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Emirates awarded for exceptional contribution to Maldives tourism



Emirates was honoured with the prestigious ‘50 years of Tourism Award by MATI’ for its exceptional contribution to the tourism industry, as Maldives tourism marks its golden jubilee this year.

The Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), the oldest tourism-related association in the Maldives, presented the ‘50 Years of Tourism Award by MATI’ to Emirates at an awards gala attended by Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamad Solih at Kurumba Maldives on 17 July. The award was collected by Chandana De Silva, Area Manager Sri Lanka & Maldives on behalf of Ahmed Khoory, Emirates Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West Asia and Indian Ocean.

Ahmed Khoory, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West Asia and Indian Ocean, said, “Emirates is honoured to be recognized by the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI). Maldives is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Indian Ocean, and the high quality of tourism infrastructure paired with the inimitable experiences the destination provides are a perfect match for leisure seekers that fly Emirates. Over the three decades that followed since we launched operations to Maldives, Emirates has built on the success achieved over the years, carrying around 8.4 million passengers to and from the island nation across key strategy markets within the Emirates network. As travel rebounds, we look forward to further strengthen our efforts to support post-pandemic recovery and boost tourism.”

Based on nominations from all members of MATI as well as the operators of resorts in the Maldives, the award celebrates and honours the hard work, ingenuity and resilience of the people and organisations that have contributed exceptionally to the Maldives tourism industry, on the occasion of the industry’s Golden Jubilee.

The awards event recognised contributions under three categories – Pioneers, Former Presidents of MATI and the winners of the ‘50 Years of Tourism Award by MATI.’

Emirates has played an integral part in the socio-economic growth of the Maldives for 35 years. The award-winning international airline commenced services to Maldives on 27 May 1987, with two flights a week. Maldives was the eighth international destination on the Emirates network. Over the three decades that followed, Emirates grew into the world’s leading international airline and was connecting the Maldives to a global network that comprised of more than 150 destinations before the global pandemic.

Emirates has operated more than 28,000 round trip flights to the Maldives to date, logging approximately 134 million kilometres on the route. In 2021, Emirates was recognised as the top airline to the Maldives for carrying 265,000 passengers in that year, an impressive contribution to the tourism industry of the Maldives after COVID-19 necessitated travel restrictions were lifted.

Today, Emirates operates 35 flights a week to and from the Maldives, connecting travellers and exporters to a destination network that is rapidly and safely being restored to pre-pandemic levels as countries re-open for international travel.

Emirates continues to be at the forefront in revolutionising air travel and restoring travel confidence. Continuing to place top priority on safe travel with the implementation of comprehensive measures on the ground throughout all touchpoints and on board, it provides its passengers with the highest safety and hygiene standards at every step of the journey. Customers travelling from Dubai can also take advantage of state of the art contactless technology to ease their journey through the airport.


Maldives celebrates arrival of 2024’s 1 millionth tourist



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



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



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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