Acting Managing Director of Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) shares his thoughts on how Maldives is poised to grow as a game-changing tourist destination.
What are some of the current travel trends on the islands? What attracts tourists to the Maldives?
Maldives, the sunny side of life is blessed with magical and breathtaking displays of sunshine for years. Similar to tropical countries, Maldives enjoys both dry and wet seasons. The hot and humid weather is complemented with cooling sea breeze and periodic rains.
Some of the current travel trends are:
- Online booking sales is growing more strongly than offline sales, backed by increasing interest among visitors from China, India and Japan, who use the internet often for information and services.
- With its unique ‘one-island-one-resort’ concept, resorts continue to be the most preferred lodging option for visitors looking for pristine nature along with beach experience.
- Maldives, as a destination for leisure and relaxation in a natural ambience, continues to attract people from around the world.
- Technology is fueling a more demanding and impatient traveler. 44% of the travelers already expect to be able to plan their holiday in a few simple steps from their smart phones with over half (52%) of them showing an increase in the use of travel apps in 2017.
- The ‘bleisure’ boom is well and truly underway. 2017 will see a further upswing not only in the blurring lines between leisure and business travel, but also in the value we attach to workplace travel opportunities.
- In a hectic world, people are increasingly seeing travel as a way to bring balance back into their lives. Almost half (48%) see going on holiday as a moment to reflect and make better lifestyle choices. 2017 will see many travelers prioritizing health conscious trips that promise harmony for the mind, body and soul.
Maldives has been positioned very well as a honeymoon destination but apart from this there are certain other factors which attract tourists to these beautiful islands. Apart from offering romantic side of life, it offers the following:
THE THRILLING SIDE OF LIFE
Because of its marine location, the Maldives boasts various kinds of water-based adventure sports ranging from paddling around in a lagoon on a transparent hulled canoe to being propelled several meters below the surface of the sea by underwater scooter or gliding several meters above the surface dangling from a parachute behind a speedboat. For the energetic and adventurous, Maldives is just as rewarding a destination as it is for the laidback sun worshiper or sophisticated epicure.
THE FUN SIDE OF LIFE
Maldives is an unusual holiday destination because of the fun things to do – whether you are staying on a plush resort, in Male’ or in a simple guesthouse on an island in a faraway atoll. Entertainment and daily excursions are organized at every resort so don’t be shy about joining in. Excursions include fishing and cruising (to watch dolphins dance) as well as visits to the capital, Male’, and to genuinely deserted islands, perhaps for swimming or a picnic, and shopping expeditions to neighboring inhabited islands.
THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF LIFE
Mind, body and spirit benefit from the serenity of a holiday in the Maldives especially when this is enhanced with relaxing and rejuvenating sessions at a resort’s spa. There are an estimated 110 top quality spas at island resorts plus some spas in Male’ as well as informal ones catering to guests staying on inhabited islands.
THE COLORFUL SIDE OF LIFE
It is estimated that nearly half the guests on a holiday in Maldives arrive with the intention of snorkeling or diving as soon as they see the crystal clear waters of an island’s lagoon and the colorful fish and corals, can’t resist giving it a try. Snorkeling is open to everyone who can swim and even children as young as ten can learn how to scuba dive. It’s easy in the Maldive
What initiatives/campaigns is the Tourism Board introducing to further increase visitor numbers this year?
MMPRC (Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation) is focusing on educating people from Middle East about Maldives as a destination. Our focus is to position Maldives in such a way that people not only relate themselves to the resorts and the facilities offered by them but should know what additionally the pristine destination offers them in terms of art & culture, work and life etc .The focus is to develop the interest of the travelers towards the entire destination and not few particular resorts. To promote the destination we are planning to organize road shows, participate in Arabian Travel Mart and execute joint marketing proposals with trade partners. We are also aggressively working towards building and promoting packages and itineraries that are being circulated online and with all the major consolidators and agents in the region.
Of what importance is the MENA market to the Maldives?
We strongly feel MENA market has a huge potential in terms of outbound tourism. The MENA travelers are becoming more adventurous and generate a higher share of tourism revenue. To attract them Maldives is trying to position itself on different lines. Observing the outbound travel trends of the MENA travelers we are trying to place ourselves as a family destination providing convenience to all walks of life. Many resorts/ hotels offer in house facilities of babysitting, different activities specifically designed for kids as per their age groups.