Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC / Visit Maldives) has initiated marketing the destination at the leading global tourism event held in the African continent, World Travel Market (WTM) Africa 2022. The event will be hosted at Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), from 11-13 April 2022 in the South African capital city, Cape Town.
WTM Africa is one of the six shows in the WTM portfolio. The WTM Africa show was launched in 2014 under the Africa Travel Week umbrella to bring the benefits, opportunities, and expertise from the global travel trade to travel professionals in this region. WTM Africa estimates participation from over 6000 travel industry professionals. Similar to the WTM flagship events like WTM London, or ATM in Dubai, WTM Africa delivers a platform for travel trade industry buyers, sellers, and media representatives to connect, network, and hold pre-scheduled meetings and appointments in order to form mutually beneficial relationships and create business opportunities. The event is frequented by corporate travel decision-makers, potential investors in hospitality, leisure, and travel, and tour operators and travel agents with VIP clients.
The Maldives is represented at this event by MMPRC along with 11 co-exhibitors, namely W Maldives (Sheraton Maldives Full moon), Robinson Club Maldives, VILLA Hotels & Resorts, Capital Travels & Tours, Cocoon Maldives, Travel Escape Maldives, Sun Siyam Resorts, Soneva, Resort Life Travel, Brennia Maldives and Let’s Go Maldives.
Through this event, MMPRC targets to increase penetration for various tourism products, including luxury resorts, hotels, guesthouses and liveaboards from the African market. We also aim to market the luxury experiences available in the destination, promote the unique scattered geography of our islands which provides natural social distancing for visitors, making it one of the safest destinations to vacation. Participation in this event is aligned with MMPRC’s marketing strategy for the African market. This strategy is based on maintaining destination momentum and increasing bookings and arrivals from this market while providing the latest information of the destination and guidelines for the travel trade and potential travelers.
Africa is an important market to the Maldives, with arrivals from countries like South Africa increasing gradually over the years. Over 70 percent increase in arrivals observed between 2019 and 2021 from the African market, and in 2021 South Africa ranked as the 17th top source market to the Maldives. Last year MMPRC participated in WTM Africa Virtual 2021 and organized two Media Familiarization trips as part of the effort to increase bookings and arrivals from this market. MMPRC currently has one ongoing campaign for this market in collaboration with Air Seychelles. Upcoming activities for the African market includes a roadshow in Cape Town, Johannesburg & Durban, two media fam trips, online training for travel agents, campaigns with tour operators and joint promotion with airlines.
The world is currently on the trajectory to adapt to a broader new normal and ease covid measures across all sectors to recover from negative impact caused to economies due to covid restrictions. We are witnessing more countries easing travel measures and opening with a new normal. With regards to the recent development across the world, Maldives has also eased travel restrictions imposed on tourists which enforced presenting of negative PCR tests by all travelers. In this regard, from 4th March 2022, tourists visiting Maldives are no longer required to present a Covid-19 PCR negative result upon arrival if the prescribed doses of vaccine are completed 14 days prior to date of arrival. As of 13th March 2022, the Maldives has also lifted the national public health emergency, imposed in response to the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ease of travel restrictions and measures would make it easier for tourists to visit the Maldives.
As the company responsible for marketing the Maldives as a destination abroad, MMPRC carried out 260 different marketing activities in 22 global markets last year, including fairs, roadshows, familiarization 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 travelers from all over the globe.
This year also celebrates an exceptional year to visit the Maldives – the Golden Jubilee celebration of tourism in the Maldives kicked off earlier last year with plans to conduct new and exciting activities throughout the year. MMPRC has planned over 60 in-person events for the year 2022, including 11 fairs, roadshows and events scheduled for just the first quarter.