DestinationsDiversification is on the way for the atoll nation that is better known as a luxury destination.

Safety first gives Maldives tourism a winning edge

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The Maldives is looking to new products to spread its appeal, says Thoyibb Mohamed, managing director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation.
The Maldives is looking to new products to spread its appeal, says Thoyibb Mohamed, managing director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation.

The Maldives is carefully navigating through the Covid-19 pandemic with expectations that it will emerge stronger than ever when international borders reopen.

Maldives is known as a luxury destination but that doesn’t mean there are not opportunities for other products, such as our four-star accommodation and guesthouses.– Thoyyib Mohamed, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation

Thanks to a rigorous nationwide vaccination programme – more than 60% of frontline workers in the tourism industry have been given a Covid jab – the Maldives is confident that it has protected the safety of its residents and visitors – and preserved its reputation as one of the world’s safest luxury destinations.

“Maldives is low-risk for travellers,” said Thoyyib Mohamed, managing director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), speaking exclusively to Travel Weekly Asia via video link.

“Post-Covid we may have some different marketing strategies but what won’t change is our focus on the safety of our guests and our local people.

“The geography of the resorts — one resort, one island — has meant that we have been able to successfully manage tourist traffic in and out.”

Since reopening its borders in July last year, Maldives has gradually allowed resorts to reopen and expects all will be operating as normal in the next few months.

Surfing will be a focus as Maldives diversifies its tourism products.
Surfing will be a focus as Maldives diversifies its tourism products. Photo Credit: Visit Maldives

While new luxury resorts are emerging — Ritz-Carlton has just opened its Fari Island Resort, and the government is inviting bids to operate tourist resorts in 16 uninhabited islands – the Maldives is ready to diversify its hospitality products to include non-luxury segments such as adventure, surfing, restorative and culture.

Maldives is confident it can deliver “against all these pillars,” Thoyyib said.

There will also be a focus on community-led conservation of natural ecosystems and cultural heritage in which young people and women will be reskilled for greater participation in the tourism value chain.

“Of course, Maldives is known as a luxury destination but that doesn’t mean there are not opportunities for other products, such as our four-star accommodation and guesthouses,” Thoyyib added.

Maldives has seen some success in South-east Asia with its Halal Have, Will Travel programme and will seek other opportunities to promote itself in the region.

“It’s very important that we maintain high visibility around the world. We want to make sure [the appeal of] our beaches, our palm trees, our underwater experiences are beating in the hearts of people around the world.”

Maldives has also been active in the MICE sector with its virtual event management platform, ‘My Virtual Maldives’ and Thoyyib promises there is much more to come.

He said details would be released soon, adding that it would be an exciting development for the meetings and events sector.

“Watch this space,” was his teasing message.

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