Travel Trade Maldives 2020 postponed over coronavirus fears

Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) has been postponed due to the global outbreak of a new coronavirus, organiser Orca Media Group announced Thursday.

TTM 2020 was scheduled for April.

In a statement, Orca Media Group said a survey conducted amongst travel trade professionals favoured the largest travel fair in the Maldives to be postponed.

“TTM informs that they are assessing the situation and will announce a confirmed date soon,” the statement read.

TTM, launched in 2017 by local PR firm Maldives Getaways (now known as Orca Media Group), aims to facilitate the tourism industry of Maldives to reach the ultimate target of two million tourists per year with over USD 3.5 billion in receipts by the end of 2020.

As the largest international travel fair held in the Maldives, TTM showcases over 100 resorts and hotels, as well as some 200 leading operators from the top 30 source markets for Maldives tourism.

TTM has been postponed weeks after the cancellation of Germany’s ITB Berlin, the preeminent trade show for the European hospitality market, and Dubai’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the biggest travel trade show in the Middle East and Gulf region.

Maldives on Saturday reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus, as two hotel employees tested positive for Covid-19 at a luxury resort in the archipelago. Six more cases — all foreigners working at resorts — have since been identified.

Maldives had taken several preventive measures against the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

The Maldives had earlier closed its borders to arrivals from the worst-hit countries, including mainland China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.

Cruise ships had also been banned from docking at any of the country’s ports.

All direct flights to and from China, Italy, South Korea and Iran had also been cancelled.

The island nation had installed thermal screening cameras at its international airports.

Quarantine facilities, including designated islets from the 1,192 islands that make up the archipelago, had also been established.

The global coronavirus outbreak is expected to hit the Maldivian economy hard, as tourism contributes the bulk of the island nation’s state revenue and foreign reserves.

The government has already announced several cost cutting measures, including a freeze on the hiring of new staff and suspension of non-essential travel by state officials.

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