Visit Maldives has taken part in BIT Digital Edition 2021 from 09th to 14th May 2021. Organized by Fiera Milano, the event is held virtually for the first time ever this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
From 09th-11th May, the virtual fair presents the opportunity to network with stakeholders from the Italian market and all over the world, manage appointments on the platform with participants, as well as establish new business connections through B2B meetings. From 12th-14th May, it is open for travelers and B2C components. In addition to this, the event provides a platform to maintain and strengthen destination presence and promote the Maldives as a safe destination to travel to during this challenging period. A total of six companies and 07 participants are taking part in this event, alongside the destination.
Prior to the pandemic, Italy was one of the top markets to the Maldives, with an arrival figure of 136,343 in 2019. Compared to the figures of the previous year this was a 29.5 percent increase. While these figures declined in 2020 due to travel restrictions enforced by the Italian government to contain the spread of COVID-19, it is expected that once these measures are eased and travel resumes, the market will once again be a key contributor to arrival figures.
Several activities are in the pipeline to further promote Maldives in the Italian market. These include B2B and B2C activities such as webinars, digital advertisements, joint campaigns with airlines and tour operators. Additionally, campaigns to provide destination training and latest updates to various media are underway.
Visit Maldives aims to re-establish ourselves as a close to heart destination for Italians and have several activities in the pipeline for the market. This includes personalized social media campaigns in Italian. Additionally, ambient campaigns to increase our brand presence in all major cities and advertising on magazines and TV shows will be carried out specific to diving, safari segments and luxury tourism. Another key target is to achieve growth in the guesthouse segment by creating greater awareness on affordable holiday options, through various platforms.
Despite the global pandemic, Maldives has welcomed a total of 555,494 travelers in 2020 and over 190,000 travelers till February 2021.
The administration of the COVID-19 vaccine was initiated on 1st February 2021 with the government of Maldives set to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to all citizens and residents of the country in the upcoming months. As of 03 rd May 2021, 298,396 people in the Maldives have received the first dose of the vaccine with 114,240 people receiving the second dose. Over 90% of the workers in the tourism industry of the Maldives have also been administered the first dose of the vaccine. In line with this target, the “I’m Vaccinated” campaign was kicked off on 28th April 2021. These efforts reflect the aim to make Maldives the first fully vaccinated tourism destination in the world.