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Visit Maldives hosts first post-reopening physical destination presence at MITT

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Visit Maldives is taking part in Moscow International Travel Trade Show (MITT), making it the first physical destination presence since the border reopening mid last year.

Held from March 16-18 in Russian capital Moscow, MITT is the place where destinations and travel trade professionals from all over the world meet travel agents and tour operators from Russia and CIS region.

Twenty-three representatives from 12 industry stakeholders are taking part in the fair along with the Visit Maldives team.

“The purpose of taking part in this three-day fair is to maintain and strengthen the destination presence in the Russian market and establish Maldives as the top of the mind destination for Russian travellers. Russian market has been one of the top performing markets since the reopening of Maldives border to international travellers on July 15, 2020,” a statement issued by Visit Maldives read.

“Visit Maldives aims to achieve targeted growth for various tourism products and enable a platform for industry partners to present their products to the market.”

Visit Maldives along with industry partners are presenting the products and the unique experiences available in the Maldives at a 148.6sqm dedicated destination stand in Pavilion 1.4.

The unique geographical formation of the islands is being highlighted in the Maldives stand through the use of pictures, 360° virtual images and videos. Videos are displayed at a stand via a touchless sensor, assuring the visitors that Maldives is one of the safest destinations to travel and the destination fits today’s traveller’s needs.

A raffle is conducted together with the organisers of MITT and at the end of the event a lucky winner will get a complementary holiday in the Maldives. The raffle is sponsored by Reethi Beach Resort for five nights for two persons.

“MITT provides the opportunity to meet and update the travel trade in Russia with the latest information on Maldives, including but not limited to the stringent health and safety measures put in place to combat the spread of Covid-19,” Visit Maldives said.

“In addition, the fair offers the opportunity to gain new partners and clients among visitors representing the travel trade and maintain present relationships.”

In 2019, MITT saw the participation of 22,289 travel professionals, as well as 1,523 exhibitors from over 200 countries.

In order to attract more visitors to the Maldives stand and increase brand visibility, a banner is placed in a prime location at the main entrance showcasing the beauty of the destination.

Coinciding with MITT, Visit Maldives will host roadshows in four Russian cities from March 21-26. The roadshows will be held in Moscow, Kazan, Saint Petersburg and Ekaterinburg.

Along with Visit Maldives, 20 companies with 34 participants will take part in the roadshow to further strengthen the destination presence and relationship with trade partners.

The Russian market is currently one of the top performing source markets, with 40,698 visiting the Maldives from the Russian region so far in 2021.

Four daily flights connect Russia and the Maldives with direct connections offered by Russia’s flag carrier, Aeroflot.

Several initiatives are underway to market the destination in Russia. High impact campaigns such as media familiarisation trips have been conducted earlier this year, with more planned for the upcoming months.

Visit Maldives is also conducting a global campaign targeting Russia in collaboration with Expedia. The collaboration with Expedia is one of the many high-impact global campaigns planned for the year.

Visit Maldives is currently carrying an educational and training program targeted to the Russian travel trade with Association of Tour Operators in Russia (ATOR).

Maldives reopened its borders for tourists of all nationalities on July 15, 2020, with rigorous procedures in place to ensure the safety of tourists and tourism workers.

Tourists are required to fill an online health declaration form within 24 hours prior to their departure, as well as have a negative PCR test result, conducted 96 hours prior to their departure.

On February 1, Maldives launched its vaccination programme, and the government aims to provide free Covid-19 vaccine to all citizens and residents of Maldives.

The tourism ministry has also launched an initiative to inoculate tourism workers to develop an even safer scenario for the industry.

“The initiation of the vaccination drive is bound to offer hope to the local population, as well as ensure the safety of tourists. This conveys the message that Maldives is a low-risk destination for travellers and will hopefully generate a surge in tourist arrivals,” Visit Maldives said.

According to data published by the tourism ministry, the Maldives has welcomed 200,871 tourists so far this year.

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Pulse Hotels & Resorts unveils new residential project: The Coral Residences, Kandima

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Pulse Hotels & Resorts, one of the leading innovators in Maldives tourism, has introduced The Coral Residences, Kandima. Nestled on the northern end of the lush and green three-kilometre-long Kandima Integrated Island Resort in Dhaalu Atoll, this residential development is a first of its kind and promises to redefine luxury living in the Maldives.

Designed and crafted with meticulous attention to detail, The Coral Residences, Kandima, is a unique, integrated beachfront residential community with exceptional 5-star service, situated in the shimmering blue heart of the Maldives.

The Coral Residences comprises of 40 exquisitely designed two bedroom and three bedroom apartments. All apartments feature contemporary design and chic interiors, high-end finishes, state-of-the-art appliances, and unobstructed panoramic sea views across the Indian Ocean. Residence owners will enjoy exclusive access to a host of premium facilities, including a private beachfront pool, a gourmet restaurant and bar, dedicated fitness and recreation facilities and a 24-hour concierge service.

Buyers of The Coral Residences will be able to own their apartments under the new strata title ownership program. Owners’ apartments will be part a rental program, managed by Pulse Hotels & Resorts. Residents will have the access to the full range Kandima’s 5-star resort services, including its restaurants and bars, spa, recreation, and other amenities to complement their lifestyle. With its emphasis on comfort, convenience, and community, this development offers a truly elevated living experience.

“We are thrilled to introduce The Coral Residences, Kandima, to discerning local and international buyers,” said Sanjay Maniku, Managing Director of Pulse Hotels & Resorts. “With its unparalleled design and amenities, homeowners can take advantage of a limitless world of activities and experiences on offer at Kandima. We believe this development will set a new standard for luxury living in the Maldives, as well as bringing a new definition to the Maldives family vacation.”

The Coral Residences is realised by Pulse Hotels & Resorts, the creators behind The Nautilus Maldives, Kandima Maldives, and Nova Maldives. Known for their innovative hospitality concepts, Pulse Hotels & Resorts ensures that each property offers exceptional experiences and world-class service. The development has commenced and is expected to complete within Q3, 2025.

For more information, high-resolution images, and to schedule a private viewing, please contact Aishath Ihuma, Director of Business Development at +960 7788986 or aishath.ihuma@coralresidencesmaldives.com.

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Weixin Pay supported to boost Chinese tourists to Maldives

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On May 27, Zihuny Rasheed, Deputy Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC/Visit Maldives), and Etienne Ng, Weixin Pay’s Country Manager, Singapore and Regional Director, Southeast Asia, WeChat Pay, signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during ITB China 2024, pledging to support more Maldivian merchants to accept WeixinPay to provide Chinese tourists with a convenient payment experience. Visit Maldives is the Official Destination Partner for this year’s edition of ITB China.

“China is a key source of tourists for the Maldives, and we greatly value the experience of Chinese visitors,” said DMD Zihuny Rasheed. “We plan on promoting the acceptance of Weixin Pay throughout the country, offering Chinese tourists the payment option they are familiar with and prefer. I have used Weixin Pay during my visit to China via linking an international card, and I can attest to the convenience of the mobile payment option.”

Ibrahim Faisal, Minister of Tourism of the Maldives, expressed his support, “Excited that we’re introducing Weixin Pay for Chinese visitors, which is another step in establishing Maldives as their top destination. Now, it’s easier than ever for Chinese travellers to enjoy their stay, hassle-free. We look forward to further enhancing their experience,” he wrote.

According to Etienne Ng, Weixin Pay is currently being piloted at the country’s airport duty-free store, as well as in popular restaurants like Sala Thai and City Garden. Additionally, a range of hotels and resorts are participating including, JEN Maldives Malé by Shangri-La, Adaaran Select HudhuranFushi, Adaaran Club Rannalhi, Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Adaaran Prestige Water Villas, Velaa Private Island, Cheval Blanc Randheli Private Island, Dhawa Ihuru Maldives, Ayada Maldives, Marriott Bonvoy, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and Angsana Velavaru in Maldives with strong support from the Bank of Maldives and local merchants. Making smooth progress, the initiative is expected to have 8,000 merchants nationwide that integrate the payment option.

“Weixin Pay is committed to providing users with safe and convenient payment services. Since the visa exemption policy was implemented, more and more Weixin Pay users have chosen to travel to the island country. Through our cooperation with Visit Maldives, we aim to provide Chinese users with the same convenient experience in the travel as they experience at home,” he said.

In February 2023, an Agreement on Mutual Exemption of Visa Requirements signed between the Maldives and China took effect as China expands its visa-free policy to benefit more countries. Consequently, the Maldives has consistently ranked among the top overseas destinations for Chinese tourists during popular travel periods such as the May Day and National Day holidays.

According to data from Visit Maldives, the country welcomed over 1.8 million tourists in 2023, a new national record. The Chinese market has been a key source market for the Maldives. As of 11th May 2024, it is the number one source market with 91,073 tourist arrivals.

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Indian influencer Niki Mehra in Maldives

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Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/ Visit Maldives) hosted a familiarisation trip with Amilla Maldives for high-end influencer, Niki Mehra, from India to experience the luxury and romantic offerings of the Maldives from 3rd – 6th May 2024.

The familiarisation trip was a great opportunity to Niki Mehra, a renowned Indian model, fashion, beauty and travel content creator and social media influencer with over half a million followers who has carved a niche in the Indian fashion industry with her unique sense of style. During her time in the Sunny Side of Life, Niki Mehra showcased luxury to romantic experiences of the destination.

The trip promoted Maldives through social media platforms of Niki Mehra while highlighting experiential itinerary offerings of the Maldives. Additionally, the influencer trip assisted MMPRC in propelling growth in the luxury travel segment and honeymoon market by showcasing the Maldives as a premier honeymoon destination for the Indian travellers.

The Indian market has been a strong market for the Maldives over the years, currently ranked number 6 with 46,970 tourists as of 13th May 2024. Additionally, MMPRC showcased the Maldives in OTM and SATTE held earlier this year. MMPRC is committed to boosting the arrivals from the market and has exciting marketing activities planned for future, including joint campaigns, familiarisation trips, participation in major events and other campaigns which provides numerous opportunities to showcase the breathtaking Maldives to the market, attracting more Indian travellers.

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