The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation teamed up with leading tour operators to launch destination marketing campaigns in key markets, promoting the country as a safe haven that offers natural isolation and social distancing with resorts on private islands.
The MMPRC held a webinar on 22 February in partnership with JTB Media Retailing – one of the biggest tour operators in Japan – “to revitalize and maintain the Maldives’ brand presence in the Japanese market” by utilising JTB’s communications channels. Local partner Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali hosted the live virtual event on the resort island.
Attended by 120 viewers, the webinar included an introduction by JTB Tabimonogatari, a destination presentation, a live session from the resort sponsor and a Q&A session. It was estimated to have reached over 186,165 people and helped gain followers for Visit Maldives Japan’s social media.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Japan was a top source market with 44,251 tourists in 2019. The MMPRC “aims to maintain destination presence and to place Maldives as the top choice destination to travel to when travel restrictions in Japan are eased further. Activities in the pipeline for the Japanese market include media and celebrity familiarization trips, and social media campaigns.”
On 25 February, the MMPRC launched a two-week marketing campaign with Seera Group’s flagship consumer travel brand Almosafer, a leading travel agency from the Middle East. The operator was enlisted to “disseminate informative and creative content, as well as organic posts and stories on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat to promote the Maldives.”
The campaign is expected to reach five million people and provide travel information and guidelines for potential tourists “among affluent and niche Saudi and Middle Eastern travellers.” Different segments of tourism available from the Maldives are highlighted, including honeymoons and romantic holidays, family holidays, diving, watersports, and MICE tourism.
A one-month destination marketing campaign with Kuoni UK kicked off on 28 February. Kuoni UK has a network of 48 retail stores under Kuoni Travel, a leading operator that offers package holidays and cruise line tours as well as charter and scheduled passenger airline travel.
“During this campaign, dedicated emails with information of the destination will be sent out to the Kuoni database and advertisements, homepage banners and inspirational articles based on the destination will be posted on Kuoni’s social media platforms and website,” according to the MMPRC.
“Furthermore, classified advertisements will be posted on the Sunday Telegraph, while in-store video material featuring the Maldives will be displayed across 26 stores in the UK. The campaign is expected to markedly increase bookings and arrivals from the UK to the Maldives.”
The UK is currently the second-largest market for tourists with 28,569 holidaymakers so far this year (as of 23 February 2022), which represents a 11.4 percent market share. Last year, the Maldives was represented in major fairs such as The National Wedding Show and WTM London 2021.
In Germany, the MMPRC launched a month-long digital marketing campaign with FTI, one of the largest tour operators in Europe.
“Under this campaign, attention-catching advertisements featuring the Maldives and destination products will be displayed in FTI’s website and newsletter,” the MMPRC explained.
“A special landing page will also be created, showcasing the jaw-dropping natural scenery of the Maldives with detailed destination information, and will further provide attractive vacation offers to the Maldives.”
In 2021, 94,784 German tourists visited the Maldives, accounting for a 7.2 percent market share. During the year, the MMPRC participated in the virtual edition of ITB Berlin 2021 and conducted a joint campaign with Condor, Travel Impressions (American Express) and TUI as well as promotional campaigns with Imagine Magazine, Manta Reisen, Connoisseur Circle and Lets Go Tours.