The travel industry is the fastest growing industry in the world. A large number of Maldivians travel out of the country every year. The purpose of travel ranges from seeking medical services, education and training, business and official trips or holidaying. Our team at Travel Trade Maldives decided to sit with Villa travels manager Farhath Abdul Latheef to have a better understanding of the changes in the outbound travel industry of Maldives in the past decade.
1. Travel industry growth
According to Villa Travels manager Farhath, the hype in the travel industry came with an increase in the number of travel agents and new airlines. This consequently gives travelers access to new routes and destinations and with the increase in the number of competition, the travelers are offered more flights with competitive packaged rates.
2. Changes to the traveling destinations
Maldivians used to travel more to neighboring countries like Sri Lanka and the southern parts of India. Maldivian travelers now seek European countries and ASEAN countries like Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali, Malaysia and Singapore.
3. Purpose of travel changes – from medical to leisure
Many Maldivians travel abroad for dual purposes, most commonly holidays would include medical check-ups and treatments. However, this trend is changing. Maldivians now travel simply for leisure. They look for packaged tours for various destinations and thus, this has led to an increase in the number of travel industries catering to the local holidaymakers.
4. Pre-plan travel in advance
Traditionally, as people were traveling to neighboring countries, they ended up purchasing the tickets at the last minute. There was not much planning prior to the trips. As the demand for traveling increases, Maldivians plan their trips beforehand and buy the tickets months ahead.
5. Change in mode of communication
Previously telephone calls and emails were widely used as means of communication between the travelers and the travel agents. With the increased popularity of the social media and instant messaging platforms like Viber, it has made it easier for travelers to communicate with the agents. This includes the change in the mode of payment as well where the local banks provide online payment gateways. From the initial inquiry about a ticket price to the actual purchase of the tickets now take place with the touch of a button.