Maldives launches Chinese social media marketing campaign

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The Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has launched a social media marketing campaign for the Chinese market on Weibo and WeChat. 

The social media campaign aims to inspire Chinese travellers to choose the Maldives as their destination of choice for leisure travel. The three-month campaign, which will continue until the end of May 2023, is estimated to reach 1.4 million users.

This campaign includes 45 original posts and 12 original articles on the Visit Maldives accounts for Weibo and WeChat advertising the tourism segments, products and experiences in the Maldives. A campaign will also be conducted to give away a free Maldives holiday to a lucky winner.

WeChat and Weibo are China’s largest and second largest social media platforms. WeChat has 1.17 billion monthly active users while Weibo is used by 530 million monthly active users. 

“WeChat and Weibo dominate the social media landscape in China and these applications are the go-to platform for the Chinese market. The arrival of the first Chinese flight to the Maldives was a trending topic on Weibo, therefore, this campaign provided the opportunity to further leverage the trend on travelling to the Maldives, “ the MMPRC said.

“MMPRC has conducted 17 similar WeChat and Weibo campaigns targeted at the Chinese market in the past to great success.”

China was the single largest source market before the pandemic with 284,029 holidaymakers in 2019, representing a 17% market share. The first direct flight from China since early 2020 arrived on 18 January 2023, shortly after the country ended Covid-19 travel restrictions. 

China has since moved up to the sixth largest source market for tourists to the Maldives, just over three months since Chinese tourists started returning after a nearly three-year hiatus.

The Maldives welcomed 33,601 Chinese tourists as of 5 May, representing a market share of 4.7%.

Two Chinese carriers, Capital Airlines and China Eastern, currently operate direct flights to Malé’s Velana International Airport. “Additional airlines are expected to resume direct flights between China and Maldives in the coming months,” according to the tourism ministry.

According to the MMPRC, marketing activities for the Chinese market this year includes E-learning campaigns, outdoor campaigns, joint-promotion campaigns, familiarisation trips, social media campaigns and participation in fairs such as ITB China.