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Visit Maldives begins year-long campaign with Connoisseur Circle for German markets

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Visit Maldives has commenced a year-long campaign with Connoisseur Circle, an exclusive magazine for luxury hotels and destinations worldwide targeting an elite audience of travel enthusiasts in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

The campaign will use a multitude of platforms in both the online and offline channels of the publication in order to promote the Maldives as a safe haven and uplift the destination presence for the luxury market.

The components of the campaign are distributed throughout the year which includes, advertorials in the print magazine, editorial stories in e-magazines, posts and promotional clips on social media, website banner display and features in newsletters.

Maldives is also nominated as the Best Luxury Destination for the Year by the Hospitality Awards organised by Connoisseur Circle.

Over 30,000 consumers are reached through the online channels with 43,500 users on their social media platforms. Additionally, 47,000 copies in Germany, 9,000 copies in Switzerland and 25,000 copies in Austria are circulated reaching many high-income earners.

A total of 7,386 visitors from Germany, 5,189 from Switzerland and 2,235 from Austria have arrived in the Maldives by the end of February.

Though these figures are low compared to figures of 2020 due to ongoing travel restrictions, their market contributions are significant, with Germany holding a market ranking of seven, whereas Switzerland and Austria rank at 10 and 13 respectively.

The campaign with Connoisseur Circle is part of Visit Maldives’ strategy in promoting the Maldives to the German speaking markets through ambient advertising along with usage of German language on social media platforms.

Similarly, several campaigns are underway to further promote the destination in these markets. These include several B2B and B2C activities like Joint promotions with Airlines and Tour Operators, destination training and several more collaborations with media and key stakeholders in the market.

Visit Maldives also participated in ITB Berlin held this March, one of the leading travel and trade shows in the world. Throughout the four-day virtual fair, a variety of networking events were carried out and provided a platform to strengthen destination presence and promote the Maldives as a safe haven.

Despite the global pandemic, Maldives welcomed a total of 555,494 travellers in 2020, and over 190,000 travellers in the January-February period this year.

Among the many activities planned for the remainder of the year includes, social media campaigns, joint marketing campaigns with global stakeholders, familiarisation trips and visibility campaigns.

Several marketing activities and strategies have also been shifted to digital platforms in order to promote the destination while adapting to the evolving situation.

Administration of Covid-19 vaccine was initiated on February 1 with the government of Maldives aiming to provide free Covid-19 vaccines to all citizens and residents in the upcoming months.

As of April 15, 277،522 people in the Maldives have received the first dose of the vaccine with 34,531 receiving the second dose. About 90 per cent of the workers in the tourism industry have also been administered the first dose of the vaccine.

The initiation of the vaccination drive is bound to offer hope to the local population, as well as ensure the safety of tourists.

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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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130 hotels in The Prestige Collection with 4 Maldives properties

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The Prestige Collection has reached 130 hotels in its portfolio, continuing to uphold quality and excellence as core pillars. It represents the most exclusive selection within Keytel, the world’s first alliance of independent hotels.

Since its establishment in 2007, The Prestige Collection has been dedicated to meeting the growing demand for luxury hotels, becoming a reference for hospitality industry specialists. Despite its focus on independent hotels, the collection has successfully attracted prestigious properties from international luxury chains such as Rosewood Villa Magna, Mandarín Oriental Ritz Madrid, and Fairmont Mayakoba in Riviera Maya. These hotels view The Prestige Collection as a complement to their commercial strategy for attracting luxury clientele.

With a prominent presence both nationally and internationally across 36 countries, The Prestige Collection shines in with four distinguished resorts: Baglioni Resort Maldives, Diamonds Athuruga Maldives Resort & Spa, Diamonds Thudufushi Maldives Resort & Spa, and Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa. Internationally, the collection boasts emblematic properties like Armani Dubai, Café Royal in London, The Pierre in New York, and Kappa Senses in Ubud, Bali, among others.

The collection categorises hotels into four distinctive categories, highlighting ideal places to disconnect, properties in vibrant urban settings, coastal options for those seeking serenity, and unique experiences for those seeking singularity.

Furthermore, this milestone coincides with the relaunch of its new experiential website platform. This platform offers users and industry professionals the opportunity to explore the collection in greater detail and drives qualified traffic to the official websites of member hotels.

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