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Visit Maldives, National Geographic Traveller hosts photo exhibition in Russia

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Visit Maldives has collaborated with National Geographic Traveller Russia for a physical photo exhibition in two major cities of Russia, in a bid to promote the Maldives as a top of the mind safe haven destination in the Russian market.

The physical exhibition is held from June 16-30 in Moscow followed by an exhibition in St. Petersburg.

The exhibit in Moscow is held at Tverskoy Boulevard, one of the main streets in Moscow with high daily traffic.

The exhibit in St. Petersburg will be held in Kirov Central Park, a dynamically developing cultural and recreational space, suitable for audiences of different age groups and interests.

As the exhibits are held during summer, it is estimated to attract a total of three to five million people.

The exhibition will feature photos showcasing the breathtaking natural scenery of Maldives and the local island lifestyle.

The photos highlight the four Maldives tourism products and the unique variety of experiences offered in Maldives such as diving with whale sharks, flying aboard a seaplane and surfing the majestic waves of Maldives.

The photographs also represent the Maldives as a safe haven destination due to the unique geography and the natural socially-distanced islands of Maldives.

In addition to the physical exhibit, materials of the exhibition will be featured and published by the Russian National Geographic website, National Geographic social media handles and a virtual photo exhibition.

Three articles will be written in connection with the exhibit and the project will also be supported on Facebook, VK and Telegram.

An estimated total of five million will be reached digitally.

The exhibition is held following the Visit Maldives’ invitation of a renowned photographer, Ivan Dementievsky, earlier this year in March. Some photographs by local photographers will also be featured in the exhibition.

Visit Maldives aims to promote and highlight the culture, traditions, heritage and the local island experience of Maldives.

Several initiatives are underway to market the destination in Russia. In this regard, high impact campaigns on both offline and online platforms are in the pipeline for the market with several more collaborations with media and key stakeholders in the market.

Several initiatives have been conducted and are underway to market the destination in the Russian market.

Visit Maldives attended MITT 2021, the largest travel trade show in Russia, held in March 2021. Notably, Maldives won ‘Best Island Presentation’ and ‘Bright Exhibiting Award’ during this fair.

Visit Maldives also hosted a roadshow in four major Russian cities to promote Maldives as the most preferred holiday destination for Russian travellers.

Similarly, Visit Maldives also took part in Moscow Dive Show to promote the dive segment and also joined Russia’s popular Luxury Travel Mart 2021 (LTM) in April 2021.

Visit Maldives has previously hosted a TV crew from Moya Planeta, a top TV channel in Russia with the broadcast of the episode shot in Maldives scheduled to air this month.

Several media familiarisation trips have been conducted during the first quarter of this year targeting Russia & CIS region. Visit Maldives invited a group of journalists to experience the offers of the destination in May 2021 as well.

In addition, Visit Maldives is conducting a global campaign targeting Russia in collaboration with Expedia. The collaboration with Expedia is one of the many impactful global campaigns planned for the year.

Visit Maldives has carried out an educational and training programme targeted to the Russian travel trade with Association of Tour Operators in Russia (ATOR).

Russia is the largest source market of tourist arrivals to the Maldives. As of June 2, Maldives have welcomed a total of 107,102.

With direct fight connectivity between Russia and Maldives through Aerofot and ease of travel guidelines to Maldives, the Russian market plays an incremental role in achieving pre-pandemic arrival figures.

Maldives has welcomed a total of 479,597 travellers so far in 2021.

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

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

Visit Maldives together with the tourism ministry launched the “I’m Vaccinated” campaign in order to share a positive message regarding the vaccination of staff working in the tourism sector as well as promoting the initiatives undertaken to ensure the Maldives remains one of the safest destinations in the world for travellers.

The ultimate target is to make Maldives the destination with the first fully vaccinated tourism sector in the world.

Business

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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