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MMPRC signs MOU with Qatar Airways to increase inbound air traffic to Maldives

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Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC / Visit Maldives) and Qatar Airways have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at increasing inbound air traffic to the Maldives through several joint efforts and individual campaigns. The MOU was signed at the Qatar Airways Stand, on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) on 9th of May 2022, at the Dubai World Trade Center.

The MOU was signed on behalf of MMPRC by the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of MMPRC, Mr Thoyyib Mohamed, and by Mr. Thierry Antinori, Chief Commercial Officer of Qatar Airways. As per the agreement, both partners would launch joint promotional and marketing activities in key identified markets, with the overarching objective of increasing inbound air traffic to Maldives.

The activities include launching joint B2B and B2C campaigns, organising familiarisation trips for travel partners and media influencers, and working on joint activities with trade partners. The MOU further stipulates aligning on future plans, with both parties assessing and contributing in order to implement the activities within the target markets to promote the Maldives as a travel destination.

Mr Thoyyib had previously commented on the vital role aviation plays in the tourism sector, especially in the Maldives. Speaking at a panel discussion held during the 9th Arab Aviation Summit in Dubai earlier this year, Thoyyib noted that the tourism and the aviation industry should work closely together to overcome challenges. He had also referred to the important role the Middle East plays as a growing source market for the Maldives, as well as the central hub for a large number of tourists.

There are over 35 international airlines operating flights to the Maldives, including leading Middle Eastern airlines such as Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, Fly Dubai, Etihad Airways, and Gulf Air on a regular basis. Maldives has recently eased travel restrictions imposed on tourists which enforced presenting of negative PCR tests by all travellers. In this regard, from 4th March 2022, tourists visiting Maldives are no longer required to present a Covid-19 PCR negative result upon arrival if the prescribed doses of vaccine are completed 14 days prior to date of arrival. As of 13th March 2022, the Maldives has also lifted the national public health emergency, imposed in response to the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ease of travel restrictions and measures would make it easier for tourists to visit the Maldives.

MMPRC is currently representing the Maldives at ATM 2022, the leading global event for the inbound and outbound travel industry in the Middle East. For the last twenty-eight years, their annual event has connected products and destinations from around the world with buyers and travel trade visitors. It aims to support the travel industry and facilitate important business connections.

MMPRC carried out 260 different marketing activities in 22 global markets last year, including fairs, outdoor advertising, roadshows, familiarisation trips, marketing campaigns, webinars, and interviews. The greatest testament to the success of these activities came late last year, as the Maldives secured the title of ‘World’s Leading Destination’ (among several other accolades) at the 2021 World Travel Awards, globally recognised as the hallmark of industry excellence. This is the second consecutive year that the Maldives had successfully earned this prestigious title, a shining testimony of the trust placed in the ‘magic of Maldivian hospitality’ by travellers from all over the globe.

This year also celebrates an exceptional year to visit the Maldives – the Golden Jubilee celebration of tourism in the Maldives kicked off earlier last year with plans to conduct new and exciting activities throughout the year.

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Maldives celebrates arrival of 2024’s 1 millionth tourist

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Maldives on Thursday welcomed the one millionth tourist to visit this year.

The one millionth tourist is a Thai named Sutapa Amonwivat, who arrived from Singapore with her husband and two children. This is her second visit to Maldives.

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and the Ministry of Tourism gave a warm welcome to Sutapa at the Velana International Airport (VIA) Thursday afternoon. She was welcomed at the VIA by tourism minister Ibrahim Faisal, MMPRC Managing Director Ibrahim Shiury and senior officials of various relevant agencies.

After welcoming her with traditional offerings, she was presented with various gifts by the ministry, MMPRC, customs, immigration, Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) and Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA).

Maldives reached one million tourists in June, three weeks earlier than last year. The number of tourists reached one million on July 16, 2023.

Maldives expects to reach 2 million tourists this year.

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New air route connects Chongqing to Maldives

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Chongqing Airlines on Monday began its inaugural flights to Maldives.

The Chongqing-Male route, scheduled three times a week, is expected to strengthen the bonds between China and the Maldives, opening up exciting new opportunities for tourism and cultural exchange.

The inaugural flight was welcomed upon its arrival at Velana International Airport (VIA) in Maldives, where local officials and tourism representatives expressed their enthusiasm for this new development.

“We warmly welcome our friends from China to our beautiful islands. This new connection strengthens our bonds and opens up new opportunities for tourism,” the tourism ministry said on X.

Maldives currently welcomes four airlines from China, including China Eastern, Beijing Capital Airlines, Xiamen Airlines.

In January, Maldives government urged tourism stakeholders in both Maldives and China to ramp up efforts to restore China’s position as the primary source market for Maldives tourism, a status held before the onset of Covid-19.

China, being the largest source market for Maldives tourism before the pandemic, saw a resumption of tourist arrivals from January 2023 after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. In 2023, the Maldives welcomed 187,118 Chinese tourists, marking a significant recovery in numbers. This year, the Maldives has welcomed the most number of tourists from China, with over 107,940 or 11.5 percent of total arrivals by June 12. 

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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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