The Maldives unveiled a new initiative to become a leading meetings and events destination, during a press conference at WTM London.
The Indian Ocean nation will also offer homestay holidays from January 2022 as part of a strategy to diversify its offering to visitors.
Mohamed Thoyyib, Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), the national tourism promotion board of Maldives, told WTM delegates: “We want to position the Maldives as a leading destination for MICE [meetings,
incentives, conferences and events]”.
He showed a video entitled ‘Boardroom on the beach’, showcasing the range of activities available for MICE delegates in the Maldives.
As well as the new homestay products, the destination also offers liveaboards and guest-houses but Thoyyib said the Maldives will retain its on premium luxury accommodation for which it is known.
The destination will also launch a marketing campaign, called ‘the story of the Maldives’, “bringing the stories of our islands’ culture and folklore” to consumers and the trade, he added.
Last year, the Maldives welcomed 500,000 despite the problems of the pandemic, and it has already surpassed the one-million mark in 2021.
Dr Abdulla Mausoom, Maldives’ Minister of Tourism, said the nation has already recorded 10.7 million bed nights so far this year – which is better than in 2019, because people are staying longer.
He told delegates there will be a year-long celebration in 2022 marking the 50th anniversary of the start of tourism in the Maldives, with events and festivals taking place across the 200-island nation.
The minister told also delegates that he was very glad to be at WTM, adding: “We have missed this for a very, very long time – being glued to our screens is not good.”