Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC / Visit Maldives) has launched a destination marketing campaign with India’s leading omnichannel travel services company, Thomas Cook India. This strategic partnership is aimed at sustaining the Maldives’ visibility among Indian travelers and increasing arrivals from India to the Maldives. The three month campaign will be conducted from April to July, 2022.
Thomas Cook, India’s leading tour operator, enjoys strong consumer trust with over 140 years of expertise in the travel & tourism sector, a diversified portfolio of travel and related products-services and an extensive B2C and B2B consumer base, pan India. They are also the biggest tour operators to sell a vibrant range of holidays that incorporate value, premium to uber luxury properties from the Maldives to the Indian market and beyond. In a focused two pronged initiative to build high visibility and catalyze demand from the highly viable India market, this strategic partnership is a continuum of the strong relationship between Thomas Cook India and MMPRC.
Through this campaign MMPRC will market the destination as one of the safest destinations for India or Indian travelers across all segments and profiles. The campaign will highlight the unique geography of our scattered islands. It will also help MMPRC to promote our tourism products, including resorts, hotels, guesthouses, liveaboards, and the unique experiences available for tourists in the destination. Under this campaign we will be able to provide the latest information about the destination and its travel guidelines to the travel trade and tourists from the Indian market. The campaign is expected to create visibility for the Maldives and increase room nights and passenger numbers.
Speaking on the partnership with Thomas Cook, MMPRC’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Mr Thoyyib Mohamed, highlighted that India has been a top source market to the Maldives in the past couple of years, citing that the market played an imperative role in the recovery of the tourism sector post covid. Thoyyib further expressed confidence that this campaign with Thomas Cook would further boost bookings and arrivals from India for the upcoming summer season and beyond.
Under this campaign Thomas Cook will utilize a viable range of external media and owned properties like print, digital and social media platforms, web messages, emailers, etc to market the Maldives and reach a diversity of leisure, Corporate MICE and leisure segments, increase inquiries, bookings, sales and arrivals to the destination.
Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited stated that ‘It gives us immense pleasure to work with MMPRC as their strategic partner to jointly promote destination Maldives among India’s travelers. This campaign has been strategically launched to coincide with India’s peak travel season. Additionally, with our unique omnichannel network we offer customers the convenience of selecting their preferred mode of contacting us: via our holiday app, virtual holiday store, website, call center or extensive retail network of over 350 outlets pan India.”
This campaign is conducted as part of our marketing strategy for the Indian market, which focuses on boosting arrival numbers, marketing different tourism segments and experiences available in the Maldives. The strategy also aims to generate visibility, maintain the Maldives as a top-of-mind destination and strengthen the brand name in the Indian market. India was the largest market in 2021 with over 278,740 travelers and a market share of 22.6%. As of 30th March, Maldives welcomed over 427,677 tourists to the country, out of which 46,154 or 10.8% tourists are from India, ranking as the 3rd top source market to the destination.
MMPRC held over 27 marketing activities for the Indian market last year, including familiarization trips, joint campaigns with leading stakeholders, took part in prestigious fairs, and high-profile social media campaigns. There are many such activities for the Indian market in the pipeline for this year as well.
The world is currently on the trajectory to adapt to a broader new normal and ease covid measures across all sectors to recover from negative impact caused to economies due to covid restrictions. We are witnessing more countries easing travel measures and opening with a new normal. With regards to the recent development across the world, Maldives has also eased travel restrictions imposed on tourists which enforced presenting of negative PCR tests by all travelers. In this regard, from 4th March 2022, tourists visiting Maldives are no longer required to present a Covid-19 PCR negative result upon arrival if the prescribed doses of vaccine are completed 14 days prior to date of arrival. As of 13th March 2022, the Maldives has also lifted the national public health emergency, imposed in response to the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ease of travel restrictions and measures would make it easier for tourists to visit the Maldives.
MMPRC carried out 260 different marketing activities in 22 global markets last year, including fairs, roadshows, familiarization trips, marketing campaigns, webinars, and interviews. The greatest testament to the success of these activities came late last year, as the Maldives secured the title of ‘World’s Leading Destination’ (among several other accolades) at the 2021 World Travel Awards, globally recognized as the hallmark of industry excellence. This is the second 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 travelers from all over the globe.
This year also celebrates an exceptional year to visit the Maldives – the Golden Jubilee celebration of tourism in the Maldives kicked off earlier last year with plans to conduct new and exciting activities throughout the year. MMPRC has planned over 60 in-person events for the year 2022, including 11 fairs, roadshows and events scheduled for just the first quarter.