Visit Maldives Now: Ooredoo to promote destination to global network

Ooredoo Maldives has launched a joint destination marketing campaign with local tourism authorities, in a bid to promote the Indian Ocean tourist paradise to the telecom operator’s global network.

The Visit Maldives Now campaign, carried out jointly with the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), tourism ministry and Orca Media Group, aims to reach Ooredoo’s international network of over 117 million people across 10 countries.

Ooredoo’s global network customers will get a chance to discover picturesque content of the paradise destination. The content will be shared on Ooredoo social media platforms and its various other partner media platforms around the globe.

Travellers will also be given the chance to win hotel stays and gifts by interacting and sharing the posts.

“Across the globe, Ooredoo continues to utilise its strengths and resources to benefit the communities within which we exist,” Najib Khan, Managing Director and CEO of Ooredoo Maldives, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“The impact of the global pandemic on the local tourism sector has been felt by families across the nation, and we are honoured to join countrywide efforts to restore the tourism industry in the Maldives and thus the livelihood of many, with an exciting destination marketing campaign that will promote this beautiful country across our global network.”

The Visit Maldives Now campaign aims to kick-start Maldives tourism at a fast pace. The campaign will be carried out from September to early 2021.

With the unprecedented situation that arose due to the global coronavirus pandemic, MMPRC has been adapting and shifting marketing activities to digital platforms for enhanced destination marketing.

“We are pleased to be a part of the Ooredoo Maldives destination marketing campaign, Visit Maldives Now,” Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director of MMPRC, said.

“The success of this exciting campaign will further strengthen visibility of Maldives on the map and promote our beautiful country worldwide, enticing tourists to visit amidst the reopening of borders. Our country is a ‘safe haven’ for tourists, with a lot of stringent measures in place to ensure the safety of everyone.”

The Maldives reopened its borders on July 15.

With the border reopening, 30-day free on-arrival visa is issued to all tourists with a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country.

There is no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival, but tourists have to complete an online health declaration form and provide a negative PCR test result taken at least 72 hours prior to their departure.

Visitors with symptoms of the Covid-19 respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or those travelling with someone who has similar symptoms are also tested at their own expense.

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, only 382,760 tourists visited the Maldives before the country closed its borders on March 27. It was a 40.8 per cent decline over the 646,092 that visited the Maldives from January to March last year.

Meanwhile, the government’s best case scenario now puts total tourist arrivals for 2020 just above 800,000. 

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 8,900.

Thirty-one deaths have been reported, while 6,559 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 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 were also shut.

Restaurants and cafes in the capital were 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 was also ordered.

The restrictions are now being eased in phases, with the third phase measures now active.

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