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Visit Maldives hosts marketing activities in South Korean market

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The South Korean market holds the position as an important market to Maldivian tourism. Prior to the pandemic, South Korea was an emerging top source market in terms of arrivals to the Maldives.

In 2019, Maldives recorded 36,609 arrivals from South Korea ranking the market as the 12th top source market to Maldives.

The nation is currently experiencing a decline in Covid-19 cases and is in the process of easing travel restrictions. Furthermore, vaccination began in February and fully-vaccinated South Koreans are exempted from the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon re-entry into South Korea.

Despite travel restrictions, Visit Maldives continued to maintain destination presence and promote Maldives as a safe haven across the South Korean market as part of the global crisis marketing strategy.

As the market recovers, Visit Maldives aims to ensure that Maldives is the top of the mind destination for South Koreans to travel to after Covid-19.

During April, Visit Maldives launched a successful webinar and virtual roadshow for the South Korean market to educate the South Korean travel trade on the latest information regarding Maldives, establish strong relationships with travel trade, and promote Maldives as one of the safest and most preferred destinations in the world.

During the webinar and roadshow, the unique products and experiences of Maldivian tourism was highlighted as well as the safety provided by the natural socially-distanced geography of Maldives and the one-island-one resort concept.

Visit Maldives has also launched a digital media marketing campaign for the South Korean Market this March to position the Maldives as the leading travel destination through Naver, Kakao Talk, Facebook and Instagram – digital platforms that are increasingly popular in the South Korean market.

The most recent campaign launched targeting the South Korean market is a six-month long outdoor campaign to increase brand visibility. Throughout this campaign, alluring images and videos of Maldives will be showcased in prominent locations in the capital of South Korea.

Under this campaign, Maldives will be promoted in Subway screen doors of four major stations and in COEX digital media tunnel. The advertisements placed in Subway screen doors will reach a diverse range of classes and age-groups and they will be exposed to the advertisements for a relatively lengthy-period due to waiting times in the subway station.

COEX digital tunnel is situated in the largest commercial district of Gangnam and the video advertisements will reach an incredibly diverse audience. The advertisements in digital media tunnels and subway screen doors are estimated to reach 260,000 consumers and 450,000 consumers per day respectively.

Coinciding with the outdoor campaign, a social media campaign will also be carried out to increase the opportunity to connect offline advertisements with online channels to maximise destination exposure. Passengers will be invited to share photos of the ads with a specific hashtag and to follow the Visit Maldives accounts entitling them for a raffle draw.

The activities for the South Korean market are carried out aligned with Visit Maldives’ greater strategy for this market.

The strategies for the South Korean market consists of conducting social media campaigns on all major local social media platforms, taking part in major travel fairs and roadshows to cover all major cities, targeted campaigns timed for local holiday periods, establishing stronger relationship through direct B2B connection with the travel trade, promoting destination on high-end channels as well as focused advertising and promotion of the popular Maldivian products and uniquely-Maldivian experiences.

Activities in the pipeline include media and influencer familiarisation trips, joint promotions with airlines, joint campaigns with local OTA’s and honeymoon agencies as well as print media advertisements.

As a result of the border closures and travel restrictions amongst the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a significant drop in the number of arrivals from South Korea.

As of February, Maldives welcomed 162 arrivals from South Korea. However, there is hope that Maldives holds its position as a top of the mind destination for South Korean travellers as a result of the comprehensive advertising campaigns carried out in this market.

With four major airlines currently operating in 2021, it is estimated that the arrival figure from the South Korean market will steadily increase within the next few months.

Maldives reopened its borders for tourists of all nationalities on July 15, 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 launches “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.

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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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