What is your goal for tourism growth in 2016?
Our industry is flourishing, with continued growth. We received a total of 1.2 million tourists in 2015, and our 2016 target is 1.5 million — a projected increase of 12.7 per cent.
What strategies are you using to reach this target?
2016 was declared “Visit Maldives Year”: this destination marketing campaign coincides with the Maldives’ Golden Jubilee of Independence. Different promotional campaigns and activities have been planned, and are happening, both locally and internationally. One major event was becoming the partner country for the ITB Berlin tourism fair.
How is the Middle East getting involved?
Familiarization trips for travel agents are being arranged so that they may gather comprehensive insight to the varied experiences the Maldives has to offer. Also, planned road shows will create a perfect platform where local resorts, travel agents and operators can network with their Middle Eastern counterparts.
What makes the Maldives so alluring?
The main reason visitors come to the Maldives is for rest and relaxation and the opportunity to be tempted by luxury, intimacy with natural beauty and enjoy idyllic island-style seclusion. Not to mention, the Maldives has developed its tourism assets to offer something for every one: Our hotels, resorts and guesthouses have employed creative ideas to provide facilities that cater to all traveller segments. More tourism properties are currently being developed and will be serviced by new domestic airports that will allow smooth transfer of tourists to outlying islands.
How is the Maldives different from other “paradise” destinations?
The fact that our international airport is located on a separate island from the capital allows incoming tourists to travel directly from the arrival terminal to their chosen resort island. Moreover, the Maldives is as diverse as it is secluded: each island offers an intimate experience with its own unique character, history, biodiversity and culture.
What makes the Maldives appealing for investment?
For potential investors, the Maldives offers the opportunity to capitalize in the development of a stable tourism environment that has seen over 40 years of sustained growth with attractive returns on investment. As a central commercial driver, the tourism sector allows investors to play a role in a major contributor to the Maldives’ real economy.