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Visit Maldives hosts joint webinar with Expedia for US market

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Visit Maldives has hosted a joint webinar with Expedia for the Travel Agent Affiliate Programme (TAAP) targeting the United States market.

The B2B (business-to-business) webinar provided the latest destination updates, information on products and experiences, and promoted the Maldives as a ‘safe haven’ for the travellers.

The objective was to deliver the latest destination information to the travel trade and to maintain the momentum of arrivals from the US market and achieve pre-pandemic arrival figures.

TAAP is a programme launched by Expedia through which agents in the US can access Expedia’s global inventory and earn commissions on hotels, dynamic packages and activities.

The 45-minute webinar session educated the agents on Maldives as a popular and safe tourist destination to ensure that the agents can promote the correct strategy and messaging for their clients. Over 390 agents registered for this event.

The presentation focused on individual products and experiences of Maldives with a focus on the unique geography of the destination and the safety provided by the natural socially-distanced scattered islands and the one-island-one-resort concept.

The presentation also showcased experiences unique to the destination such as underwater spas and restaurants.

In addition, information regarding the Covid-19 situation in Maldives, entry requirements as well as the latest travel guidelines will be presented during the webinar.

It was highlighted that the Maldives achieved ‘Safe Travel Stamp’ in 2020 from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and Velana International Airport health accreditation as a recognition of the stringent measures in place.

Details on local initiatives such as the Maldives Border Miles programme was briefly discussed in the webinar as well as the latest ‘I’m Vaccinated’ campaign initiated by the tourism ministry and Visit Maldives.

Further details were shared on the vaccination drive in Maldives such as the objective to make Maldives the destination with the first fully vaccinated tourism industry, vaccinated figures, and future plans.

The webinar concluded with a Q&A session where participants voiced various queries. These included questions regarding the ‘I’m Vaccinated’ campaign, PCR testing, entry requirements for vaccinated tourists, and vaccination status of resort staff.

This initiative served to increase the destination knowledge of attendees which, along with the increased connectivity, would drive more tourists from the market to Maldives.

As of May 12, the US is ranked as the sixth top source market to the Maldives with an arrival figure of 13,446 and a market share of 3.6 per cent.

While there is a decrease due to the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, the market holds great potential for the Maldives and plays an instrumental role in achieving pre-pandemic arrival figures.

As the US is one of the target markets for Maldives, Visit Maldives is constantly conducting marketing activities for this market.

Activities planned for the US market include destination training and webinars, group media familiarisation trips, roadshows, media events, visibility campaigns and joint campaigns with stakeholders.

Business

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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Waste Management Corporation (WAMCO) Marks a Significant Step Towards Transforming Urban Waste Management

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Waste Management Corporation (WAMCO) marked a significant step towards plastic waste management with the adoption of dedicated vehicles handed over to boost this transformation of urban waste management supported by The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Maldives.  

In March 2024, UNDP Maldives officially handed over a fleet of six vehicles to WAMCO, which included two electric vehicles (EVs), as part of an initiative aimed at enhancing waste management across the Greater Male’ Area (GMA). This acquisition, facilitated through the financial support of TCCF paves the way for a crucial advancement in bolstering PET collection efforts and tackling the challenge of plastic waste in the Maldives.

“This initiative marks a significant step towards boosting recycling rates and combating environmental pollution in the Maldives,” stated Pek Chuan Gan, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Maldives speaking at the handover ceremony. “Integrating electric vehicles into WAMCO’s fleet and improving PET recycling processes not only lowers carbon emissions but also pioneers renewable energy use in waste management. It’s a vital move for steering the Maldives towards a sustainable and renewable-powered future.”

The provision of electric vehicles marks a continuation of UNDP Maldives’ support to the Government’s vision to introduce renewable energy in key sectors such as waste management that significantly contribute to the country’s renewable energy transition ambition. By embracing clean energy solutions, such as electric vehicles in waste management practices, the Maldives can further reduce its carbon footprint and move closer to achieving its renewable energy goals.

“Utilizing eco-friendly vehicles is a pivotal change for WAMCO, signifying a major leap towards modernizing waste management in the Maldives,” remarked Mujthaba Jaleel, Managing Director, from WAMCO. “This collaboration highlights the shared commitment to environmental stewardship and the potential for such partnerships to catalyse meaningful progress in sustainability and about the positive impact these vehicles will have on our operations and the environment.”

Representatives from UNDP Maldives, WAMCO, and The Coca-Cola Foundation’s unified efforts towards a sustainable future. Photo courtesy: CIAO Advertising.

“Our commitment goes beyond just recycling; it’s about fostering a culture of sustainability,” remarked Saadia Madsbjerg, President, Coca‑Cola Foundation and VP Community Affairs. “By enhancing waste management in the Maldives, we aspire to set a benchmark for environmental stewardship.”

For The Coca-Cola Foundation, together with the stakeholders, the aim is to propel Maldives towards a future where plastic circularity is not just envisioned but actively pursued. By channelling resources and expertise into the heart of waste management, TCCF has made a sizeable contribution in enhancing and attracting investment to this crucial sector in the Maldives. This initiative is a testament to TCCF’s commitment to fostering sustainable practices and promoting the reuse and recycling of plastics, thereby reducing environmental impact, and paving the way for a circular economy.

The fleet handover event held on March 18, 2024, served as a celebration of collaboration in waste management. Representatives from UNDP Maldives, WAMCO, The Coca-Cola Foundation, government officials, and stakeholders came together to mark this significant step and reinforced their collective dedication to building a more sustainable future for the Maldives.

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