The Maldives is set to receive this year’s 1 millionth visitor tomorrow, as per the latest statistical data, despite the challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent geopolitical conflicts.
Speaking about this decisive achievement, The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (CEO & MD) of MMPRC, Mr Thoyyib Mohamed commended all involved in realising this achievement despite numerous challenges faced due to global issues.
“This is a joyous occasion, to be able to welcome 1 million tourists to our shores despite the hurdles we are facing. This is a combined effort of government authorities, policymakers, tourism sector employees, and stakeholders who are working hard, day and night, to get here. And while we celebrate this milestone, it hardly means our work is over- in fact we have to strengthen our efforts, with renewed dedication to defend our position as the World’s Leading Destination and achieve our targets. MMPRC has been and will continue our efforts to market the Sunny Side of Life globally.”
Earlier this year, the President of the Maldives, His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih announced that the nation aims to welcome 1.6 million tourist visitors to the Maldives in 2022. Arrivals for this year, as of 31st July 2022, see India as the top source market to the Maldives with 136,828 visitors, followed closely by the United Kingdom with 109,926 visitors. Other top markets include Russia, with 101,409 visitors, Germany, with 76,224 visitors, and Italy with 53,588. The remainder of the top 10 source markets so far this year comprises the United States, France, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and Spain. India has maintained its spot in the top 3 source markets to the Maldives since the onset of the pandemic, especially as China closed their borders for international travel. As of today, Chinese borders remain closed.
MMPRC has been steadfast in our efforts to promote the Maldives and maintain destination presence across our key markets. We have conducted 16 campaigns in India so far, including participation in leading fairs such as OTM, SATTE, TTF Travel and Tourism Fair, and MILT Congress. Additionally, we conducted a roadshow, several familiarisation trips, webinars, and campaigns with leading publications and tourism companies. These efforts have played an instrumental role in positioning India as the top source market for the Maldives this year.
Our second top market this year, the UK market, has remained a top source market for the Maldives since 2020. We have conducted 7 high-level campaigns in the UK, amongst which were joint campaigns with; media organisations such as News UK; airlines such as British Airways; and leading tourism firms such as Kuoni, Destination 2, IF Only, and Blue Bay Travel. In addition to a familiarisation trip, MMPRC was also a sponsor of the British National Film Awards.
The Maldives has long remained a dream destination amongst Russians. To maintain Russia’s position as a top source market, MMPRC conducted 10 campaigns so far this year. Our diverse activities in Russia include social media marketing campaigns, workshops, and joint campaigns. We have also taken part in the Moscow Dive Show and LTM Moscow – two incredibly successful fairs.
Germany has been steadily growing as a vibrant and rewarding market for the Maldives throughout the past years. MMPRC conducted 8 activities for the German market so far this year. Alongside a familiarisation trip, MMPRC conducted several successful joint campaigns with leading publications. Connoisseur Circle, a leading luxury publication in Germany, awarded the Maldives with the title ‘Best Luxury Destination of The Year’. MMPRC also took part in IMEX Frankfurt – a leading travel and tourism fair held in Germany.
The Italian market, one of the traditional top source markets to the Maldives, has returned this year. The first tourist visitors to the Maldives in 1972 were a group from Italy. Since then, the market has held strong for 50 years, with an immense potential to hold its position as a top market in the Maldives in the years to come. MMPRC conducted 8 activities for the market. These include E-learning programs, joint marketing campaigns with major tour operators in the market, and a campaign with Green Me aimed at utilising the emerging trend of sustainable travel from the Italian market. MMPRC also took part in BIT Milan this year to great success.
MMPRC carried out 260 different marketing activities in 22 global markets last year, including fairs, roadshows, familiarisation trips, marketing campaigns, webinars, and interviews. The greatest testament to the success of these activities came late last year, as the Maldives secured the title of ‘World’s Leading Destination’ (among several other accolades) at the 2021 World Travel Awards, globally recognised as the hallmark of industry excellence. This is the second consecutive year that the Maldives had successfully earned this prestigious title, a shining testimony of the trust placed in the ‘magic of Maldivian hospitality’ by travellers from all over the globe.