Maldives dives into digital marketing to tide through Covid-19 crisis

Maldives is currently re-evaluating its marketing efforts to include strategies that double up as efficient recovery measures for the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

The Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation (MMPRC) will revise campaigns from what was previously a “packed calendar of marketing events in different markets”, shared Thoyyib Mohamed, its managing director.

Maldives hopes to boost arrivals from non-affected markets during the Covid-19 outbreak

Instead, the destination’s new marketing strategies will focus on being “more relevant and effective to its significant markets” such as China, India, Italy, France and Germany, which were Maldives’ top sources before the outbreak.

Promotional activities will also be rolled out “in order to recover the loss” of arrivals from these countries and “to keep Maldives visible” across both key and non-key markets, shared Thoyyib.

He described: “We foresee a significant impact on the tourism sector and arrivals. Chinese tourism previously contributed more than 16 per cent of total arrivals, hence the travel ban on Chinese tourists will deal a massive blow.”

Moreover, for some resorts whose market share of Chinese tourists stood at 50 per cent or more, they will definitely take a “massive hit”.

Aside from Chinese tourists, as South Korea and Italy are also affected by Covid-19, other resorts have also been reporting slow pick-up in terms of arrivals.

“In coming days, we will re-evaluate the impact and bring necessary changes to our strategies. We will employ various marketing techniques and activities to reach our top markets that have been affected by Covid-19, while targeting other (non-affected) markets.”

The hope is to boost the market share from non-affected markets by promoting Maldives as a safe destination, a measure that is expected to help the destination “maintain similar arrival numbers as 2019”.

Resorts in the island nation are also undertaking measures such as allowing flexibility in cancellation – which can encourage customer bookings – while further increasing digital and social media marketing activities.

This is as the Maldives moves away from its traditional image as a romantic honeymoon destination, and is gaining popularity as an adventure, culinary and wellness destination. Such experiences will also be marketed in MMPRC’s activities this year, alongside a strengthening of 2019’s visibility campaigns.

Thoyyib shared: “With the current travel ban and the cancellation of trade fairs and mass gatherings, we will have to further explore the marketing and promotions on digital platforms.”

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