Blazing a trail

The Maldives has lost no time in rebuilding her tourism business, well ahead of hyper-competition among destinations as borders begin to reopen.

As one of the first tourist destinations in the world to relax entry requirements to facilitate tourism recovery, the Maldives has led a shining example in a post-pandemic world of travel and tourism.

The Maldives will celebrate her tourism golden jubilee in 2022 with numerous activities

With the Maldives’ golden jubilee of tourism coming up in 2022, the destination will continue to bask in the spotlight. A series of activities are lined up to celebrate the milestone, with marketing efforts kicking off in November 2021.

Thoyyib Mohamed, managing director of the state-run Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), said consistent destination development and marketing have established Maldives as a fierce competitor on the global travel market.

Despite travel challenges, the MMPRC has maintained aggressive marketing and ensured presence in several international trade fairs and roadshows.

Numerous partnerships have also been struck in 2021 to drive travel bookings. From July 2021 until June 2022, Visit Maldives and Qatar Airways will jointly promote the destination as a safe-haven for travellers from Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. With travel portal TripZilla, Visit Maldives will ensure that the destination remains top-of-mind among South-east Asian travellers.

In the year ahead, MMPRC will focus on courting the millennials, which make up 40 per cent of the global travel market. According to the Maldives Visitor Survey, nearly half of the visitors to the Maldives are below the age of 35 years, with 60 per cent of them discovering the destination on the Internet.

“This is an opportune time for the Maldives to reap the benefits of these trends by identifying our strengths, and refining our approach,” he said.

While the Maldives has first-mover advantage in courting travellers in the post-pandemic era, Dilip Rajakariar, CEO of Minor Hotels Group, warned that 2022 would be a competitive year as many other destinations reopen to global tourism.

Having said that, Rajakariar expects a “solid year” for the Maldives, building on the strong demand seen in 2021.

Most of the destination’s 200-plus resorts are open for business, and expectations are high that the target of 1.2 million arrivals will be met in 2021. The Maldives has set a 1.5 million arrivals target for 2022.

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