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Visit Maldives chief joins high-level panel discussion at PATA Destination Marketing Forum

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The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/Visit Maldives), Thoyyib Mohamed, has joined the high-level panel discussion at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Destination Marketing Forum 2022 (PDMF).

The forum gathers the top minds in destination travel for insightful discussions on key issues in marketing and managing tourism growth to lesser-known destinations. This action-packed, annual event features two non-stop days of learning, discovery, and networking.

Beginning on August 4th in Songkhla, Thailand, the event invited high-level executives in global destination travel, including Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand, and Supawan Teerarat, the Senior Vice President of MICE Capability and Innovation, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).

The forum further included prominent speakers such as Nicola Eliot, the Vice President of BBC StoryWorks; Montakarn Suvanatap Kittipaisalsilp, Programme Officer for Culture, UNESCO Thailand, and Naomi Mano, President of the Japan MICE Association and President and CEO of Luxurique Inc. The high-level delegates joined the forum for inspiring and insightful discussions on marketing and managing tourism growth to lesser-known destinations under the theme “Building Back Sustainably through Cultural Heritage and Community-based Tourism”.

CEO & MD Thoyyib attended the forum by invitation from PATA, as one of the expert speakers for the “Destination Marketing in the age of COVID-19” panel. In addition to Thoyyib, the expert panel consisted of Noredah Othman, CEO of Sabah Tourism, and Dinh Ngoc Duc, the Director General of Tourism Marketing Department of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

Speaking at the session, Thoyyib recalled how MMPRC handled the Covid-19 crisis amidst the pandemic, and the many successes and accolades achieved during the time including; being stamped with the ‘Safe Travels’ label on September 18, 2020, by the World Travel Tourism Council; the fully digital campaign “Maldives; The Sun Will Shine Again” watched live by over 850,000 people across the world; and the highly-successful ‘I’m Vaccinated’ Covid-19 vaccination drive conducted together with the Ministry of Tourism.

“During the past year, our focus has been on working together to tackle the challenges faced by Covid-19. And our tourism sector has been extremely successful.” He said, “ We dropped to half a million tourists in 2020 but this figure jumped to over 1.3 million in 2021. We are nearing the 1 millionth tourist mark in 2022 already, and I am proud to announce that the Maldives is now closing in on pre-pandemic arrival figures.”

In 2019, prior to the onset of the pandemic, the Maldives saw 990,791 visitors as of 31st July. While this number dipped significantly over the next two years, we are seeing a resurgence this year, with arrivals standing at 942,444 as of 30th July 2022.

In concluding his remarks at the discussion, Thoyyib asserted that the future of the Maldives tourism industry is bright, and full of promise and potential. He said that he considers this the perfect time to roll up our sleeves and continue to make the changes we need for the future, to maintain the Maldives’ position ahead of the curve, as we have done before.

The global Covid-19 pandemic had a long lasting impact across all dimensions of the travel and tourism industry. Destination marketing organisations had to rethink and readjust marketing strategies to adapt to constantly evolving situations. MMPRC was at the forefront of marketing the Maldives as a tourist destination during the pandemic. Since then, the Maldives has secured the title of the ‘World’s Leading Destination’ by World Travel Awards in two consecutive years and has established itself as one of the most desired and popular destinations in the world.

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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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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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