The Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) is taking part in ITB China 2023, as the official Island Travel Partner, from 12-14 September at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center.
This year, 64 representatives from 33 companies are collaborating with MMPRC to promote the Maldives within the Chinese market. ITB China 2023 is the first B2B trade fair held in China since the onset of the pandemic three years ago, and MMPRC’s first in-person participation in a physical tourism event in China following the re-opening of global borders.
ITB China 2023 is one of the largest B2B exclusive trade shows focused on the Chinese travel Market. The event serves as a wide-ranging professional platform with industry specialists from all over the world and provides various networking events to connect with potential agents and buyers from several key source markets.
According to the MMPRC, the Visit Maldives stand is designed to provide an authentic glimpse of the Sunny Side of Life for the attendees. Attendees can expect a dynamic array of activities such as meetings with the Maldivian travel trade. Unique experiences of the destination takes centre stage with activities at the stand including the creation of personalised calligraphy bookmarks, and a photo backdrop featuring a libaas and feyli props offer attendees a chance for a Maldivian-style snapshot to take back home.
Additionally MMPRC will be conducting promotion of Visit Maldives’ Weibo and WeChat social media handles to strengthen the brand presence in the market. The stand will also provide press packs, detailing Visit Maldives and co-exhibitor information, alongside promotional materials. A special raffle will be conducted on the last day where two lucky winners stand to win free holidays to the Maldives, sponsored by The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives and Kihaa Maldives.
Visit Maldives, as the Island Travel Partner, receives a special opportunity to host a Networking Lunch, an exclusive gathering of 100 hosted buyers, curated by the ITB China organisers. The event will provide opportunities for significant networking sessions and MMPRC will engage in insightful discussions. The MMPRC will also promote the Maldives in the presentation hub, accommodating up to 80 potential buyers, and conduct an enticing destination presentation of the Maldives and its offers.
China was the single largest source market before the pandemic with 284,029 visitors in 2019, representing a 17% market share. Direct flights from China to the Maldives resumed on 18 January 2023, following a three-year hiatus due to border closures with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. China was back among the top 10 source markets for tourists, just a week after the first direct flight from China to the Maldives since 2020.
Arrival numbers have been steadily rising since, nearing pre-pandemic levels. As of September 6, the Maldives welcomed 124,549 tourist arrivals from China, making it the third largest source market for the Maldives.
“Even during border closures, MMPRC diligently conducted various marketing activities in the Chinese market to maintain the Maldives’ appeal as the top destination to visit once borders reopen. The Maldives has already achieved a significant milestone by surpassing one million tourist arrivals this year, marking an incredible success for the tourism sector. The target set for this year is 1.8 million tourists,” the MMPRC said.