Shafraz Fazley – Founder of Viluxur Holidays  

In a conversation with Shafraz Fazley, founder of Viluxur Holidays, we explore the company’s journey in luxury tourism and its unique approach to the evolving travel landscape. As a prominent figure in luxury tourism, Shafraz, with a business tourism education from Singapore, integrated e-commerce into his expertise. Beginning his career in 2006, he established Viluxur Holidays in 2010, pioneering the introduction of Chinese tourists to the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

Adapting to changing travel dynamics, Shafraz leveraged his digital marketing acumen to launch OV Holidays in 2013, catering to a global high-end clientele. OV Holidays has earned acclaim from discerning travellers, including royal families, and is set for expansion into new exotic destinations. In this exclusive interview, Shafraz shares insights into Viluxur Holidays’ success and provides a glimpse into the future of luxury travel.

Can you take us back to the early days of Viluxur Holidays? What inspired you to enter the tourism industry?

The early days of Viluxur Holidays were challenging yet inspiring. We embarked on this journey when the Maldives tourism industry was reeling from the devastating 2006 Tsunami. We saw potential where others saw uncertainty. What inspired us was the belief that we could bridge cultural divides and bring travellers from China to the Maldives, a largely untapped market at the time.

You mentioned bridging cultural divides. How did you overcome the initial reluctance of hoteliers to accept Chinese tourists?

The reluctance was natural, and it stemmed from stereotypes and misconceptions. To overcome this, we brought in Chinese staff who could communicate effectively and understand the Chinese travel industry. Within three years, we became one of the leading travel agents in the Maldives, bringing over 5000 Chinese tourists every month. It was all about fostering mutual understanding and cooperation.

Expanding into multiple countries is quite ambitious. Could you share your strategy for achieving success in diverse markets?

Our strategy is centred around understanding the local culture and addressing pain points. We established offices in China, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives and gradually expanded into Russia. Each market has unique dynamics; having a team that speaks the language and understands the culture is critical to our success.

With the travel industry evolving, how do you plan to stand out amidst the competition, especially in a sea of resorts in the Maldives?

Today, there are over 100 resorts in the Maldives, and the rise of the online market is incredibly competitive. We believe in transparency, credibility, and building meaningful relationships with our customers to stand out. We’re carefully considering which resorts to promote to ensure we maintain the quality and experiences that our customers expect.

The OV Traveller Club is an exciting concept. Can you tell us more about how it goes beyond conventional online booking platforms?

OV Traveller Club is all about creating personalized experiences and meaningful connections. Our Ocean Vistas team is dedicated to assisting travellers every step of the way. It’s not just about making bookings; it’s about creating a sense of belonging and genuine human connection in an increasingly automated world.

Looking to the future, what can we expect from Viluxur Holidays?

In the coming year, we’re focused on enhancing the OV Traveller Club for loyal guests and launching the OV Referral Program. We’re also committed to sustainable travel through our Conscious Paradise Program, where we aim to impact environmental issues, not just follow marketing trends.

Finally, what advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs and young professionals in the tourism industry?

Knowledge is everything. Be bold, learn the insights and be open to change. Take calculated risks, and don’t wait for the perfect plan to start; you can find your way as you go.

For information on Viluxur Holidays, visit, email, or phone +960 726 5699.