The Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) is representing the Indian Ocean nation in the Bharath International Tourism Bazaar (BITB).
Opening in New Delhi last Monday, the event is the first edition of the Berlin travel trade show that has grown to become the largest in the world. Over 300 tourism products are being displayed at the B2B event, with MATATO bringing around a dozen Maldivian products to the 12,000 square metre Pragati Maidan.
“India is one of the fastest growing and largest travel markets in the world, and MATATO intends to have strong presence in India’s leading travel shows with our members and industry partners,” read a press release from the association.
India is the second fastest outbound tourism market in the world, after China, with arrivals to the Maldives growing by almost 15 percent in 2015, and more than 20 percent up to July this year.
Statistics from the World Bank and India’s tourism ministry show that 18.3 millionIndians travelled overseas in 2014, compared to 16 million the year before. The UNWTO believes this could grow to as many as 50 million by 2020.
Travel agents present were ITAW Travels & Tours along with Traveller Street, while Mega Maldives Airlines were also featured. Copies of the ‘guesthouses maldives’ magazine were available to attendees, while the MATATO exhibit featured scenes of the atolls captured by local photographer Aishath Naj for her ‘Two Thousand Isles’ blog.
Organisers have arranged for those visiting the bazaar to take part in 6 ‘power conclaves’ examining specific tourism areas such as aviation, MICE, hospitality and experiential tourism.
“It is undeniably the most robust growth market globally,” explains the BITB website, describing the event as “tourism under one roof, B2B with a difference that includes new motivations to travel, consolidating what is trending in Indian tourism.”
The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), has started a 4-city roadshow – Lucknow, Chandigarh, Pune, and Hyderabad till the 20th of this month. These roadshows are a part of initiatives by MMPRC to promote Maldives tourism and are a follow-up to the Roadshows held in 2015 in the cities of India: New Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai which were met with tremendous success.
A lucky draw, sponsored by Sun Siyam Resorts and Dusit Thani, is being held at every road show where the winner gets a free vacation in the Maldives.
India is the sixth biggest market for the Maldivian tourism. In the first quarter of 2016, 14,171 tourists visited the Maldives from India. From January to December 2015, 52,368 Indians visited Maldives which is an increase of 14.9% compared to the year 2014.
In recent years, Maldives has become a popular travel destination with Indians. It has emerged as vacation favourite for Indian celebrities like Bipasha Basu, Karan Singh Grover, Abhishek Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shahid Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Sanam Puri to name a few who regularly visits, while number of Bollywood film makers regularly shoot in the Maldives such as.
Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation together with the tourism industry is currently taking part in the OneWorld Travel Mart 2016, which takes place in Mumbai, India from 18th – 20th February 2016. The exhibition is the most prominent and leading travel trade show of India, and is conducted in the largest travel market of India, Mumbai, at the Bombay Convention Centre. 26 participants from 15 industry co-exhibitor companies are taking part alongside MMPRC in the fair.
Organized and run by TTF, the most trusted market leader in India formed in 1989, OTM has become the best platform to focus on outbound tourism in India. More than 2,500 hotels, resorts, travel agents, tour operators and other travel service providers, state and country pavilions from around 70 different countries will take part in OTM 2016, which is the most alluring travel trade event that is organized and held in India. This year the exhibition will be spread over 25,000 sqm, housing the fairground which is expected to be visited by more than 12,000 travel trade visitors from all over India and abroad.
Maldives will be showcased in a stand space of 60 sqm designed to portray the uniqueness of the destination with very bold and alluring photos of holiday resort islands. More advertising such as billboards at the entry, pillar wrapping, lanyard design of exhibition badges and the show carry bags will be displaying and promoting the Visit Maldives Year 2016 campaign.
OTM is the most effective platform to market to the Indian travel industry as it caters to over 15 million outbound travellers spending over US$ 10 billion in India. As Mumbai is the biggest outbound tourist market in India, the city contributes over half of all overseas travel from the country.
India currently holds the 5th biggest market share of the arrivals. Taking this place in November 2015, India has a recorded figure of 52,368 tourists who visited in the year 2015. This figure is a 14.9% growth compared to the arrival number recorded in the year 2014. The Indian market accounted to 4.2% of the market in 2015, and is a very important market to focus on as it promises a lot of potential.
Kurumba, Maldives are excited to announce that over the past five months, have been training Miss Aishath Rizuna “Rizu”, Maldives’ first female boat Captain.
Rizu started to work at Kurumba, Maldives back in November 2011 as a Kids Club Attendant. In November 2012 she was promoted as Supervisor in Majaa Recreation. From her background, Rizu was born and raised in Funadhoo, Shaviyani Atoll. Her father is a fisherman so Rizu has sweet memories about the time when her father taught her how to swim, snorkel and fish in a traditional Dhoni boat. At the very young age of four, Rizu’s father taught her how to drive a small boat, and by the time she was a teenager she was sailing small boats in the lagoon of Funadhoo. Rizu’s father (Mohamed Nazim) curiously also worked in Kurumba at a young age thirty years ago and has been a great support to Rizu’s evolving career.
We are delighted with the support of our twelve male Captains, who certainly gave her all the necessary help needed for her practical training as well as her theory course. Rizu is still developing her skills and knowledge of the Maldivian oceans, which will take some time. Whilst she will continue her role as Majaa Recreation Supervisor, these additional skills can be used in the future from time to time when guests are looking for a female crew.
Mohamed Shameem, Fleet Manager of Kurumba, Maldives commented: “Rizu is a very energetic individual and has always been very keen to become a boat captain. I can see that she has a bright future in the maritime field.”
Maldivian, the national airline of Maldives has announced that three new destinations to China will be added to its network commencing in February 2015. The three additional cities are Xi’an, Nanjing and Changsha.
Xi’an is the capital of Shaanxi province, located in the northwest of the People’s Republic of China, in the center of the Guanzhong Plain and is formerly romanized as Sian. Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu province in Eastern China. It is rich in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China during the rule of several dynasties. Changsha is the capital of Hunan Province in South-Central China.
Maldivian started flights to China in July 2013 with Chongqing the 4th largest city in China after Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin as the first destination. Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province in the heart of China which is one of the major commercial hubs in the country and one of the biggest metropolitan cities was added to its network an year later in July 2014.
With this increase in flights to China, Maldivian will have access to a larger share of the Chinese tourists visiting Maldives. Chinese tourism is the fastest growing market in the world and accounts for 30 percent of all visitors to the Maldives.
Maldivian is owned and operated by the state owned Island Aviation Services Ltd and is the leading domestic airline of the country. Maldivian was operating only domestic flights until 25th January 2008 when it commenced its first regional operations with the first flight to Trivandrum, India. In addition to daily flights to Trivandrum, the flag carrier now flies to Chennai – India and Dhaka – Bangladesh as well as China.
Maldivian continues to operate daily flights to 9 airports within the country. The carrier was formerly known as Island Aviation and was re-branded in August 2008.