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The Ritz-Carlton Maldives introduces transformative series of retreats in ‘Summer Of Renewal’ 

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Those seeking a peaceful alternative to the bustle of Europe this Summer should have the Maldives firmly in their sights, and The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands introduces an unmissable choice of transformative retreats for the season! In a ‘Summer of Renewal’ the coveted Indian Ocean resort has collaborated with talented masters in wellness, food and adventure to curate a stellar line-up of experiences and restorative encounters for its guests.

In a Summer of Renewal, forming part of the resort’s established Masters of Crafts program, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands is committed to ensuring that all guests ‘Leave Better’. A first for the resort, 2024 sees the introduction of two surf retreats partnering with championship surf heroes Nic von Rupp and Victor Bernardo. During the Maldives’ optimum surf season of June and July, the exhilarating escapes led by von Rupp and Bernardo will allow guests to ride and master the four most popular waves in the North Malé Atoll, comprising Chicken, Cokes Surf Break, Honkeys and Jailbreak. The retreat will also incorporate culinary trails across the local islands.

With his trademark Portuguese flair, Nic Von Rupp is one of the top ‘big wave’ surfers in the world. Two-time finalist of ‘World Surf League Big Wave Performance of the Year’, von Rupp spends his time in pursuit of the world’s largest swells and will take the helm at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands from 8th-11th June. Brazilian big wave surfer Victor Bernardo was born on a board, surfing from the age of four and with global accolades under his belt, he is one to watch on the free surfer circuit. Bernardo will lead his guest retreat from 3rd-6th July.

From 19th-23rd July, celebrity healer and founder of the sound healing school The Copper Vessel, Susy Markoe Schieffelin, will take residency with a soothing retreat guided by the moon. Under Maldivian skies guests will experience Susy’s practice enjoyed by millions worldwide, her clients including Google, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and solo artist LeAnn Rimes. The Summer retreat will include five days of serenity, with Susy’s signature sound baths complemented by crystal healing and meditation. Guests can expect a full moon release fire ceremony, a full moon dinner under the stars with a crystal-inspired menu, chakra balancing kundalini yoga, floating water practice and a meditative sleep session in suspended aerial hammocks.

Growing its stable of exceptional gastronomic experiences, 2024 will see pop-up residencies with an impressive circle of culinary friends, and from 10th-12th August, Chef Pam (Pichaya Soontornyanakij), newly crowned Asia’s Best Female Chef 2024, will bring her celebrated mastery from Bangkok’s Potong. The first and youngest female chef to receive both a Michelin Star and ‘Opening of the Year’ award from the Michelin guide in the same year, will present a bespoke menu of her progressive Thai-Chinese cuisine in an exclusive two-night residency at the resort’s Summer Pavilion restaurant. Diners will enjoy an eight-course tasting menu with dishes including; ‘Parts of Banana’, POTONG’s Pad Thai, Evolution of Crab, Yin Yang Noodle, Five-Spices Squab, Salak, Chocolate Sphere, with the final course of intricate feasting – Tangerine and Chocolate Bon Bon with Cantaloupe Pâte de Fruits and White Chocolate.

The Summer transformation concludes with two retreats offering practice based on ‘energy medicine’. From 14th-18th August, celebrated practitioner and founder of Project Woman, Abi Adams will take over one of the resort’s luxurious two-bedroom villas as her very own healing house and the setting for both. The first retreat, from the 14th-16th August, focuses on an emotional journey using breath, meridian dancing and yoga to enliven the body with movement, music and expression to explore emotion. Practices will include chakra work and creative writing, peppered with Bamford signature pampering at The Ritz-Carlton Spa – from B Vibrant and B Silent treatments to foot release massage.

The second retreat with Abi from the 17th-18th August, is for women-only and explores female health and hormonal balance with tools of meridian dance, music, yoga, spa and creative writing. Guests will channel hormonal flow and inner rhythm meditation connecting to their inner seasons of Summer and Autumn. The spa journey will include Bamford’s B Balanced and Wellness Facial treatments set in the design masterpiece spa, and halo of happiness, floating above the azure Indian Ocean waters.

Villas at The Ritz Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands offer one to four bedrooms, from the iconic Ocean Pool and Ocean Beach Villas to The Ritz-Carlton Estate. Each are complemented by the legendary 24-hour service of a dedicated Aris Meeha butler. From unadulterated wellness at the Indian Ocean’s first Ritz-Carlton Spa with Bamford, life-aquatic experiences with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program, innovative conservation research, to exquisite dining curated within an architectural masterpiece, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands is the perfect long-haul escape this Summer.

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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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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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