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Maldives kicks off marketing campaigns in Middle East

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Visit Maldives has commenced campaigns with Wego, Sky News Arabia, and Al Rais Travel to promote the Maldives as a safe haven and most preferred destination of choice for Middle Eastern travellers.

From March 10 to June 19, Visit Maldives will collaborate with the acclaimed travel marketplace Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Maldives will be marketed and retargeted on all Wego platforms through both the website and their application.

Other tools include direct B2C emails to their vast customer base, articles, push notifications and several social media posts focusing on Maldives as a safe and preferred tourist destination.

Wego will also utilise search engine marketing and optimisation to increase direct traffic and engagement.

This campaign is expected to generate approximately 1.5 million online advertising impressions and aims to convert these impressions into bookings and interest for Maldives.

Visit Maldives has also initiated a campaign with Sky News Arabia on the April 3.

Sky News Arabia is a leading pan-Arab news organisation broadcasting 24/7 to over 570 million people across the Arabic-speaking world. With a free-to-air TV channel, audio platforms and social and digital channels, it is the home of breaking news, business, lifestyle, arts and culture.

Using Arabic language as medium, Sky News Arabia will create an informative segment on Maldives as a safe tourist destination on television and radio.

Digital banner advertisements featuring Maldives will also run on their website.

Sky News Arabia’s social platforms are the fastest growing news platforms in the region with an estimated digital and social reach of over 48 million. A total of 100,000+ impressions are to be generated through digital media for the Maldives campaign.

Visit Maldives has also just launched a marketing campaign with Al Rais today.

Al Rais Travel and Shipping is one of the largest independent travel agencies operating in UAE since 1977. They are also one of the top Maldivian holiday sellers in the region.

The campaign includes online promotions, competition campaigns, holiday packages and other additional contributions.

With a joint audience of more than 50,000 Instagram, Twitter and Facebook followers, the planned promotional social media activities will increase Maldives’ awareness as a safe and desirable travel destination amongst Emiratis.

The campaign ensures a strong conversation rate to generate interest and bookings for the destination.

In 2020, 26,288 tourists visited the Maldives from the Middle East, which represents a considerable drop from 2019’s figure of 60,003 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, core markets from the region were among the leading source markets to the Maldives post lockdown and continue to grow stronger day-by-day.

As the Maldives achieved the remarkable milestone of receiving 500,000 tourists amid an ongoing pandemic last year, the goal of reaching pre-pandemic arrival numbers from the Middle East shows consistent potential.

Maldives has witnessed record-breaking arrival figures in 2021 so far with an arrival figure of over 100,000 in March alone. As of April 13, Maldives has welcomed a total of 339,962 visitors.

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 initiated the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine, and the government aims to provide a free vaccine to all citizens and residents of Maldives in the upcoming months.

The tourism ministry also launched an initiative to vaccinate people in the tourism sector to develop an even safer scenario for the industry.

As of March 31, 237,716 people have received the vaccine including 17,516 frontline workers in the tourism 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.

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CROSSROADS Maldives Introduces Weixin Pay at resorts for seamless guest experience

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CROSSROADS Maldives has introduced WeChat Pay, widely known as Weixin Pay in China, across its world-class resorts, SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives. This payment option is made available to enhance the convenience and overall experience for guests from China, making their stay in the Maldives more enjoyable and hassle-free.

Understanding the needs of the diverse guests, CROSSROADS Maldives has integrated WeChat Pay into operations, allowing guests from China to easily and securely conduct transactions using a payment method familiar to them. The introduction of WeChat Pay is a testament to CROSSROADS Maldives’ dedication to enhancing guest satisfaction by offering exceptional experiences at every turn. What is also expected through this initiative is that the guests could benefit from better foreign exchange rates, translating to better savings on their expenditures during their stay.

The option is available for guests in-house conveniently at both resorts as well as across the Marina at CROSSROADS Maldives where a wider variety of unparalleled dining and retail experiences are available for all guests. The day visitors from China will also therefore equally benefit from this new introduction at the Maldives’ premier multi-island integrated leisure destination.

SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, is a vibrant tropical escape that offers unique and locally inspired experiences. The resort features spacious rooms and villas, a variety of dining options, and an array of recreational activities designed to cater to the desires of modern travellers. Guests can escape to the island’s SAiisational natural beauty, enjoy water sports, and indulge in spa treatments, all while relishing the personalised service that defines Hilton’s Curio Collection.

Hard Rock Hotel Maldives brings the iconic Hard Rock spirit to the tranquil shores of the Maldives. This family-friendly resort offers a perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment, featuring music-inspired experiences, live performances, and the brand’s signature amenities. With luxurious accommodations, diverse dining options, and a plethora of activities for all ages, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives ensures an unforgettable holiday experience for every guest.

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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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