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Sichuan Airlines resumes flights to Maldives

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Sichuan Airlines, one of China’s leading carriers, has officially resumed flights to the Maldives, signifying a pivotal moment for the country’s tourism industry.

The resumption flight, carrying 186 passengers, gracefully landed at Velana International Airport at 6:05 PM yesterday evening, where it was welcomed with a special water salute, symbolising the revival of tourism connections.

Sichuan Airlines will operate three weekly flights, bridging the gap between Chengdu and Maldives. This move adds to the existing Chinese airlines operating flights to the Maldives, including Beijing Capital, which operates weekly charter flights, and China Eastern, offering weekly scheduled flights every Saturday.

The airline is resuming flights after 7 long years. The last flight was operated on 23rd March 2016.

The reopening of Sichuan Airlines’ operations at Velana International Airport is poised to significantly boost Maldives tourism and stimulate economic growth. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and the temporary closure of China’s borders, the Chinese market played a crucial role in driving the Maldives’ tourism industry. Since the reopening of its borders earlier this year, Chinese tourism has been consistently increasing, now ranking as the fourth largest source market for the Maldives.

The Maldives, renowned for its pristine beauty, picturesque landscapes, and luxurious resorts, has been a preferred destination for Chinese travellers seeking an enchanting vacation experience. With Sichuan Airlines’ resumption of flights, the Maldives is well-positioned to regain momentum in attracting Chinese tourists, further solidifying its status as an alluring global tourist hotspot.

The Maldives Airports Company, operator of Velana International Airport, continues to welcome various airlines to connect the Maldives with the rest of the world. Efforts are being made to prepare for the upcoming winter season, with flights scheduled to operate from new destinations. In October, Virgin Atlantic is set to start operations between London and Heathrow Airport, further expanding the connectivity options.

Currently, more than 40 airlines operate in the Maldives, connecting the country to over 30 destinations worldwide. The continuous efforts to enhance accessibility and connectivity demonstrate the Maldives’ commitment to further developing its thriving tourism industry.

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Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives renews partnership with Maldives National University to grow local talent

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Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives and Maldives National University (MNU) has announced their partnership’s renewal by signing a Memorandum of Understanding for the third successive, two-year term on Wednesday 15 May, 2024.

The collaboration provides a platform for Maldives young and emerging talent, to nurture and develop skills through hands-on experience and practical exposure designed to reinforce learned theory.

Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is pleased to offer internships, training programmes and other collaborative efforts to students from Maldives National University (MNU).

Speaking about the partnership, Mr Mark Eletr, General Manager, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives said,

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Maldives National University to tap into a pool of fresh, talented individuals eager to make their mark in the hospitality sector. This partnership which is now in its fifth year, aligns with our vision of nurturing future leaders in the industry and ensuring we remain at the forefront of service excellence.”

Mark further explained the importance of embracing the younger generation,

“The hospitality and tourism sector offers unique opportunities and through specially curated learning programmes and guest-facing experiences, we hope that the industry’s excitement and diversity encourage students to embark on careers within the sector,”

Located in the South Male atoll just 40 minutes from the airport by boat, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is a beautiful island paradise. White sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms and turquoise waters form the backdrop for a wide variety of leisure pursuits and some of the best diving in the Maldives. Guests can choose from Garden and Beach Villas, two-storey Beach Houses and the popular Overwater Villas for their stay. Families are well catered for with the Kandoo Kids’ Club and a full activities programme. Six food and beverage outlets ensure healthy appetites are satisfied and the flavours of the Maldives are explored. For those guests who desire the ultimate in relaxation, sun loungers and hammocks are located around the island and the Kandooma Spa by COMO Shambhala offers the ultimate in tranquillity and escape for body and mind. Visit www.maldives.holidayinnresorts.com

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Join Ifuru Island Maldives’ exhilarating ice, bubbles challenge

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Are You Ready? The Ice & Bubbles Challenge awaits your arrival at Ifuru Island.

Are you ready for the ultimate chill thrill of indulgence and adventure? Then put on your explorer hat and jet off to Ifuru Island for the Ice & Bubbles Challenge! Imagine: you’ll be basking in the breathtaking Maldives scenery while putting your might to the test with a 6-minute polar plunge, clutching a flute of bubbly like a boss. Once you conquer the challenge, you’ll savour the delicious bubbly and feel like a true champion!

Picture yourself lounging poolside, surrounded by swaying palm trees, white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters, while also pushing your endurance to the limit. And as a badge of honour, guests are gifted with a trendy Ice Bath and Bubbles Challenge t-shirt to flaunt their fearless spirit. The current record for the Ice & Bubbles Challenge is a brave 22 minutes, and we’re daring you to beat it!

Cold-water immersion can speed up your muscle recovery, reduce inflammation, and give you a boost of energy. Plus, you’ll feel like a true hero after conquering the challenge and basking under the warm Maldivian sun.

So, what are you waiting for? Rally your friends and come join us on Ifuru Island Maldives for an unforgettable adventure that’s sure to create magical memories that will last a lifetime!

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Lily Beach Resort wins big at World Travel Awards 2024

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Lily Beach Resort & Spa has once again solidified their stance as a premier destination being awarded the prestigious title of “Maldives’ Leading All-Inclusive Resort” at this year’s World Travel Awards. As the first all-inclusive property in the Maldives and a leading one at that, Lily Beach has no doubt gained recognition worldwide for their top-notch All-Inclusive package – the Platinum Plan. Additionally, Lily Beach also won Tripadvisor’s Travellers Choice Award as well for being one of the best rated hospitality establishments in the world where the resort is part of the top 10% in terms of best rated in hospitality.

Marking their 30th anniversary this year, Lily Beach Resort & Spa has redefined luxury travel with its unparalleled amenities and genuinely exceptional service. The resort’s Platinum Plan offers a truly comprehensive experience that leaves no detail overlooked before and during their stay in paradise. Guests gain access to the resort’s Luxury Seaplane lounge (when opting to fly via Seaplane) and after a 25-minute scenic journey, it’s time to explore the endless experiences to be had at Lily Beach and start making unforgettable memories.

At the resort’s heart lies keeping guests well satiated with exceptionally tantalising food and drinks. Dining at the resort is no small feat, as Lily Beach offers Four restaurants and Four bars for guests to choose from. International themed cuisines and delicious drinks are served within the restaurants and bars, giving guests an array of choices to select from during their stay. Especially the resort’s partnership with premium liquors like Taittinger being included in the Platinum Plan and fresh ingredients being imported from around the world, makes dining and drinks a delight at Lily Beach.

After enjoying food and drinks, getting active and diving into recreational experiences is a must while in the Maldives. Guests are provided with snorkelling equipment, allowing them to explore the vibrant underwater world, and have access to all non-motorised water sports activities for endless lagoon fun. In the Platinum Plan, guests are offered a generous selection of choosing three excursions to enjoy out of four options during each stay. These adventures are, exploring the beauty of the resort’s house reef with our expert guides, enjoying the best of sunset by going on a cruise or opting to go fishing for dinner, or for the culturally inclined to explore a neighbouring local island.

To add on a bit of zen to the active experiences, complimentary group sunrise yoga sessions are held six days a week, offering a serene start to the day, with additional premium yoga experiences available for those seeking further relaxation.

On top the these, a vast list of excursion and private dining experiences are available to choose from for both families, and couples, so that their holidays are bound to be a memorable, eventful one at Lily Beach.

The resort’s commitment to offering endless experiences includes offering weekly entertainment from live music and DJs to cultural nights and experience cultural dances like Maldivian Bodu Beru and Balinese Dance. But that is not all, guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to being able to enjoy a wide range of recreational options at Lily Beach. Just to name a few the resort offers tennis, table tennis, billiards tables, gym, beach volleyball, football pitch, children’s playground, and various indoor games. For younger guests, the Turtle Kids Club offers a plethora of activities and surprises designed to entertain and engage. There is a Kid’s pool at Vibes bar, where parents can keep a watchful eye on the children as the enjoy.

Even whilst residing at any of the nine various villa options to choose from guests are spoilt when it comes to amenities. Each villa features a premium mini bar, replenished daily with beer, wine, water, snacks, a selection of tea and coffee, a variety of juices, and soft drinks.

Apart from this, Lily Beach also is well-known for its prime location in South Ari atoll, where the marine-protected area SAMPA lies, just a mere few minutes away from the resort. SAMPA is a protected site as it is considered an aggregation point for the majestic Whale Sharks and Manta Rays. As a result, surprise visits by Whale Sharks and Manta Rays are often frequented alongside the resorts own house-reef – which is easily accessible from the resort. If not, guests are always welcome to join the snorkelling and diving excursions that bring them up close to these magnificent, beautiful underwater creatures.

These exceptional experiences and awards underscore Lily Beach’s commitment to delivering a superior, all-inclusive vacation experience like no other that caters to every guest’s desires.

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