BML, Amex renew partnership to promote Maldives tourism

Bank of Maldives (BML) and American Express have renewed their partnership for another year to promote the Maldives as a leading international tourist destination.

At a ceremony held at Kurumba Maldives Thursday evening, planning minister Mohamed Aslam inaugurated the second edition of the Experience Maldives campaign.

The campaign, first launched in 2017, aims to promote the Maldives as an international tourist destination by offering unique, authentic experiences for Amex Cardmembers across the globe.

“We are delighted to partner with Amex for the second time to promote Maldives to Amex Cardmembers across the globe, and we are grateful for the strong support extended by all the stakeholders,” BML CEO Tim Sawyer said, during the launching ceremony.

Through the campaign, Amex Cardmembers can avail special privileges and discount offers at a number of participating resorts, guesthouses and merchants across the country.

At least 26 resorts in the Maldives have participated in the year-long campaign, endorsed by the official tourism promotion body Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and the largest industry organisation Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI).

The destination marketing campaign by the Maldives’ largest bank and Amex comes days after the country welcomed the 1.5 millionth tourist of the year — a new record in tourist arrivals.

Following the achievement, government had announced an ambitious target of attracting at least two million tourists to the popular Indian Ocean holiday destination in 2020.

Maldives welcomed a record 1.4 million tourists in 2018. It was a 6.8 per cent increase from the 1,389,542 tourists that chose to holiday in the Maldives in 2017.

The new government aims to attract 2.5 million tourist arrivals per year by the end of its first five-year term in 2023.

To achieve this target, the government had proposed adding MVR 50 million (USD 3.23 million) to the annual marketing budget of the tourism ministry.

In the proposed state budget for 2020, the government had allocated MVR 154.2 million (USD 9.98 million) for tourism promotion — up from the MVR 104.2 million (USD 6.7 million) in 2019, and MVR 34.73 million (USD 2.2 million) each in 2018 and 2017.

The parliament is currently reviewing the budget.

The government, which came to power in 2018, 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) in 2018 and 2017.

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