Maldives Promotion House – The famous island NGO, Tiny Island Volunteers has taken another major step in helping the local island communities in Maldives. They have launched their Ocean Ambassador program, a program aimed at helping the youth from these tiny scattered islands of Maldives to become professional divers.
Tiny Island Volunteers aim to sponsor community members to become dive instructors while also enabling them to learn a greater knowledge of the ocean and the Maldivian reefs. According to the team they hope the participants, or the Ocean Ambassadors will be able to in turn help promote conservation within their own communities.
“The island communities are in a way isolated and they don’t usually have the opportunities that everyone else living in the capital city Malé has. So we’re trying to give them something that they can use both to develop their careers as well as to create awareness among their own communities about conservation,” CEO of Tiny Island Volunteers, Hana Thompson said.
According to TIV, the funds from their volunteer program will be used to train the Ocean Ambassadors. The program is currently focusing on participants who are native to the islands apart from the city, due to the lack of opportunities and dive schools in those islands. The trainees will also get the opportunity to work alongside the volunteers and will be trained by Lazy Gecko, a dive school based in Noonu Atoll Velidhoo.
“For every three volunteers that we bring in we will be able to train one Ocean Ambassador. So this program has a lot of potential to expand. As we are working with Lazy Gecko, our capacity is a little bit limited. But since the open water course isn’t such a long course we will be able to continuously take in participants. We already have two Ocean Ambassador students, Ahmed Ibrahim and Abdulla Jalaal, both residents of Velidhoo,” Hana added.
During this year’s World Travel Market, Tiny Island Volunteers also won the first ever Responsible Tourism Award, the Highly Commended award as the Best Volunteering Organisation in Maldives, for organising volunteers to help island communities in need across Maldives.
Initially geared towards bringing in foreign volunteers for the islands, Tiny Island Volunteers is also involved in marine conservation in Maldives, especially the conservation of sea turtles. They also run Tiny Island Conservation which is their Maldivian NGO. The conservation works in collaboration with other island NGOs like Naifaru Juvenile and Velidhoo Future Foundation.
“The judges were impressed by the range of activities which a relatively small organisation like Tiny Islands is able to support in the Maldives and the way in which a different form of tourism is being used to bring opportunities and development to the less developed islands,” The Managing Director of Responsible Tourism, Justin Francis said.
JA Resorts & Hotels welcomes Khumar Askerova as Director of Sales and Marketing for the Indian Ocean
JA Resorts & Hotels has announced the appointment of Khumar Askerova as the new Director of Sales and Marketing for the Indian Ocean region. Khumar brings with her an impressive 25 years of experience in sales and marketing within the hospitality industry, and a key appointment to the regional team.
The appointment will see Khumar overseeing sales for the company’s Indian Ocean flagship property JA Manafaru in the Maldives and two properties in the Seychelles, the boutique JA Enchanted Island and luxury villa residencies at JA Enchanted Waterfront.
Khumar is a seasoned sales specialist with a diverse background in the hospitality sector. Fluent in English, native in Russian and Azerbaijani, with a good command of Portuguese and Turkish, Khumar’s multilingual skills underscore her ability to connect with a global audience.
Khumar’s most recent role as the Regional Director of Sales & Marketing at COMO Hotels saw her successfully manage a portfolio of key partners, and her expertise extends to new hotel openings, where she has played pivotal roles in the launch and success of four upper-scale Marriott hotels.
Additional Maldivian experience was gained whilst Khumar was Group Director of Sales & Marketing at Lily Beach Hotels also in the Maldives, where she led a cluster team, overseeing sales, reservations, marketing, and revenue for two islands in the Maldives.
Robert El Khoury, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at JA Resorts & Hotels comments, “We are confident that Khumar’s wealth of experience, strategic vision, and leadership qualities will contribute to the ongoing success and growth of our unique properties in the Indian Ocean. We warmly welcome her to our team and look forward to further developing our international presence with Khumar’s global expertise.”
Khumar holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from Baku State University. She has also obtained certificates in Executive Revenue Management & Strategic Pricing from the Institute of Hotel Management and eCornell Hotel Revenue Management Certificate.
JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa promotes Mohit Dembla to General Manager
JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, renowned as a haven for families and multigenerational travel, has announced the promotion of Mohit Dembla to the position of General Manager.
Mohit Dembla, a seasoned hotelier with extensive experience in the hospitality industry, began his career with The Oberoi Group and later contributed his expertise to prestigious brands including Taj Hotels, Kempinski Hotels, and Minor International across India, the Seychelles, and the Maldives. In 2014, Mohit joined Marriott International as Complex Front Office Manager at Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre and Courtyard by Marriott Hyderabad. His journey with Marriott International continued in 2018, when he joined JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa as Resort Manager for the grand opening.
Through his tenure at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, Mohit has played a key role in developing and implementing strategies that set the tone for the resort’s success. His dedication, leadership, and commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences have been integral to the resort’s growth. Demonstrating exceptional managerial skills, he has overseen day-to-day operations and made significant contributions to the resort. His promotion to General Manager is a recognition of his outstanding performance, vision, and ability to lead the team in a dynamic and competitive industry.
Mohit’s leadership centers on fostering a people-first culture, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and teamwork throughout all departments, which has contributed to the resort’s success, consistently delivering exceptional experiences to valued guests.
As General Manager, Mohit Dembla will continue to prioritize teamwork, excellence, innovation, and guest satisfaction. He expressed his gratitude, stating, “I am honored to take on the role of General Manager at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa. This resort holds a special place in my heart, and I look forward to continuing my journey here with an exceptional team, crafting unforgettable moments for our guests.”
THE OZEN COLLECTION welcomes new General Managers: Elisabeth Alleyne at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO and Monica Coppetta at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI
Elisabeth Alleyne and Monica Coppetta, join as the General Managers at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO and OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, respectively, continuing with the progressive brand’s tradition of women leading the resorts.
THE OZEN COLLECTION, an exceptional hospitality brand by Atmosphere Core, is thrilled to announce the appointment of two new General Managers: Elisabeth Alleyne at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO, effective from October 2023, and Monica Coppetta at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, effective from November 2023. In their new roles, these two veteran leaders will continue to build upon the strong brand foundation of REFINED ELEGANCE, positioning their respective resorts as the destination of choice for sophisticated global travelers.
Elisabeth Alleyne, a Swedish-Barbadian National, brings over two decades of diverse hospitality experience across Europe, the Caribbean, and in leading luxury cruise liners. A passionate leader, Elisabeth is adept at running smooth operations, regardless of the size of the property. She will play a pivotal role as the General Manager of OZEN LIFE MAADHOO, and says, “My leadership style involves inspiring colleagues with creativity, innovation, and dedication, ensuring opportunities for skill building, internal promotions, and professional development. I will always be hands-on and visible in operations, making sure our guests have an unforgettable visit.”
Italian hotelier Monica Coppetta possesses a strong business acumen, a drive for results, and the ability to articulate luxury, having worked in global boutique and luxury environments for over two decades. With a proven track record in delivering results, whether from the perspective of profit, process, or people, Monica is a perfect fit for the role of General Manager at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI. She states, “I like to connect emotionally with my team, inspiring them to bring their best every day. Creating an inclusive work environment is very important to me, one where women – and all colleagues – are heard, cared for, and have equal opportunities.”
From the very beginning, influential female leaders have shaped the brand. Women are integral to the workforce at THE OZEN COLLECTION, and both properties have always had women General Managers. This appointment further adds to the stellar female senior leadership already in place at Atmosphere Core.
“We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion across the company’s portfolio of three brands and eight resorts. And I am delighted to welcome the two talented and dedicated hoteliers, Elisabeth Alleyne and Monica Coppetta to our team.” says Ashwin Handa, the Senior Vice President of Operations at Atmosphere Core.
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