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Fortifying Angsana Velavaru’s dedication to sustainability with Earth Day celebration

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Angsana Velavaru, an all-inclusive premium resort nestled in South Nilandhe Atoll and a leading advocate for environmental stewardship in the Maldives, celebrated Earth Day on 22 April with a series of impactful initiatives. With an emphasis on its dedication to sustainability, the resort hosted a range of activities aimed at raising awareness and promoting responsible practices. Earth Day is an annual event demonstrating support for environmental protection, coordinated globally by EARTHDAY.ORG, which began in 1970.

The celebration commenced with the launch of “SustainLinen: Apron Collection” at Kaani Restaurant’s interactive breakfast pancake station. The linens, once adorning the resort’s villas and providing guests with comfort, were repurposed instead of being discarded – symbolising a remarkable transformation.

In July 2023, the Green Sustainability Team, comprising dedicated associates from various resort departments and sharing a vision of a greener, more sustainable future, introduced the “SustainLinen Tote Bag with Purpose” to resort associates. This initiative aimed to offer an eco-friendly alternative to disposable plastic bags, thereby reducing plastic waste. Since September 2023, the team has extended this initiative to neighboring communities and in-house guests. To mark Earth Day, skilled tailors at the resort crafted 30 tote bags from discarded beach umbrellas for distribution to guests.

A tree planting session was held at 10:00 am led by the Angsana Velavaru’s Executive Assistant Manager – Food and Beverage Neil Firman with a total of 77 trees planted, followed by a reef cleanup from 11:00 am to 12:15 pm. During the cleanup, 14 participants removed 25 Pin Cushion Sea Stars, safeguarding the precious corals that adorn the underwater realm.

Meanwhile, kids engaged in bracelet making workshops at the Ranger’s Club from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm, using repurposed fishing nets to create trendy accessories. This hands-on activity not only fostered creativity but also highlighted the importance of recycling and reducing marine pollution. Furthermore, families joined in an island cleanup effort from 4:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Together, participants worked to ensure the island remained a sanctuary for both guests and natural ecosystem.

“We are thrilled to lead the Earth Day celebration with a renewed commitment to sustainability,” said Abdul Nasir Ibrahim, Executive Housekeeper, and Sustainability Champion at Angsana Velavaru. “Through initiatives such as repurposing fishing nets for trendy bracelets and engaging in eco-friendly activities, we aim to inspire positive change and foster a deeper connection to our environment.”

“At Angsana Velavaru, we invite guests, associates, and the local community to embrace sustainability and contribute to a more resilient and harmonious future,” added Muhamad Izuan, Marine Environment Officer. “We believe in the power of small ideas and collaborative efforts. There is always room for innovation and a deep sense of responsibility to nature and the community. Therefore, let us make every day Earth Day.”

Part of Banyan Group, a renowned international hospitality company committed to a greater purpose, Angsana Velavaru, an EarthCheck Gold-certified for eight years, presents a blissful tropical retreat. Boasting 79 secluded beachfront villas and a collection of 34 InOcean Villas, it offers a vibrant and immersive experience amidst the azure waters.

Angsana Velavaru walks the talk with a series of best practices that contribute to its sustainable journey:

  • Single-Use Plastic Bottles Elimination
  • Solar Panel Installation
  • Food Compost Machine Implementation
  • Rainwater Harvesting
  • Saltwater Chlorination Project
  • SustainLinen: The Story of Tote Bag with a Purpose

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MATATO and IATO signs partnership to enhance Maldives-India tourism

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The Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO). This strategic partnership aims to enhance tourism cooperation between the Maldives and India, fostering closer collaboration and mutual growth in the travel industry.

The agreement marks a significant milestone in promoting tourism between the two nations. By leveraging the strengths and networks of both MATATO and IATO, the partnership seeks to create more opportunities for travel and cultural exchange. Key objectives of the MOU include:

  • Promoting bilateral tourism through joint marketing initiatives
  • Sharing best practices to improve service standards and operational efficiencies
  • Organizing joint events, roadshows, and fairs to highlight travel opportunities
  • Promoting sustainable tourism practices that benefit both nations

Following the MOU signing, MATATO held a productive follow-up meeting with the High Commissioner of India to the Maldives, H.E. Munu Mahawar. This meeting was a continuation of discussions held on April 9, 2024, and focused on enhancing tourism ties between the two countries.

A major upcoming event is the roadshow designed to showcase Maldivian tourism to the Indian market. Scheduled to take place in Mumbai, New Delhi, and Bangalore—cities with the best flight connectivity to the Maldives—the roadshow aims to strengthen tourism ties. During the discussions, the importance of this roadshow was emphasized, with agreements on:

  • Enhanced cooperation to further tourism collaborations
  • Detailed planning to ensure maximum impact
  • Promoting cultural exchanges to deepen mutual understanding and appreciation
  • Securing support from stakeholders, including airlines, hotels, and travel agencies, to ensure the roadshow’s success

MATATO is a leading organization dedicated to the development and promotion of the travel and tourism industry in the Maldives. Representing the interests of travel agents and tour operators, MATATO advocates for policies that benefit the industry and works to enhance the Maldives’ position as a top travel destination. IATO, India’s premier travel trade body, represents over 1,800 tour operators across India. Committed to promoting and developing tourism in India, IATO ensures high standards of service and fosters international partnerships to enhance the travel experience for visitors.

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Enchanting escapes: Let your romance unfold at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO

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A ‘never fail’ for experiencing the unforgettable, the world’s number one luxury destination is the Indian Ocean’s magnet that can’t stop its natural attraction for discerning travellers with a lust for the castaway life. Nestled in the serene embrace of the South Malé Atoll, OZEN LIFE MAADHOO stands as a beacon of luxury and tranquility. This exquisite private island, part of the prestigious THE OZEN COLLECTION, offers an idyllic escape from the mundane, immersing guests in a world of indulgence and breathtaking beauty.

Imagine waking up to the gentle sound of waves lapping against your palatial overwater villa, the sun casting a golden glow over the turquoise lagoon. At OZEN LIFE MAADHOO, enchantment is woven into the very fabric of the island’s DNA. With a selection of remarkable beachfront and overwater villas, each designed to provide the utmost privacy and comfort, guests can enjoy and claim their own slice of paradise as a home from home.

The Earth Villas, with their open-air bathrooms and outdoor bathtubs, offer a direct connection to the beach, allowing guests to step out onto the pristine sand from their landscaped and groomed private sandy garden. For those seeking an elevated experience, the Wind Villas stretch elegantly over the lagoon, featuring panoramic views and overwater hammocks that invite you to relax and gently swing your cares away.

What is a dream escape without award-winning service excellence that presents culinary experiences nothing short of magical. The OZEN LIFE MAADHOO’s tailored holiday plan takes care of all bar and dining cheques plus some included excursions, encapsulating this exclusive vacation in a single fixed price prior to arrival so all guests have to do is enjoy and imbibe.

Boasting a choice of signature restaurants that cater to every palate, dietary choice, and lifestyle, being spoilt for choice is compulsory. Enjoy an exclusive dinner at the M6m underwater restaurant, where you can dine surrounded by the vibrant marine life of the Maldives. The all-encompassing INDULGENCETM Plan ensures that every meal is a feast for the senses, with gourmet cuisine, premium champagnes, wines and spirits, and tantalising dining experiences included.

For a touch of culture, visit the LONU restaurant, where traditional Maldivian recipes are reimagined as sophisticated small plates, or indulge in the vibrant flavours of Tradition IndoCeylon and Tradition Peking, offering authentic Indian, Sri Lankan, and Chinese cuisines.

No castaway vacation is complete without a private dining experience. Imagine the gentle moonlit waves lapping up on the pristine white sandy shoreline, whilst you and your lover celebrate intimacy under candlelight in moment where time stands still. Just don’t forget your best white linens to dress for this once in a lifetime dinner date occasion.

Beyond the luxurious accommodations and exquisite dining, OZEN LIFE MAADHOO offers a wealth of activities to enhance your getaway. Embark on snorkelling adventures in the crystal-clear waters, explore the vibrant coral reefs, or unwind with a rejuvenating treatment at the ELE | NA Elements of Nature spa. This serene sanctuary provides a range of wellness therapies designed to refresh and invigorate both body and soul.

For those seeking a blend of adventure and relaxation, the resort’s water sports centre offers a variety of activities, from kayaking and paddleboarding to windsurfing and diving. Whether you’re exploring the underwater wonders of the Maldives or enjoying a sunset cruise, every moment at this idyllic island getaway is designed to create lasting memories. At OZEN LIFE MAADHOO, every detail is meticulously crafted to ensure an unforgettable escape. The island’s dedicated team is committed to providing personalised service, from arranging the private beach dinners to setting up excursions tailored to your interests. The forementioned bespoke INDULGENCETM Plan simplifies the experience, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the beauty and tranquility of the Maldives without a care in the world.

OZEN LIFE MAADHOO is more than just a destination; it’s a sanctuary for relaxation and enchantment. With its stunning natural beauty, luxurious accommodations, and exceptional service, it promises an unparalleled getaway. Whether you’re celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary, or simply seeking a retreat to reconnect with your partner, OZEN LIFE MAADHOO offers the perfect setting for love to flourish. Embrace the magic of the Maldives and create memories that will last a lifetime on this remotest of enchanting private islands in the breath-taking Indian Ocean.

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Business

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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