Maldives makes inroads in Middle East

4 mins read

The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation conducted roadshows in three cities and participated in the Riyadh Travel Fair to promote the Maldives in the Middle East.

An annual event held in the Saudi capital, the Riyadh Travel Fair 2022 took place from from 22 to 24 May with leading hospitality companies from the region and exhibitors representing tourist promotion authorities.

“Through this event, we aim to market the destination as a safe haven and promote the unique geography of our scattered islands, which provides visitors with ultimate safety and privacy,” the MMPRC said. “Furthermore, this event will help us market our tourism products, including resorts, guesthouses, liveaboards, hotels and the unique services and experiences available in our destination for tourists. It also aims to promote the diverse segments of tourism, including luxury, romantic, family and MICE options.”

The marketing strategy for the Middle East is “based on conducting campaigns to increase the reach, bookings and arrivals from the region,” it added. The MMPRC hopes “to strengthen the Maldives’ niche position in the region as a chic destination for affluent travellers.” Upcoming activities to maintain destination brand visibility include joint-marketing campaigns, webinars, participation in major fairs and exhibitions, roadshows, and hosting familiarisation trips for journalists and travel writers. 

The MMPRC was joined by industry partners Bliss Maldives, Exciting Travel Holidays, Get me to Maldives, Intour Maldives, Island Life Travel Pvt Ltd, Lily Hotels Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, Malahini Kuda Bandos, Travel Connection Maldives, Travel Escapes Maldives, Holiday Spot Maldives and Villa Hotels & Resorts.

Roadshows under the theme ‘Connect with Maldives…The Ultimate Dream Destination’ was held in Riyadh and Jeddah on 23 and 25 May respectively. Through the promotional events, the MMPRC aimed “to build and maintain a strong B2B presence in GCC countries, share the latest destination updates and guidelines with the travel trade, and ultimately increase arrival figures from GCC countries.”

Some 16 participants joined the roadshow in Riyadh and 18 participants joined in Jeddah. The series concludes with a roadshow in Kuwait City on 26 May.

The shows feature introductions of participating industry partners and a destination presentation that highlights the the Maldives’ tourism products (resorts, guesthouses, hotels and safari vessels).

“The presentation portion of the roadshow is followed by a productive night of networking and building new business relations,” the MMPRC explained. “To maximize visibility, we invite over 80 agents from each city to take part in the roadshow. Industry partners have the opportunity to showcase their properties, generate new business leads, and engage in one-on-one networking opportunities.”

A special raffle sponsored by Taj Exotica Resort & Spa at the Riyadh roadshow awarded a free trip to the Maldives for a lucky winner. Villa Hotels & Resorts and Taj Exotica Resort & Spa sponsored similar raffles for the roadshows in Jeddah and Kuwait City. The second and third runner-up of the raffle wins a smartwatch and Amazon gift card sponsored by the MMPRC.

In 2021, the Maldives welcomed 91,413 holidaymakers from the Middle Eastern market with Saudi Arabia ranked as the seventh-largest source market for tourists. Growth from the relatively new market is on track to continue with more than 19,000 Middle Eastern tourists visiting during the first two months of the year.