lifestyle and travel spheres.
  • Chris “Mercer” Mercer: co-founder of
  • Zoe Cairns: highly respected and proficient international social media speaker, trainer and consultant.
  • Arlo Hemphill: Senior Oceans Campaigner with Greenpeace.

TBEX’s 22nd travel bloggers conference in Catania, Sicily will also provide a wealth of information for industry travel and tourism providers on how to develop an effective online presence and work effectively with content creators.

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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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