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Visit Maldives maintains destination presence in India

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Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC / Visit Maldives) is maintaining the destination momentum in the Maldives’ largest market for this year, the Indian market, through a variety of activities and participation in the most prominent fairs and exhibitions. 

MMPRC has been conducting multiple exciting events, with more in the pipeline, to maintain the interest and momentum that the Maldives has reached with the Indian market, especially over the last few years with other prominent markets such as China still closed due to Covid-19.

India was the largest market in 2020 with an arrival figure of 62,960 and a market share of 11.3% and performed similarly in 2021 with over 278,740 travellers and a market share of 22.6%. As of June this year, the Maldives has welcomed 119,967 tourists to the country from India. During this period India ranked as the top source market in the country, contributing 14.8% of the total market share for 2022 so far. 

To maintain destination momentum, MMPRC has conducted several activities targeting this market in addition to participating in prominent fairs such as OTM 2022, SATTE 2022 and TTF 2022.

With the feedback and interest displayed by the Indian market before, during and after these events, MMPRC planned and conducted several joint campaigns with business leaders in the travel and tourism trade. This includes an outdoor advertising campaign promoting the destination in 5 different prime locations in the Delhi and Greater Noida area, with a total reach of approximately 7 million due to the great locations selected. The promotion was carried out from 1st May to 3rd June 2022, coinciding with SATTE 2022, and the locations where the Maldives was promoted were at a great intersection en route to SATTE and for general commuters travelling around the city, with a large number of people visiting locally and from different cities, to encourage them to visit the Maldives. 

MMPRC is currently conducting joint-marketing campaigns with Thomas Cook, PickYourTrail, and Vistara Inflight magazine, the last of which is conducted from May till October 2022.

Vistara is India’s only five-star rated airline, with an exclusive set of consumers and high recall value among travellers. The Vistara inflight magazine is designed for an elite and High Networth Individual (HNI) audience that wants to enhance their lifestyle, enrich their minds and widen their experiences through the lens of travel. The audience is young and includes celebrities and corporates who are keen to engage with content and media on different platforms.

Approximately 500,000 passengers travel through Vistara within a month, and this campaign will promote the Maldives as an ideal holiday destination and encourage the elite and HNI to consider our beautiful islands for their next holiday. The articles, advertisements, and advertorials placed in the magazine are expected to reach over 700,000 affluent readers, while the native story placed on the Vistara website is expected to have a minimum of 55,000 page views. Additionally, the Vistara newsletter reaching over 3 million subscribers will also carry advertisements to visit the Maldives. 

A team of media professionals representing various high-prominent Indian media outlets also visited the Maldives on a tourism familiarisation trip, from 13th to 19th June 2022. The team stayed in Kuramathi Maldives, The Residence Maldives and Noku Maldives. Officials from MMPRC visited Kuramathi Maldives to meet with the media team and discussed broadening efforts to further promote Maldivian tourism in the Indian market.

MMPRC also promoted the Romantic Side of Life to the Indian audience through a partnership with Wedding Affair magazine. Wedding Affair is one of the largest selling International Indian wedding magazines, targeted at the luxury and niche audience and read by almost over 50,000 loyal readers. The Maldives’ cover and 8-page advertorial reached a readership of some 870,000, and the online portion of the campaign reached over 48,500, putting the total reach of the campaign at 1,033,385. 

MMPRC also targeted potential travellers through the Radio medium, with a campaign with one of the most trusted agencies in India for radio campaign advertising, IAM Communications, for 2 weeks in July 2022. The campaign is executed in 8 key source markets: Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Cochin, Trivandrum, Chennai, and Ahmedabad. The campaign comprises 180 spots in each of the 8 cities – 35,000 seconds of airtime during the campaign and 40 seconds of RJ mentions. The expected reach of this campaign is over 1 million. 

MMPRC’s strategies for the Indian market were crafted with a focus on strengthening the Maldives brand in all major cities. The strategy identifies channels to access the luxury market segment, which includes high-end magazines, highly-advertised roadshows in locations that appeal to the luxury market segment, and promotion of affordable holiday options through roadshows in more accessible locations for that specific market segment.

There is also a focus on targeted advertising for honeymooners and family holidays, greater B2B contact to generate awareness of guesthouse and affordable resort options, and using social media for brand promotion during holiday periods. 

MMPRC conducted several promotional activities for this market in 2021 as well, such as an e-learning campaign with 2HUB, Tri Campaign with Yatra & Go Air, and influencer and celebrity familiarisation trips, in addition to representing the Maldives in prominent fairs and exhibitions.

There are many more activities in the pipeline for this market for the remainder of the year, including TV promotions, radio campaigns, familiarisation trips and joint marketing campaigns with airlines, tour operators and travel agents. 

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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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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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