Maldives retains World’s Leading Destination title for third year

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The Maldives secured the title of the World’s Leading Destination for the third year in a row at the World Travel Awards 2022. The awards were announced at a ceremony on Friday (11 November) at the Al Bustan Palace in Oman.

The Maldives competed with 18 countries including tourist hotspots Dubai, Portugal, Indonesia, and Greece.

The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation won ‘World’s Leading Tourist Board’ for the first time. According to the MMPRC, the government company was nominated among 28 other prominent tourism boards including Incredible India, Tourism Australia, and Visit England.

“This accomplishment is a testament to the popularity and vibrancy of the Maldives as a tourist destination,” Tourism Minister Dr Abdulla Mausoom said at the ceremony after accepting the awards along with MMPRC CEO Thoyyib Mohammed.

“The industry’s achievements throughout the past three years reflect the resilience of the Maldives tourism industry amidst any crisis – and that united, we can achieve anything.”

The Maldives was first named the World’s Leading Destination in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The MMPRC switched its marketing efforts to online platforms and continued to market the Maldives, advising people around the world to ‘dream of us now, and Visit Maldives later’. After borders reopened in July 2015, the MMPRC emphasised the one-island-one-resort concept that offered natural isolation and social distancing.

“These characteristics make the Maldives one of the safest destinations for visitors even amidst the pandemic. The rest of the world was constantly being made aware of the stringent safety measures and procedures in place for tourists,” the government’s tourism promotion company noted.

The MMPRC conducted a total of 149 activities in 22 global markets over the first three quarters of 2022, targeting the travel trade and consumers alike, with a reach of over 8.6 billion. One of the key focuses of its strategies was to maintain brand visibility in the global markets. 

“Apart from promoting the Maldives as a premier luxury destination with various affordable options and diverse experiences, our messaging was clearly communicated to build confidence in the destination. We augmented this with our Tourism Golden Jubilee messaging, to veer visitors towards the celebratory mood in the Maldives tourism industry this year, to great success,” the MMPRC said.

MMPRC CEO Thoyyib said: “It is truly an honour to win the prestigious title of World’s Leading Destination for the third year in a row. This year is our Golden Jubilee of Tourism in the Maldives, and I couldn’t have asked for a better achievement to mark 50 years of welcoming visitors to our shores. This award is thanks to the guidance of our government, the support of our partners, and the hard work of the tourism industry as a whole. And of course, our visitors- we are blessed that people from around the world love the Maldives so much. This is also the first year that MMPRC, also known as Visit Maldives, secured the title of the World’s Leading Tourist Board. It feels like an affirmation of the hard work of our team over these past few years, pushing through the toughest global crises of recent times. Thank you to everyone for voting for the Maldives, and I hope to welcome you soon to the Sunny Side of Life.”