Visit Maldives is taking part in Moscow International Travel Trade Show (MITT), the first physical fair since reopening with the industry partners to promote the destination. MITT held in Moscow, Russia from 16th to 18th March 2021 is the place where destinations and travel trade professionals from all over the world meet travel agents and tour operators from Russia and CIS.
23 industry participants from 12 companies will take part in the fair along with the Visit Maldives team. The purpose of taking part in this three-day fair is to maintain and strengthen the destination presence in the Russian market and establish Maldives as the top of the mind destination for Russian travelers. Russian market has been one of the top performing markets since the reopening of Maldives border to international travelers on July 15th, 2020.
Visit Maldives aims to achieve targeted growth for various tourism products and enable a platform for industry partners to present their products to the market. Visit Maldives and industry partners will present the products and the unique experiences available in the Maldives at the dedicated Maldives stand A2041 in Pavilion 1.4 in a 148.6 sqm space. Moreover, the unique geographical formation of the islands will be highlighted in the Maldives stand through the use of pictures, 360° virtual images and videos. Videos will be displayed at a stand via a touchless sensor; assuring the visitors that Maldives is one of the safest destinations to travel and the destination fits today’s traveler’s needs. A raffle will be conducted together with the organizers of MITT and at the end of the event a lucky winner will get a complementary holiday in the Maldives. The raffle is sponsored by Reethi Beach Resort for 5 nights for 2 pax.
MITT provides the opportunity to meet and update the travel trade in Russia with the latest information on Maldives, including but not limited to the stringent health and safety measures put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the fair offers the opportunity to gain new partners and clients among visitors representing the travel trade and maintain present relationships. In 2019, MITT concluded with 22,289 travel professionals attending the fair with 1,523 exhibitors from over 200 countries. In order to attract more visitors to the Maldives stand and increase brand visibility, a banner is placed in a prime location at the main entrance showcasing the beauty of the destination. Coinciding with MITT, Visit Maldives will host roadshows in four Russian cities from 21-26 March.
The roadshows will be held in Moscow, Kazan, Saint Petersburg & Ekaterinburg. Along with Visit Maldives, 20 companies with 34 participants will take part in the roadshow to further strengthen the destination presence and relationship with trade partners. The Russian market is currently one of the top performing markets according to the most recent statistics by the Ministry of tourism of Maldives. The statistics demonstrate potential for further growth. 40,698 tourists have arrived from the Russian region so far in 2021, with a total of 4 connecting flights operating between Russia and Maldives with direct connections from Aeroflot.
Several initiatives are underway to market the destination in Russia. High impact campaigns such as media familiarization trips have been conducted earlier this year, with more planned for the upcoming months. In addition, Visit Maldives is conducting a global campaign targeting Russia in collaboration with Expedia. The collaboration with Expedia is one of the many high-impact global campaigns planned for the year. Visit Maldives is currently carrying an educational and training program targeted to the Russian travel trade with Association of Tour Operators in Russia (ATOR).
Maldives reopened its borders for tourists of all nationalities on 15th July 2020, with rigorous procedures in place to ensure the safety of tourists and tourism workers. Tourists are required to fill an online health declaration form within 24 hours prior to their departure, as well as have a negative PCR test result, conducted 96 hours prior to their departure. On 1st February 2021, Maldives initiated the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the government aims to provide free COVID-19 vaccine to all citizens and residents of Maldives, in the upcoming months. In this regard, the Ministry of Tourism also launched an initiative to vaccinate people in the tourism sector to develop an even safer scenario for the industry. The initiation of the vaccination drive is bound to offer hope to the local population, as well as ensure the safety of tourists. This conveys the message that Maldives is a low-risk destination for travelers and will hopefully generate a surge in tourist arrivals. According to data published by the Ministry of Tourism, the Maldives has welcomed a total of 200,871 tourists so far this year