The Maldives has welcomed the first tourist visitor for this year, Georgina Canning from the UK with a special ceremony held at Velana International Airport (VIA) yesterday morning. A spectacular start to what promises to be a spectacular year for the Maldives Tourism Industry, the first visitor for this year arrived on Gulf Air (Flight no: GF144) at around 0610 hrs on the morning of 1st January 2022. She was greeted by senior officials from the Ministry of Tourism and the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/Visit Maldives), along with representatives from Maldives Immigration and Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL). Georgina was accompanied on this trip by her partner. This is her second visit to the Maldives.
The first visitor received a 5-night holiday with a full board meal plan for 2 persons at Adaaran Prestige Vadoo. Other special gifts were also conferred to the first visitor of 2022, including gifts from MMPRC / Visit Maldives, Ministry of Tourism, Maldives Immigration and MACL. Gifts were also presented to the first visitor by Dhiraagu and Koel Eyewear.
The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (CEO and MD) of MMPRC expressed his delight with the swift recovery of the Maldives tourism industry following the setbacks from Covid-19 over the previous two years. He stated that: “Our nation’s success, despite the difficulties faced by the global pandemic, stands testament to our optimism and strength of solidarity – these are fundamental elements of the continued success of our tourism industry. With that optimism, we warmly welcome our first visitor for this year. And with that strength of solidarity, we take another step into the golden jubilee year of Maldivian tourism”.
Minister of Tourism Dr.Abdulla Mausoom also remarked upon the success of the Maldivian tourism industry.
“In spite of the global challenges, the year 2021 has been a very successful year for Maldives tourism. Tourist bed capacity increased by 9.4% and the bed nights exceeded 11 million breaking the previous record of 10.7 nights. Furthermore, Maldives won the World’s Leading Destination Award by World Travel Awards for the 2nd time consecutively. I appreciate the continuous engagement, contributions and support of all the tourism industry stakeholders, related authorities and agencies, the hardworking staff of the tourism sector, the lovely people of Maldives and the tourists.”
Mr. Ibrahim Thoha, Acting in-charge of Maldives Airports Company Ltd, stated, “Last year, Maldives exceeded its target of 1.3 million visitors, and I can proudly say that Team Maldives did an outstanding job in promoting Maldives as a safe destination. As a significant contributor to the aviation and tourism industry, we believe that by providing attractive incentive packages to our Partner Airlines we have boosted growth in our Tourism Industry. Additionally with our high safety standards, Velana International Airport was awarded the ACI Health Accreditation Certificate as the 2nd Airport from Asia Pacific. All these efforts have been rewarded by the rising number of passengers flying in each month, approaching pre-Covid levels. As we welcome the first visitor of 2022, I want to emphasize that the Maldives’ future looks bright and I want to express my gratitude to all our stakeholders who have helped make the Maldives such a wonderful place to visit.”
As the parent company responsible for marketing the Maldives as a destination abroad, MMPRC carried out 244 different marketing activities in 24 global markets last year, including fairs, roadshows, familiarization trips, marketing campaigns, webinars, and interviews. MMPRC and the Maldives Tourism Industry’s concerted drive to provide visitors with options to relax and rejuvenate after the effects of the global pandemic bore fruit as hundreds of thousands of visitors flocked to the Maldives with the assurances of a safe vacation. Thanks to ‘natural social distancing’ as an archipelago nation, the safety of holidaymakers in the Maldives is further enhanced under our distinctive ‘one island, one resort’ concept and close attention to covid safety guidelines at every turn.
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 recognised 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 17 fairs, roadshows and events scheduled for just the first quarter.