Maldives on Thursday marked the arrival of the 500,000th tourist for the year.
The 500,000th tourist was identified at a momentous ceremony held at Velana International Airport jointly by the tourism ministry, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) and Maldives Immigration.
The 500,000th tourist, Kirstin Madeleine Nittke, arrived from Germany via Emirates.
On arrival, she was identified at the Immigration counter and greeted by a welcoming team. She was then presented with a sash and a flower garland.
She was ushered outside and taken onto a stage where senior officials from the tourism ministry, MMPRC, Immigration and MACL received her. On the stage, there was a festivity of Maldivian cultural activities including live Bodu Beru and Dhandi Jehun by local performers Bidhabin.
Dr Naushad Mohamed, the deputy tourism minister, handed over a special gift — a product from Maldives Wave and the Velaa series from Liyela Collection.
“Today we celebrate the arrival of 500,000 tourists. Surpassing this milestone in this challenging year in advance of the forecasted date is the result of combined efforts of tourism industry partners and the government. It is the result of HEP Solih’s timely decisions backed by the tourism industry partners’ determination to revive our tourism industry,” tourism minister Dr Abdulla Mausoom said.
“Thanks to travel and tourism industry partners, employees, and associations. I take this opportunity to convey heartfelt appreciation to the Health Protection Agency, health professionals, related government authorities, and volunteers for their hard work to brand the Maldives as a safe and secure destination to the international community. A very warm applause to the lovely Maldivians for this remarkable achievement. #TogetherWeCan.”
MMPRC Managing Director Thoyyib Mohamed also handed over a special gift, while similar gifts were given by Ibrahim Ashraf, the Deputy Controller of Immigration, and Gordon Andrew Stewart, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of MACL.
A holiday voucher of a seven-nights complimentary stay in an Island Villa on Full Board Basis at Coco Bodu Hithi was also handed over by Mohamed Shiham, the resort’s Operations Manager.
“Amid such a pandemic, it is a remarkable feat to keep on achieving such milestones,” MMPRC Managing Director Thoyyib Mohamed said.
“We welcomed the 100,000th visitor since the border reopening just a few days ago and today we are celebrating the arrival of the 500,000th visitor for the year. This is, indeed, the result of joint efforts by the entire tourism industry in both the public and private sector. I would like to congratulate everyone for their hard work in making this year such a successful one.”
This was followed by the presentation of a voucher for the first-of-its-kind Covid-19 insurance by Ahmed Shabiq, the General Manager of Allied Insurance.
“On this special occasion I would like to congratulate the 500,000th tourist of 2020 and everyone involved in the tourism industry for achieving this milestone. For decades, Maldives has been famous for its natural beauty and world-class hospitality attracting travellers from around the globe,” Controller General of Immigration Mohamed Ahmed Hussain said.
“Despite this global pandemic, we, the Maldives Immigration, dedicate our commitments and full support to harness the tourism industry and move forward to boost our economy.”
The event was held together with the support of industry and media partners, and it concluded with a group photo taken with the tourist alongside all the event partners, followed by a cultural performance.
It is anticipated that the country will reach peak arrival rates during the year of 2021, taking the rate up to 1.5 million tourist arrivals.
“We have great news from the Maldives. We have reached the 500,000th tourist arrival milestone and this is a remarkable achievement which we are all very proud of. So much effort has been put in place for this day and I can honestly say that Team Maldives did exceptionally well in promoting destination Maldives as a safe place to visit. We believe that we have contributed our part in maintaining our high safety standards at Velana International Airport and with our attractive incentive packages to our partner airlines,” Andrew Gordon Stewart, the CEO and Managing Director of MACL, said.
“I would like to continue to assure our guests that Velana International Airport will maintain its high standards of safety until vaccines are successfully administered. The Maldives has already earned international recognition as a great holiday destination and the future looks bright, in fact sunny. Every month our tourist arrivals are increasing, and this is very positive and encouraging, where tourism is the backbone of Maldives. I congratulate our lucky 500,000th tourist this year and I thank all stakeholders who have made the Maldives Dream come true.”
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 96 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.
Abdulla Wisam: A journey of excellence and growth in the Maldivian hospitality industry
In the heart of the stunning Maldives, where luxury resorts and crystal-clear waters come together to create a paradise on Earth, there are individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that every guest’s experience is nothing short of exceptional. One such individual is Abdulla Wisam, whose remarkable journey in the hospitality industry is a testament to his dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to providing the best possible service to guests.
Abdulla Wisam’s journey in the hospitality industry began right after completing his schooling. In 2003, he embarked on his professional career by joining Dhoveli Beach Resort & Spa, where he gained his first taste of the world of hospitality. It was here that he discovered his passion for creating memorable guest experiences and building relationships with visitors from around the world.
After his initial foray into the industry, Wisam’s career path continued to evolve. His dedication and hard work caught the attention of industry leaders, leading him to take on roles of increasing responsibility. His time at Meeru Island Resort saw him as an Outlet Cashier and Night Auditor, roles that allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the operational aspects of a resort.
Wisam’s determination and eagerness to learn led him to the iconic Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, where he started as a Recreation Attendant. Over time, he showcased his exceptional skills in guest relations and management, and he was promoted to the position of Front Office Supervisor. His journey with Four Seasons served as a stepping stone for what was to come next.
In 2014, Wisam joined the W Maldives, a resort known for its luxurious offerings and unparalleled guest experiences. Starting as a Welcome Team Leader, he quickly rose through the ranks due to his impeccable guest service skills and innate leadership abilities. His promotion to Guest Experience Manager was a testament to his ability to not only meet but exceed guest expectations. He was then transferred to The St. Regis Maldives as the Assistant Front Office Manager with the pre-opening team.
As his career trajectory continued its upward trajectory, Wisam took on the role of Front Office Manager at prestigious resorts such as Milaidhoo Island, Raffles Maldives, and The Standard Maldives. These roles allowed him to refine his management style, hone his problem-solving skills, and contribute to the overall success of each resort.
Wisam’s journey eventually led him to COMO Cocoa Island, a resort renowned for its unparalleled luxury and exquisite attention to detail. Joining as the Front Office Manager, he embraced the challenges and responsibilities that came with the position. His dedication, combined with his innate ability to create genuine connections with guests, led to his promotion as the Director of Rooms.
Wisam’s journey in the Maldivian hospitality industry is a remarkable tale of perseverance, growth, and a genuine passion for creating exceptional guest experiences. His diverse roles, spanning from recreation to guest experience management, have equipped him with a holistic understanding of the industry. His commitment to continuous improvement and dedication to delivering top-tier service have not only benefited the resorts he’s been a part of but have also contributed to elevating the reputation of Maldives as a premier luxury travel destination.
As Wisam continues to shape the guest experience landscape at COMO Cocoa Island, one can only imagine the heights he will reach and the impact he will make on the ever-evolving hospitality industry of the Maldives. His journey stands as an inspiration to aspiring hoteliers and a testament to the boundless opportunities that await those who are truly passionate about their craft.
A remarkable tale of wanderlust: Naito Takashi’s 103rd journey to the Maldives
The azure waters of the Maldives have long been a magnet for travelers seeking paradise on Earth. Among these wanderers, one name stands out – Naito Takashi, a Japanese tourist whose boundless enthusiasm for the Maldives has led him to visit this tropical haven a staggering 103 times. His unwavering love for this island nation, coupled with its mesmerizing beauty, has turned his visits into a remarkable testament to the allure of the Maldives.
For the past 24 years, Naito Takashi has visited Maldives between three to five times annually, embarking on a journey that has spanned more than two decades. His tale is one of dedication, passion, and a deep-rooted connection with the captivating landscapes that the Maldives offers. Each visit is not just a vacation; it’s a renewal of his profound relationship with the natural wonders that have captured his heart.
Naito Takashi’s 103rd arrival to the Maldives was met with a warm and heartfelt welcome from none other than the Tourism Minister himself, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom. This gesture symbolizes the deep appreciation the Maldivian people have for their loyal and devoted visitors. The ceremony held aboard the M/V Blue of the Fun Azul Fleet was a fitting tribute to a traveler who has become an honorary ambassador of the Maldives.
The M/V Blue, Fun Azul Fleet, holds special significance for Naito Takashi. As an avid diver, he has found his perfect companion in this cruise boat specialized in diving charters. The vessel offers schedules tailored to explore the best dive spots around the Maldives’ islands, making it an ideal partner for a diving enthusiast like Naito Takashi. The crystal-clear waters of the Maldives have witnessed countless underwater escapades orchestrated by this intrepid traveler.
The Maldives’ Ministry of Tourism has lauded Naito Takashi’s enduring passion for the nation’s beauty. Their tweet acknowledging his multiple visits serves as a testament to his unique and cherished relationship with the country. He has witnessed the ever-changing landscape of the Maldives, from its pristine beaches to its vibrant marine life, and has undoubtedly contributed to the thriving tourism industry.
Naito Takashi’s story also reflects the profound impact that travel can have on an individual’s life. His unwavering commitment to exploring the Maldives has not only enriched his own experiences but has also brought attention to the natural wonders of Maldives. It stands as a reminder that the act of traveling is not just about ticking off destinations from a bucket list; it’s about forming connections, fostering appreciation, and creating lasting memories.
As Naito Takashi continues his journey through the Maldives, his story resonates as an inspiration to fellow travelers and a tribute to the unyielding allure of this island paradise. His 103rd visit is not just a numerical milestone; it’s a celebration of an extraordinary bond between a traveler and a destination, a bond that has grown stronger with each passing year and promises to endure for years to come.
Amari Raaya Maldives opens its gates to paradise
In a grand celebration of luxury and nature’s wonders, Amari Raaya Maldives resort has officially opened its doors, welcoming its first guests to experience a slice of paradise in the Maldives. The exclusive event was attended by the resort’s management team, as well as Atul Chordia, Chairman of Panchshil Realty, the developer behind this magnificent project.
Nestled on a pristine natural island in the heart of the Maldives’ Raa Atoll, Amari Raaya promises to be a sanctuary for travelers seeking an unforgettable escape amidst the archipelago’s breathtaking beauty. From the moment guests arrived via Manta Air seaplane, they were greeted with warm hospitality and a taste of Maldivian culture, as they were presented with traditional cultural items and treated to mesmerizing Maldivian dances.
Atul Chordia, the visionary behind Panchshil Realty, and Yuthachai Charanachitta ONYX Hospitality Group’s CEO marked the official opening of the resort by cutting the ribbon, signifying the culmination of a labor of love and dedication to creating a unique haven for luxury travelers.
With 187 villas offering a variety of luxurious experiences, Amari Raaya ensures that every guest’s stay is truly exceptional. Visitors can choose from an array of accommodation options, including the Beach Villas, Beach Pool Villas, and interconnecting Family Beach Villas, perfect for creating cherished memories with loved ones.
For those seeking unparalleled luxury and seclusion, the Ocean Villas and Ocean Pool Villas provide panoramic views of the azure waters teeming with marine life. Sunset enthusiasts can revel in the breathtaking beauty of the Maldivian dusk from the privacy of their villas, opting for the Sunset Ocean Villas or Sunset Ocean Pool Villas, promising an unforgettable experience.
Amari Raaya Maldives goes beyond offering captivating villas; it has curated an extraordinary culinary journey for its guests. With eight distinct dining options, visitors can embark on a gastronomic adventure that caters to every palate. From the signature Amaya Food Gallery, serving famous street food and hawker delights, to the rooftop bar Ampers&nd, where guests can savor sunset snacks and cocktails, the resort promises to delight all epicureans. Poolside Italian favorites, freshly caught seafood infused with Maldivian and Asian flavors, and the fun and playful experience of enjoying mobile snacks and drinks served from a bus all add to the culinary magic of the resort.
In the evenings, guests can find a sense of community and immerse themselves in the local culture through live music, traditional Boduberu nights, and regular cultural events and festivities, making every moment at Amari Raaya Maldives an enriching and memorable one.
Amari Raaya Maldives is developed by Panchshil Realty, a name synonymous with excellence in luxury real estate in India. The resort is managed by Onyx Hospitality, renowned for its exceptional and personalized hospitality experiences.
With its official opening, Amari Raaya Maldives invites travelers from around the world to discover the allure of the Maldives in unparalleled comfort and style. As guests arrive at this oasis of luxury and natural splendor, they are sure to find themselves enchanted by the timeless beauty of the islands and immersed in an experience that will linger in their hearts forever.
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