Visit Maldives, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, has participated in a webinar series organized by the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA). This series was conducted on a one destination per webinar basis, in which a Maldives-focused three-hour session took place on the 16th of December 2020.
The purpose of this event was to relay the latest information about the newly established safe tourism guidelines, and the most recent updates on the Maldivian products to the Japanese travel trade. Furthermore, this event provided opportunities to the resorts and other industry partners to showcase their unique experiences.
The event commenced with opening remarks by the Managing Director of Visit Maldives, Mr. Thoyyib Mohamed. This was followed by a speech from the Maldives’ Ambassador to Japan, His Excellency Mr. Ibrahim Uvais.
Subsequently, a variety of presentations were provided by the six industry partners as the main component of the event. These presentations focused on showcasing the post-lockdown experiences available in Maldives. To get a glimpse of these wonderful experiences, more than five hundred attendees from the Japanese travel trade industry were present at the sessions.
Japan has remained one of the main key markets to the Maldives. In 2019, a total of 44,251 Japanese tourists visited Maldives, making Japan the 9th top market in terms of tourist arrivals. Prior to the lockdown in March 2020, there were 8,302 visitors and since the reopening in July, there has been a total arrival of 55 visitors until October.
Visit Maldives kicked off this year with ambitious plans to achieve greater milestones. However, some of the marketing campaigns had to be put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, with the newfound spirit, the team at Visit Maldives adapted and shifted focus towards maintaining the destination’s presence through digital and social media platforms, ensuring constant visibility within the Japanese market. Targeting to Japanese market, Visit Maldives also participated in JATA Travel Mart which consisted of a Travel Forum, webinars and one-on-one meetings, and it was stretched over 6 days from 31 July to 2 September 2020.
Visit Maldives continues to carry out several marketing activities in global markets to promote Maldives, in which over 415 different types of activities have been carried out in 22 countries. These include notable campaigns such as the online roadshow in China, a global advertising campaign with Skyscanner and the digital marketing campaign with Zomato which recently concluded in the Middle East market.
Under the constant efforts and health and safety precautions undertaken prior to the reopening, Maldives is proud to have welcomed the 100,000th visitor since the reopening of borders, and the 500,000th visitor for the year 2020. Maldives has also received the World’s Leading Destination award by the World Travel Awards this year, which is a testament to the love and yearning travelers have towards traveling to one of the safest destinations in the world.
It is estimated that the tourist arrival rates will increase during the year 2021, and that an estimated amount of 1.5 million tourist arrivals will be reached.