MATATO Represents Maldives at the First BITB

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 million Indians 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.

Maldivian resorts and guest houses exhibiting with MATATO at the event include Amilla Fushi, Cocoon Maldives, Dreams Arena, Furaveri Island Resort, Local Island Inn, Soneva, and Summer Island Maldives as well as the soon to be opened Season Paradise hotel in Thulusdhoo.

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 event will conclude today, October 6.

Singapore’s Park Hotel Group to open Grand Park Kodhipparu in 2017

Singapore’s Chip Eng Seng Corporation Ltd (CES) and Park Hotel Group announced today that they have entered into a Joint Venture Agreement to invest in a resort project in the Maldives.

Under the Agreement, CEL Development Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of CES holds an interest of 70% while Grand Park Maldives Pte Ltd, a member of Park Hotel Group owns the remaining 30%.

The joint venture has entered into a Sales and Purchase Agreement for the Maldives resort with Kodhipparu Investment Private Limited for US$65 million. The transaction was brokered by JLL’s Hotels and Hospitality Group as the exclusive advisor to the vendor.

The joint venture also marks the appointment of Park Hotel Group to manage Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives, scheduled to open in the 2nd quarter of 2017. The 120 all-villas Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives is Park Hotel Group’s second partnership with CES, following the hotel Management Agreement for Park Hotel Alexandra which opened last year.

Executive Chairman of CES, Mr Raymond Chia said, “We are delighted to acquire Chip Eng Seng’s first resort property in Maldives as part of the Group’s strategy to expand our Hospitality Investment portfolio. We are confident that our partnership with Park Hotel Group, one of the most established and fast expanding Asian hospitality brands, will be a winning formula as we aim to continue our successful partnership following the opening of our first hotel, Park Hotel Alexandra. We believe we will create a new and very special hospitality experience for our guests when the resort opens in 2017.”

Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives is located on the North Malé Atoll and 15 minutes’ speedboat ride from the Malé International Airport. Designed by the world-renowned hospitality design firm, Hirsch Bedner Associates, the luxury resort features 120 idyllic villas comprising a range of beachfront pool villas, overwater villas with direct access to the crystal-clear turquoise waters and overwater pool villas that come with a private infinity pool. The resort will offer two restaurants, a harbour beach club and pool bar. Recreational facilities including a swimming pool, gymnasium, sunrise yoga deck, wellness centre with spa and salon treatments, water sports and dive centre, children’s activity centre and speciality shops are also available. This is Park Hotel Group’s second resort property in the portfolio after the opening of Park Hotel Nusa Dua, Bali last year.

“We are committed to growing our brand presence and to be able to fulfil this vision with our trusted partners like CES allows us to access new markets with increased confidence as we seek to combine resources and capabilities to achieve scalability, efficiency and success. Maldives, with its pristine natural landscape and ‘one island, one resort’ concept has established itself as a leading and an exclusive resort destination over the years,” said Mr Allen Law, Chief Executive Officer of Park Hotel Group.

“Ongoing government initiatives such as the 2016 year long marketing campaign, expansion plans for the Malé International Airport backed by a strong destination brand image as well as additional flight options from key feeder markets signal a continued positive tourism outlook for Maldives. This, combined with the rising affluence in Asia, a segment that has shown consistent growth also ensures an anticipated healthy performance in hotel occupancy and average room rates,” added Mr Law.

Park Hotel Group owns and manages 15 properties in 8 countries and 11 cities. Named “Best Regional Hotel Chain” in the TTG Travel Awards for five consecutive years (2012-2016), the Group endeavours to create unique and memorable travel experiences and to bring joy to its guests as it continues to grow its footprint across Asia Pacific. Since August last year, the Group has been expanding into new destinations in Australia, Malaysia and most recently last month, South Korea. In addition to Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives, the Group will open two other hotels, Park Hotel Farrer Park in Singapore and Park Hotel Yeongdeungpo, Seoul next year.

END.

About Chip Eng Seng Corporation Ltd

Chip Eng Seng Corporation Ltd (”CES”) is one of Singapore’s leading construction and property groups in Singapore and is listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited since 24 November 1999. CES core businesses are primarily in the area of property development, property investment, construction and hospitality. CES also has a presence in Australia, Malaysia and Vietnam.

CES made its mark by making a successful foray into the public housing market in 1982 after clinching its first Housing and Development Board construction project. Through hard work and dedication, the CES brand grew over the years and received many industry accolades and recognition. Its strong track record is attested by the construction of Singapore’s most iconic public housing project – the Pinnacle @ Duxton.

With more capital and talent at hand post listing, CES ventured into the development of private residential projects, which included landed homes, condominiums as well as executive condominiums since the mids 2000. CES made its foray into hospitality business in 2015 with the opening of its maiden hotel property, Park Hotel Alexandra in Singapore.

Harnessing its position as a leading industry player, CES plans to build on the strength of its property portfolio by strategically growing its presence in new key markets when the right opportunity arises. CES is actively developing new ways of creating synergies amongst the business segments while exploring strategic partnerships to boost its competitiveness in the region and bolster all aspects of its operations.

For more information about Chip Eng Seng Corporation Ltd, please visit www.chipengseng.com

About Park Hotel Group

Park Hotel Group is one of Asia Pacific’s best hospitality groups. The Group manages, owns and develops Park branded hotels around the Asia Pacific. Established since 1961, Park Hotel Group grew rapidly from its first hotel in Hong Kong to the current portfolio of 15 properties across 8 countries and 11 cities in the region, with access to over 4,200 rooms.

Committed to delivering exceptional service with love and passion, the acclaimed Park Hotel Group has established a track record of operating successful hotels. As it strives to be a world-renowned brand in hospitality, Park Hotel Group continues to focus on its footprint expansion through acquisitions and hotel management services.

Park branded hotels include the luxury Grand Park and the upscale Park Hotel.

Grand Park is a luxury hotel and resort brand synonymous with premium accommodation, facilities, service and comfort designed for discerning business and leisure travellers. Grand Park hotels can be found in Singapore, Maldives, China and Japan.

Park Hotel is an upscale hotel and resort brand symbolising utmost convenience, personalised services and high standards of amenities carefully crafted to please business and leisure travellers. Park Hotels can be found in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Australia.

Park Hotel Group’s portfolio of properties comprises:

Singapore

  • Grand Park Orchard
  • Grand Park City Hall
  • Park Hotel Clarke Quay
  • Park Hotel Alexandra
  • Park Hotel Farrer Park (2017)

Malaysia

  • Park Hotel Melaka (2019)

Indonesia

  • Park Hotel Nusa Dua, Bali

China

  • Grand Park Xian
  • Grand Park Wuxi
  • Grand Park Kunming

Hong Kong

  • Park Hotel Hong Kong

South Korea

  • Park Hotel Yeongdeungpo, Seoul (2017)

Japan

  • Grand Park Otaru

Australia

  • Park Hotel Adelaide (2018)

Maldives

  • Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives (2017)

Kodhipparu — once a sand bank, was reclaimed and made to a 3-hectare island by a Maldivian company and later sold to Abdullah Mohamed, owner of Amin Construction one of the largest construction companies in the Maldives, for an undisclosed price.

Permit to develop a resort at Kodhipparu was given to Abdullah Mohamed’s Top Deck Investment in early 2013 as a cross subsidy to his project to develop 100 housing units or 50 luxury villas in Hulhumalé. The resort was supposed to be a joint venture with the government of the Maldives with 250 beds and the contract was signed in September 2013.

Plumeria Boutique Hotel

Situated in Vaavu Atoll, Plumeria Boutique Hotel is the perfect place to experience Maldives Islands and its surroundings. Only 77 km away, this 4-star hotel can be easily accessed from the airport. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city’s must-see destinations.

At Plumeria Boutique Hotel, the excellent service and superior facilities make for an unforgettable stay. A selection of top-class facilities such as free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas, room service can be enjoyed at the hotel.

Plumeria Boutique Hotel is home to 21 bedrooms. All are tastefully furnished and many even provide such comforts as television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – wireless (complimentary), non-smoking rooms, air conditioning, wake-up service. The hotel’s outdoor pool, diving, fishing, water sports (motorized) are ideal places to relax and unwind after a busy day. Whatever your purpose of visit, Plumeria Boutique Hotel is an excellent choice for your stay in the Maldives.

Maldives Travel Awards Judging Begins this Week

The official judging process for the MATATO Maldives Travel Awards 2016 has started this week at Hotel Jen in the capital Male’.

From October 3rd until October 9th, this year’s judging panel will shortlist three nominees for each of the 35 different categories. The finalists will then receive visits from the judges before the overall marks are determined.

These marks will then be added to the online and SMS voting, which have both been open since September 18th and will close on November 15th – shortly before the official awards ceremony.

The final results will be collated by KPMG, the Independent Service Provider of this year’s awards, who will collect the scores and votes directly from the judges and telecoms providers Ooredoo and Dhiraagu.

Award categories included this year cover resorts, hotels and guesthouses, liveaboards/diving/watersports, and transportation & technology. New categories for the 2016 edition include ‘Leading Travel Website’, ‘Leading Guest House Island’, ‘Leading Innovation in Guest-House Design’, ‘Leading F&B Outlet’, and ‘Leading Airport Lounge’.

Big winners in 2015 included Bandos Island Resort (‘Best Dive Resort’ and ‘Most Supportive Resort’), PER AQUUM resorts (‘Most Romantic Resort’ – Per Aquum Huvafenfushi; ‘Leading F & B Resort’ – Per Aquum Niyama), and Anantara resorts (‘Leading Beach Resort in the Maldives’ – Anantara Kihavah Villas; ‘Leading Wellness and Spa Resort’ – Anantara Veli Resort; ‘Leading Spa Brand’ – Anantara Spa; ‘Leading International Hotel & Resort Brand’).

The awards were launched in 2011 to recognise and celebrate the leading lights in the Maldives’ famed tourism industry. They went international for the first time in 2015, when the final event took place in Dubai.

The full list of judges for this year’s awards is as follows:

1- Dr. Hussain Sunny Umar

2- Dr. Mariyam Waseema

3- Mr. Mohamed Areef

4- Mr. Ibrahim Nasreen

5- Ms. Zeenaz Hussain

6- Mr. Ibrahim Asim

7- Ms. Aminath Shaanee

8- Mr. Mohamed Shinaz

9- Mr. Ibrahim Mahudhee

Maldives.com is proud to be an associate partner of this year’s MATATO Maldives Travel Awards.

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TME Retreats Dhigurah

TME Retreats Dhigurah is a hotel that offers the fullest sense of intimacy on the beautiful island of Dhigurah. The property is well-equipped with modern convenience as well as amenities. The hotel is located a little far from the village, but that does not hinder guests from enjoying the unique island lifestyle of the Maldives.

Guests can stroll along the refined, white sandy beach with a length of more than three kilometers. You will feel as though you have the beach all to your own. For divers, the hotel is located in the renowned diving sites such as Manta Point and Kuda Rah Thila. The area is also particularly popular for spotting whale sharks and manta rays.

Jumeirah Vittaveli Unveils 5-Bedroom Royal Residence

The lavish Royal Residence will be the perfect playground for the extraordinary traveller – opens on January 2017

Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives has announced the resort’s much anticipated Royal Residence will open in January 2017. The 5-bedroom / 6 bathroom retreat will cover 3,500 square metres and include a private beach, two pools, and a private arrival jetty.

Amit Majumder, General Manager, Jumeirah Vittaveli, said: “The Royal Residence adds another dimension of luxury to Jumeirah Vittaveli. This completely self-sufficient hideaway includes its own arrival jetty with overwater bar, an open air kitchen, restaurant, private beach, two pools, spa and gym, separate living and dining pavilion as well as separate service quarters. Guests can enjoy unrivalled privacy while still having all the activities and facilities of an award-winning resort at their fingertips. We have put much thought into planning out each little detail of the Royal Residence and I am confident that guests will be amazed by the level of service as well as privacy that they will experience when staying at this new ultimate tropical retreat.”

Entrance, Royal Residence, Jumeirah Vittaveli
Entrance, Jumeirah Vittaveli

The Royal Residence experience will begin as soon as guests arrive in the Maldives. They will receive priority customs service and a personal welcome at the airport, followed by a 20-minute luxury yacht transfer to the island. A traditional Maldivian Bodu Beru reception awaits, comprising a group of drummers and dancers who greet guests at the private jetty. The Royal Residence Manager will take everyone on a brief tour of the luxurious residence.

The journey will lead guests past a sunken lounge surrounded by a fragrant lily pond, to a full sized swimming pool looking out across the private beach. A dining room seating 10 with adjacent living room including Bang & Olufsen™ home theatre system is connected to the pool deck, with an open air Teppanyaki style live kitchen on the far end overlooking the infinite ocean. An indoor fully stocked kitchen and wine cellar by nolte™ is the domain of the personal chef, while separate service quarters house up to four additional personnel.

The Suite Master Bedroom, Jumeirah Vittaveli
The Suite Master Bedroom, Jumeirah Vittaveli

‘The Sanctuary’ (530sqm) includes the Master Bedroom, as well as a separate indoor living area, private spa treatment room and private gym outfitted with state-of-the-art Life Fitness™ equipment. An indoor bathroom with his and hers vanities and oversized stone bathtub by Kelly Hoppen™ is complemented by an outdoor bathing area featuring a Jacuzzi with inbuilt TV. ‘The Villas’ (240 sqm & 195 sqm), one with king-size bed and one with twin bed, flank The Sanctuary and pool to the North and South – both including their own private open air deck as well as walk-in wardrobe and stone bathtub. ‘The Suite’ connects through a portico to the Royal Residence and includes one king-sized and one twin bedded room, as well as separate living room and a 49 square metre private pool.

The Suite Exterior, Jumeirah Vittaveli
The Suite, Jumeirah Vittaveli

Guests of the Royal Residence will enjoy access to all facilities of Jumeirah Vittaveli via dedicated buggy and chauffeur, including a PADI Dive base, water sports centre, four restaurants and two bars, Kuda Koli Kids’ Club with family pool, and a Talise Spa with overwater and garden treatment rooms. With its focus on understated luxury and cultural connection, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers guests a true Maldivian island experience.

MMPRC signs as Associate Partner for first Travel Trade Show of Maldives

Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has signed an MOU with Maldives Getaways Pvt Ltd to become an Associate Partner for first Travel Trade Show of Maldives (TTM).

Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) is the platform that connects the travel trade community of the Maldives to the global network of travel agents easily and instantly. Staged annually in Maldives, TTM will be the leading global event for the luxury travel trade industry of Maldives. It will be a vibrant must attend business-to-business event presenting a diverse range of hoteliers to local & International travel professionals.

TTM aims to facilitate the tourism industry of Maldives to reach the ultimate target of 2 million tourists with over $3.5 billion in receipts by the end of 2020.

More than 300 hoteliers, suppliers, related industries and travel professionals from Maldives and abroad are expected to visit TTM to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends in Maldives.

SPEED NETWORKING

Speed networking sessions bring together exhibitors and selected buyers in one-to-one meeting sessions. TTM will arrange meetings for up to 20 minutes to facilitate constructive meetings which will produce results! You can use this time to not only exchange cards and introduce but to brief products and services, discuss prices and even explore ways to work in the future.

The Venue & Dates

TTM 2017 will be held in Dharubaaruge, Male’ Maldives. TTM 2017 will be held in July 2017 from morning till evening, promising two full days of serious business.

Events & Facilities

Travel Talks – These are interactive talk sessions presented by the leading industry stakeholders of Maldives and the international travel market. These stakeholders are renowned professionals, industry experts, specialists and achievers, and research authors of the markets. The sessions will be scheduled in a flow that will not disrupt the meetings, ensuring not only business but a learning experience.

Predesigned state-of-the-art booths – Booths at TTM will be spaced and designed to meet the sole objective of hosting productive meetings. The booths will be equipped with all the necessary equipment and comfortable furniture to ensure the perfect environment. Business Centre – TTM2017 will feature a comprehensive Business Centre with the perfect environment for buyers and exhibitors to network and hold additional meetings with prospected partners. The centre will include amenities and facilities such as concierge service, printing and photocopying, free Internet and Wi-Fi, luggage storage, phone charging stations, etc.

Meal and Refreshment Zone – The show will feature a trendy full scale meal and refreshment zone serving a rich variety of foods and drinks for the participants. Photo and Art Gallery – TTM will feature a photo and art gallery that will exhibit the finest works of leading professional photographers and artists related to the travel and tourism world. The gallery will communicate breathtaking tales about Maldives, the history and the future of the tourism industry.

Closing Gala Event – TTM will host a VIP Closing Gala Event to mark the closing celebrations of the event. The Gala Event will feature keynote speakers who are international hospitality veterans; gift exchanging; a classy dinner with rich and exotic Maldivian tastes; live music by leading artists; and of course the opportunity to network with the highest executives, decision makers, and market shapers of the industry.

EXHIBITOR PROFILES

Resort and Hotels Chains and individual Resorts and Hotels, National and State Government Agencies, Industry Service Providers, Financial Institutions, Business/ Luxury Travel Agents and Tour Operators, Destination Marketing and PR Companies, Insurance Companies, Marine and Land Transport Companies, Airlines; and News and Media Corporations.

VISITOR PROFILES

International Business/Luxury Travel Agents and Tour Operators, Destination Marketing and PR Companies, Travel Bloggers, Airlines; and News and Media Corporations.

TOTAL PARTCIPANTS

150 International Travel Agents & local travel agents

100 Resorts/Hotels

50 Partners/Journalists/Bloggers/PR Specialists/Media

Bandos Maldives Coral Gardening Project Inauguration Ceremony

On the occasion of World Tourism Day 2016, Bandos Maldives has launched a Coral Gardening Project for visitors. The Bandos house reef is one of the best in the North Malé Atoll and a point of pride for the resort. This initiative is in line with the company’s Environmental Stewardship core value.

“We have studied the Bandos house reef growth and studies indicate that coral gardening helps protect the reef and encourages growth sustainably,” states Hussein Shifau, Assistant Base Leader at Dive Bandos.

Coral Gardening Project, Bandos Maldives
Coral Gardening Project, Bandos Maldives

The Bandos Maldives Coral Gardening Program allows guests to give back while on holiday by collecting broken, but still living coral fragments from the seabed and attaching them to island-made coral tables. The “coral propagation” method is applied, where fragments of coral are transplanted to frames to create small but essential coral nursery areas.

“We are deeply committed to sustainable methods that help our marine environment,” says Resident Manager, Ismail Rasheed. “All fines for damages to coral will be donated to the coral gardening program.”

Coral Gardening Project, Bandos Maldives
Coral Gardening Project, Bandos Maldives

Bandos Maldives has also signed the Biosphere Reserve Pledge and has allocated an area of around 800sqm of the house reef as a core biosphere reserve. This reserve will be instrumental in conservation and the promotion of biosphere sustainability solutions.

Aquaculture is showing promise as an effective tool for restoring coral reefs, which are in worldwide decline. With the Bandos Maldives Coral Gardening program, a long-term plan is implemented to share learning experiences with guests, accelerate coral growth regeneration in the atoll reef, and ultimately ensure the future of this unique destination.

Cocoon Maldives introduces a new concept of hospitality

Located in Ookolhufinolhu Island in Lhaviyani Atoll, Cocoon Maldives is scheduled to open on 26th December 2016. Cocoon blends the best of Italian design with the Maldives’ stunning natural beauty, all set against the backdrop of the azure Indian Ocean. Cocoon’s interiors are exclusively designed by Lago, one of Italy’s finest design companies.

This 5-star, family-friendly, stylish resort, based on the principle of ‘affordable luxury’, is the perfect destination from which to discover the Maldives, whether you are honeymooning, scuba diving, or just looking for a place to unwind and relax.

Aerial, Cocoon Maldives
Cocoon Maldives

Inspired by the concept of lightness, Cocoon aims to regenerate the spirit and soothe the mind. Everything has been carefully planned to create a perfect atmosphere of harmony and tranquility.

The resort offers guests both privacy and a place to socialize if they wish, in the island’s clubs, restaurants and bars. Cocoon’s ‘community table’ is a place where people from all over the world sit together to break bread and cultural barriers.

Guest accommodation includes Beach Villas, Beach Suites, Family Beach Villas, Beach Suites with Pools, Lagoon Villas, Lagoon Suites, Lagoon Suites with Pools and a Presidential Suite.

Meet Hurawalhi Bars Manager — Lalith Payu

The opening of a new property is the pinnacle of any hospitality manager’s career. The excitement of new concepts and the bond that forms among team members with the coming together of a new resort is a magical experience. Hurawalhi Maldives is no exception: its 5-star character combined with the beauty of the island is a major draw not only for guests but also for the people who will soon call it ‘home’.

The recruitment is underway and in addition to a number of new faces, we are thrilled that Hurawalhi guests will be taken care of by quite a few team members who developed their expertise at the sister resorts Kuredu and Komandoo. One such individual is Lalith Payu who has been entrusted the Bars Manager role. His dedication to delighting patrons ensured he was one of the first talents to be selected for the opening of Hurawalhi Maldives. Lalith’s eye for detail and his charming social graces, paired with the luxury surroundings of Hurawalhi, is a winning cocktail in itself.

Lalith’s experience has seen him work at the 5-star Mövenpick Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, the Wateredge Inn in the UK and several other properties; yet although Lalith’s heart is scattered around various places of the world, it is the Lhaviyani Atoll where he is happiest. Having said that, it is our pleasure that we can help him climb the career ladder and introduce his talents and joyful character to Hurawalhi guests.

Lalith will showcase his talents as a master mixologist in Coco Bar, Aquarium Bar and the Champagne Pavilion – three very different venues with equally stunning oceanfront vistas, charm and intimate ambience. He will also oversee the beverage service in Canneli and 5.8 Undersea Restaurants.

On behalf of the whole Hurawalhi team, we say welcome Lalith and a heartfelt congratulation!