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Show your love for Maldives on Monday, stand to win over 30 free holidays

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Travellers around the world are invited to join a virtual journey on Monday to rediscover the memories of the beautiful islands of the Maldives, as the Indian Ocean tourist paradise prepares to reopen its borders to visitors.

The ‘Maldives, the sun will shine again’ Facebook live event aims to tell the world that the Maldives is slowly but surely on the road to recovery and is getting ready to start welcoming visitors again.

The three-hour live feed will let participants “re-live the Maldives dream” from the comfort of their home. They will be virtually transported to some of the very best locations in the Maldives and be told of “how we are preparing as we await your return”.

Well-wishers from around the world, including celebrities, key opinion leaders, influencers, artists and fans of Maldives, will join officials from the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) at the event.

Local musicians and artists will also come together to show their love, sentiments, wishes, memories and messages to “remind that indeed the sun will shine again” in the Maldives.

During the event, lucky winners will get over two dozen free holiday packages offered by the luxury resorts in the archipelago.

The Maldives is preparing to reopen its borders to visitors in July.

The coronavirus outbreak has hit the Maldivian economy hard, as travel restrictions and other preventive measures affect the country’s lucrative tourism industry, which contributes the bulk of the island nation’s state revenue and foreign reserves.

Before the pandemic, the government had been bullish about tourism prospects, targeting two million, high-spending holidaymakers this year after last year’s record 1.7 million.

However, tourist arrivals saw a year-over-year decline of 22.8 per cent in the first 10 days of March. Officials say the number of tourist arrivals to the Maldives could drop by half in 2020.

All international airlines have suspended scheduled operations to the Maldives, as the island nation enforced a blanket suspension of on-arrival visa in late March in a bid to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

With arrival numbers falling and the visa suspension in effect, several resorts across the Maldives had been closed.

Tourism has been the bedrock of the Maldives’ economic success. The $5 billion-dollar economy grew by 6.7 per cent in 2018 with tourism generating 60 per cent of foreign income.

However, the government is at present projecting a possible 13 per cent economic contraction this year — an estimated $778 million hit.

On March 8, Maldives reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus, as two hotel employees tested positive for Covid-19 at a luxury resort in the archipelago.

Eighteen more cases — all foreigners working or staying resorts and liveaboard vessels except five Maldivians who had returned from abroad — were later identified.

A six-case cluster of locals, detected in capital Male on April 15, confirmed community transmission of the coronavirus. Several more clusters have since been identified, bringing the total number of confirmed case in the Maldives to 1,903.

Eight deaths have been reported and 827 have made full recoveries.

The Maldives announced a state of public health emergency on March 12, the first such declaration under a recent public health protection law.

The public health emergency declaration has allowed the government to introduce a series of unprecedented restrictive and social distancing measures, including stay-at-home orders in capital Male and its suburbs, a ban on inter-island transport and public gatherings across the country, and a nationwide closing of government offices, schools, colleges and universities.

Non-essential services and public places in the capital such as gyms, cinemas and parks have also been shut.

Restaurants and cafes in the capital have been asked to stop dine-in service and switch to takeaway and delivery.

A nationwide shutdown of all guesthouses, city hotels and spa facilities located on inhabited islands is also in effect.

Show your love for the Maldives by being part of the Facebook live event on Monday, June 8, 2020 from 8-11pm local time (GMT +5).

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Angsana Velavaru reaffirms commitment to sustainability, cultural heritage, local economy

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At Angsana Velavaru, an all-inclusive premium resort in the virtually untouched South Nilandhe Atoll sustainability and cultural preservation are woven into the fabric of daily life. The resort’s journey, driven by passion and dedication, begins with a simple yet profound question: “What if dried coconut leaves could find new life? Can they breathe new purpose to the local community?”

Part of Banyan Group, an independent, global hospitality company with purpose, Angsana Velavaru honours Maldivian heritage and protect the environment, by embarking on the unique initiative, ‘The Life Cycle of Coconut Leaf.’ This starts with planting coconut trees on the resort and trimming their leaves regularly. Partnering with local communities, the resort transforms these discarded leaves into beautiful thatched roofs known as kajan.

Guided by the Group’s ethos, “Embracing the Environment, Empowering People”, the cycle begins with lush, green coconut palm trees that provide shade and beauty to the resort. As leaves naturally die, they turn brown, becoming a potential resource rather than waste. Skilled climbers carefully harvest dead leaves, promoting new growth and maintaining tree health. Collected leaves are stored to dry and harden, preparing them for traditional weaving. Local artisans collect the aged leaves, ready to transform them into functional kajan roofing. The resort buys the processed leaves, supporting local artisans and preserving traditional skills. The kajan is delivered to the resort, carrying the essence of Maldivian craftsmanship. The thatched panels are installed on villa roofs, blending tradition with natural aesthetics. Old thatched roofs are carefully removed for repurposing, minimising waste. The removed kajan is composted, enriching the soil with nutrient-rich organic matter. The compost is used to plant new coconut trees, completing the cycle of renewal. Through this initiative, we create a cycle of renewal that supports local communities, preserves cultural practices, and nurtures our environment.

Nominated in Travel Trade Maldives 2024 under the Most Sustainable Resort category and South Asian Travel Awards 2024 under the Leading Eco-Friendly Hotel / Resort, Angsana Velavaru emerges as a frontrunner in showcasing an unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable practices. The resort’s initiatives to reduce its environmental footprint, conserve natural resources, and protect the biodiversity of the Maldives through Marine Talk, Citizen Science Snorkelling, Coral Planting, House Reef Cleanup and beyond, are exemplary – setting a standard for responsible tourism.

In July 2023, the Green Sustainability Team, composed of passionate associates from various resort departments, launched the “SustainLinen Tote Bag with Purpose” initiative. This program, aimed at reducing plastic waste, provided eco-friendly alternatives to disposable plastic bags for resort associates. By September 2023, the initiative was expanded to include neighbouring communities and in-house guests.

In April 2024, the resort took this initiative further by repurposing broken umbrellas into stylish and durable tote bags. This innovative step underscores their commitment to sustainability, demonstrating how even unexpected items can be transformed and given new life.

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Rejuvenate at Baros Maldives with renowned practitioner Jang Kanlayanee

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Serenity Spa at Baros Maldives has announced the arrival of renowned wellness practitioner Jang Kanlayanee for an exclusive collaboration. From 1st to 15th September 2024, Baros guests will have the unique opportunity to indulge in Jang’s exceptional treatments, including her signature treatment, Quantum Touch Sound Healing.

Hailing from Thailand, Jang Kanlayanee brings over 25 years of extensive experience in the spa, wellness and hospitality sectors. Her impressive career includes roles at prestigious five-star resorts such as Kamalaya Thailand, Soneva Kiri Six Senses and Talise Spa Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives. Jang has excelled as a Senior Spa Therapist, Instructor, Holistic Practitioner and Corporate Training Manager.

Jang’s expertise in wellness and yoga therapies is evident through her contributions to luxury resorts like One & Only Resorts in Australia and Museflower Retreat & Spa in Chiang Rai. Her holistic approach aligns body and mind, promoting overall well-being through physical health.

During her exclusive residency at Baros, Jang will offer signature treatments including Emotional Release Massage, Body Alignment Therapy, Quantum Cranial Crystal Sound Vibration Healing and Chakra Healing. Guests can also experience bespoke yoga sessions, body awakening therapies, and sound bath healing, all designed to achieve deep relaxation and balance.

This unique collaboration with Serenity Spa provides a transformative wellness experience for guests visiting Baros in September. Don’t miss this opportunity to rejuvenate and realign your body and mind under the expert care of Jang Kanlayanee.

Serenity Spa at Baros is dedicated to providing exceptional wellness experiences through a range of individually curated therapeutic treatments and services. Collaborations with visiting practitioners and global experts ensure that guests receive the highest standard of care and the latest in holistic healing practices. Book your journey of rejuvenation and holistic wellness at Baros today!

A three-night stay in a deluxe villa on bed and breakfast basis, in September starts from USD 669 per night based on two adults sharing when booked direct via Baros’s website, including taxes. 15 per cent off on spa treatments and other exclusive perks for direct bookings apply.

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Discover holistic healing at The Nautilus Maldives with Ananda in the Himalayas’ experts

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The Nautilus, a five-star ultra-luxury private island hideaway in the Maldives, will host two senior practitioners from the world’s most renowned holistic wellness retreat, Ananda in the Himalayas from 17th to 25th August 2024. Combining Ananda’s specialist Ayurvedic knowledge with The Nautilus’s timeless hospitality offering, this residency will provide the ultimate restorative wellness experience.

Ananda’s experts Sandeep Dhamada and Krishna Karki will guide guests through personalised wellness journeys, featuring treatments such as Ananda Touch with Reflexology, Indian Head Massage with Reflexology, and the Himalayan Honey and Rose Facial with Foot Massage. As a follow up to these speciality treatments, The Nautilus guests will benefit from an online consultation with an Ayurvedic physician so that the holistic benefits of the treatments will continue after their stay at The Nautilus.

To enhance the healing effect of Ayurveda self-care, a gourmet signature menu from Ananda’s Executive Chef will be available in the island’s restaurants, incorporating anti-inflammatory Ayurvedic principles. With just 26 beach and ocean houses and residences, The Nautilus offers an unmatched ultra-luxury five-star experience, making it the perfect private island resort to relax, reset, and recharge amidst the natural beauty of Hanifaru Bay.

To learn more about the Ananda Wellness Residency at The Nautilus, visit www.thenautilusmaldives.com/ananda-wellness-residency.

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