What is that the Maldives can offer that other beach or luxurious holidays can’t? Well, it is the surprising shades of blue, the plunge pools with breathtaking ocean views and the magical sun rays ready to immerse you in their arms. Also, it’s no surprise why Maldives’ USP is its sunny side of life. Among Indians, the destination has become extremely popular as a honeymoon, leisure and luxury travel destination and with time, segments such as wellness, experiential and adventure tourism, affordable luxury stays have also caught an eye of the enthusiastic Indian traveller.
Moving in tandem with the vision to attract more Indian travellers and enhance the brand’s exposure in the India market, Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) concluded its series of five-city roadshows across India, from June 24 to 28, held in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi and Chandigarh respectively. Informing about the exponential growth from last year, Aishath Neesha Mohamed Shahid, Deputy Managing Director, MMPRC highlighted that India’s ranking has moved up from fifth to the third position, contributing 99.4 per cent growth till May this year compared to May 2018, with a market share of 8.8 per cent. “The India market has seen incredible growth in terms of arrivals to the Maldives in the past three years with a nine per cent growth in 2018 compared to the previous year. Our objective through these roadshows in India is to strengthen our marketing efforts for this potential market and create a platform for the Indian travel trade and the tourism board to collaborate on productive terms which eventually would help in boosting the tourist arrivals to the Maldives.”
Maldives and India enjoy warm relations, which has steadily grown year on year in both scope and depth in many areas of cooperation. The tourism exchange between both the countries has gone upward and the increasing figures of arrivals to Maldives from India are proof that this trend is here to continue. Moreover, as India ranks within the top five, with great accessibility to the Maldives, MMPRC plans to further strengthen the market with additional activities throughout the year. Further highlighting that MMPRC is now actively pervading into the India market, H.E. Aishath Mohamed Didi, Ambassador of Maldives to India urged the Indian travel trade industry to take full benefit of this interest.
“We realized that the Maldives has been relatively slow in reaching out to the India market in the past. But we are now all out in making an extra effort to increase the marketing activities in India. When I first came to India, six months back, most people that I met, they would come with feedback that Maldives is too expensive for travelling. I now have a determined objective to let people know that it can be as luxurious as you want it to be or as affordable as you like. We need to ensure that the Indian travellers are well aware of the options available for them in the Maldives. The direct flight from Kochi to Hanimaadhoo has been launched which can be both an ideal and affordable option for a perfect weekend getaway. The numbers are increasing month on month. Also with our 30 day- visa for tourists, one gets the visa on arrival. We need to make sure that the Indian travellers know that we welcome you with open arms and I hope the Indian travel trade industry will take full benefit of our interest in this regard.”
“As the Maldivian Government Representative in India, it is my interest to strengthen our relationship through diplomatic, social and cultural bonding. I invite the travel trade industry of India to establish that connection with Maldives and experience this sunny side of life. I hope this year will open the gates of Maldives for Indian travellers like never before,” she asserts.
Giving an additional piece of information, FathimathRaheel, Director, MMPRC shared that by the end of May 2019, there were 10 new resorts opened and overall 50 more are expected to come up within next five years. On the connectivity front, she informs that Vistara has shown interest for adding the direct flights to Male but the city is yet to be finalised. “As the demand from the India market continues, we are hoping for a positive growth which eventually would boost the air connectivity,” added Raheel.
The five- city roadshow targeted the Indian audience to maximise the Maldives brand exposure. Around 25 companies participated in the Maldives roadshow in India 2019, to create potential opportunities and to further strengthen the relationship with Indian tour operators. These included leading hotel chains such as Centara, Shangri-la’sVillingili, Westin, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon and more.