Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC / Visit Maldives) was promoting the Maldives at USTOA Annual Conference and Marketplace 2022. The event took place from 28th November – 2nd December 2022 at the JW Marriott Austin in Austin, Texas, United States. During the event, MMPRC had opportunities to meet some of America’s most respected and renowned tour operators.
Since its inception in 1972, the USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace has distinguished itself for being the only travel industry event in the US that brings together leading North American travel companies, tourism suppliers and global destinations in an intimate and exclusive setting. Visit Maldives was represented at the event by our PR agency representatives for the region. Our objective in participating in this event was to market the Maldives as the preferred holiday destination, provide the latest destination information, and promote the various segments, products, and experiences of the Maldives tourism industry.
This event provided a unique business-casual atmosphere for a small select group of 700 travel professionals and networking opportunities throughout the conference to make new contacts and conduct business. It enables us to connect and network with stakeholders of the industry from the market and through that, inform travellers of the latest information about the destination. These stakeholders range from other tourism destinations, service providers, PR companies, buyers and sellers, and a diverse range of trade professionals. During this event, we gained invaluable insight into the North American travel market. We also identified the latest factors and trends affecting the industry and travellers across the globe through exciting seminars, symposiums, and expert panel discussions.
It is an indication of the Maldives’ strong presence and demand in the US market that despite the long distance, the US market remains one of the top source markets for the Maldives. As of 1st December 2022, the Maldives has welcomed 71,757 tourists from the US, making it the 6th top source market for tourism. On 12th August, the Maldives achieved the one millionth tourist arrival mark for this year.
MMPRC has held several activities targeting this market this year, including hosting Maldives Roadshows in different cities the US and Canada. These activities further include taking part in ATTA’s AdventureELEVATE 2022 and conducting a travel trade webinar, as well as organising familiarisation trips with media and influencers. We also conducted campaigns with leading tourism companies such as Worth Magazine, Goway, and SQ.
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, familiarisation trips, marketing campaigns, webinars, and interviews. The greatest testament to the success of these activities came this year, as the Maldives secured the title of ‘World’s Leading Destination’ (among several other accolades) at the 2022 World Travel Awards, globally recognised as the hallmark of industry excellence. This is the third 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. This year, MMPRC also secured the title of ‘World’s Leading Tourist Board’ for the first time in our nation’s history.