Visit Maldives kicks off first offline events in India post-reopening

After the closure of the borders and travel restrictions were imposed, Visit Maldives continued to maintain destination presence across the Indian market as part of the global crisis marketing strategy.

The very first offline events in India kicked off on Tuesday with a high level press conference followed by a roadshow in Indian capital New Delhi.

Maldives will also be showcased at the South Asia’s Travel & Tourism Exchange (SATTE) in Delhi from March 24-26.

Tourism minister Dr Abdulla Mausoom, Visit Maldives Managing Director Thoyyib Mohamed and Dr Hussain Niyaz, the Maldivian high commissioner in India are leading the Maldivian delegation.

The press conference titled, ‘Maldives: Media Meet” was held Tuesday and featured addresses by the heads of the Maldivian delegation. Latest updates from the Maldives and the tourism industry were shared at the press conference, which was attended by key travel trade and mainstream media from the Delhi region.

Key topics of interest from the angles of tourism, foreign policy and marketing were discussed. These included the success story of the Maldives tourism during the pandemic, India becoming the top source market and the marketing plan for India, as well as the travel bubble between India and Maldives.

Updates on the vaccination programme and other important information for travellers were also shared.

Prior to the press conference and roadshow, the Visit Maldives team team attended meetings with Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI), GoAir Airlines and Yatra to discuss collaborative efforts to promote the Maldives in the Indian market.

A meeting was also conducted with Thomas Cook during which the company remarked upon the success of the strategy during the pandemic and future marketing plans.

The press conference was shortly followed by the a dedicated roadshow, ‘Connect with Maldives, Your Safe Haven’, which targeted top travel trade of India.

The roadshow offered the opportunity for 11 companies from the Maldives tourism industry that participated at the event to connect with over 100 key travel trade partners from the Indian market to generate new business leads and engage in one-on-one networking opportunities.

From the overall destination perspective, a presentation highlighting destination information, key updates and travel information was given.

“The main marketing message communicated to the travel trade was that Maldives is one of the safest destinations to travel during this time due to the unique geographic isolation of the islands, the one island one resort together with the stringent health and safety protocols in place,” a statement issued by Visit Maldives read.

The event held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Delhi concluded with dinner and a raffle draw. Baglioni Resort Maldives and Adaaran Club Rannalhi sponsored the raffle prizes.

Maldives will take part in the South Asian Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) in Delhi from March 24-26. SATTE is one of the leading B2B travel exchange shows held in India.

A total of 22 participants from 13 companies along with officials from Visit Maldives will take part in the event.

During SATTE, participants will have the opportunity to showcase their products, network with various key industry stakeholders, generate new business leads and engage in B2B sessions.

“The event will help further develop and strengthen the presence of the Maldives in the Indian market. The fair is the first event since the pandemic in which the tourism community will physically gather, marking the event as a highly important occasion,” Visit Maldives said.

“The three-day event is expected to attract a large number of visitors from India. Based on figures from 2019 the fair had over 1,000 participants, representation from 50 different countries, 28 Indian states and 50 cities from across India.”

The Maldives will be showcased at a 72sqm stand designed to represent the beauty and the natural environment of the country.

An online quiz will be conducted on information regarding the Maldives and visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Maldives through touchless 360° virtual images and videos.

To increase visibility of Maldives at the fair, an outdoor banner in a prime location at the entrance of the fair will showcase the beauty of the Maldives throughout the event.

There are several activities ongoing and planned for the Indian market to promote Maldives as a safe haven due to the stringent measures in place and naturally socially distanced islands.

Visit Maldives is currently collaborating with WeddingSutra, Thomas Cook, and MakeMyTrip.

Visit Maldives has also conducted media and travel agents familiarisation trips from Indian market in order to sustain the destination presence and increase the arrival numbers.

Figures published by the tourism ministry rank India as the top source market for tourism in the Maldives. As of March 17, the Maldives welcomed a total of 243,979 travellers, including 57,965 tourists from India.

Visit Maldives plans to continue this momentum of growth by conducting several marketing activities in India.

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