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Visit Maldives initiates first offline events in India since the onset of the pandemic

After the closure of the borders and travel restrictions were imposed, Visit Maldives continued to maintain destination presence across the Indian market as part of the global crisis marketing strategy. The very first offline events in India were kicked off on Monday, March 22, 2021, with a high-level press conference followed by a Roadshow in Delhi hosted by Visit Maldives. Maldives will also be showcased at South Asia’s Travel & Tourism Exchange (SATTE) in Delhi from 24-26th March. The Maldivian delegation for the events in India will be led by Hon. Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, Minister of Tourism, Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director of Visit Maldives and Dr. Hussain Niyaz, High Commissioner of Maldives to India.

The Press Conference titled ‘Maldives: Media Meet” held yesterday was addressed by high-level speakers from Maldives, Hon. Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, Minister of Tourism; Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director of Visit Maldives and Dr. Hussain Niyaz, High Commissioner of Maldives to India. The latest updates from the Maldives and the tourism industry were shared at the press conference attended by key travel trade and mainstream media of India and the Delhi region.

Key topics of interest were addressed from the angles of tourism and foreign policy and marketing. These included the success story of the Maldives tourism during the pandemic, India becoming the top source market to Maldives and the marketing plan for India as well as the travel bubble between India and Maldives. Furthermore, updates on the vaccination programme and important information and updates for travellers were shared.

Prior to the press conference and roadshow, the Managing Director of Visit Maldives and the Visit Maldives team attended meetings with Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI), GoAir Airlines and Yatra to discuss collaborative efforts to promote Maldives in the Indian market. In addition, a meeting was conducted with Thomas Cook in which the company remarked upon the success of the strategy during the pandemic and future marketing plans.

The Press Conference was shortly followed by the Maldives Roadshow ‘Connect with Maldives, Your Safe Haven’ targeting the top travel trade of India. The roadshow created the opportunity for the 11 companies from the Maldives tourism industry who participated in the event to connect with over 100 key travel trade partners from the Indian market to generate new business leads and engage in one-on-one networking opportunities. From the overall destination perspective, a presentation was given highlighting destination information, key updates, and travel information.

The main marketing message communicated to the travel trade was that Maldives is one of the safest destinations to travel during this time due to the unique geographic isolation of the islands, the one island one resort together with the stringent health and safety protocols in place. The event held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Delhi concluded with dinner and a raffle draw. Raffle prizes were sponsored by Baglioni Resort Maldives and Adaaran Club Rannalhi.

Maldives took part in the South Asian Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) held in Delhi, India from 24th to 26th March 2021. SATTE is one of the leading B2B travel exchange shows held in India. A total of 22 participants from 13 companies took part along with Visit Maldives. During the 3 days of SATTE, participants showcased their products, networked with various key industry stakeholders, generated new business leads and engaged in B2B sessions.

The event helped further develop and strengthen the presence of the Maldives in the India market. The fair was the first event since the pandemic in which the tourism community physically gathered, marking the event as a highly important occasion.

The Maldives stand was showcased at a 72 square meter stand designed to represent the beauty and the natural environment of the Maldives.

In addition, an online quiz on conducted on information regarding the Maldives and visitors had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Maldives through touchless 360° virtual images and videos. To increase the visibility of Maldives at the fair, an outdoor banner in a prime location at the entrance of the fair showcased the beauty of the Maldives throughout the event.

There are several activities ongoing and planned for the India market to promote Maldives as a safe haven due to the stringent measures in place and naturally socially distanced islands. Visit Maldives is currently collaborating with WeddingSutra, Thomas Cook, and MakeMyTrip. In addition, Visit Maldives has conducted media and travel agents’ familiarisation trips from the India market in order to sustain the destination presence and increase the arrival numbers.

Statistics published by the Ministry of Tourism reveals that India is currently the top source market for tourism in the Maldives. The latest statistics published by the Ministry of Tourism indicate that as of March 17, 2021, Maldives welcomed a total of 243,979 travelers with an arrival figure of 57,965 travelers from India. Visit Maldives plans to continue this momentum of growth by conducting several marketing activities in India.