Known for decades as a luxury holiday destination, the Maldives has now decided to pursue business events and is in the midst of creating a marketing plan to realise its new goals.
The nation’s Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) last week announced plans to diversify Maldives tourism to attract business events, as well as special interest groups keen on culture and sports.
“We are working with a consultant to formulate these strategies for the year 2020,‚ÄĚ said MMPRC managing director Thoyyib Mohamed.
The move was welcomed by the trade, with Howard Brohier, general manager at Diethelm Travel’s Maldives office, saying that the destination can continue to maintain its luxury travel status while attracting event visitors.
Brohier said: “I think the potential for business events is great now that the Maldives has new products such as Crossroads Maldives and other resorts with conference facilities.”
Crossroads Maldives is an integrated leisure and entertainment development that is slated to open in late-2019.
Andrew Ashmore, COO of Coco Collection Hotels, opines that the Maldives will make a world class MICE destination.
‚ÄúSome of the new resorts being built in 2019 to 2021 are starting to feature event facilities. When it becomes ready, it will change the face of the Maldives forever,‚ÄĚ Ashmore added.
Currently business events are held in capital city Male where there is a small convention centre. Two nearby resorts ‚Äď Kurumba Maldives and Bandos Maldives ‚Äď also feature facilities for conferences and meetings.
Ashmore sees a rise in pure incentive events ‚Äď those without meeting components ‚Äď to the Maldives. In May 2020 his group will welcome an 80-pax pure incentive group from the UK.
Meanwhile, arrivals to the Maldives are said to be climbing this year on the back of intensive destination promotions. By the end of August, MMPRC had participated in 15 international travel fairs in 12 markets and held five roadshows in 13 markets.