MATATO urges Guest Houses to work with local travel agents vs foreign OTAs

President of MATATO Abdulla Giyas

MATATO announced at the first Guest house Conference the advantages for guest houses to work with local travel agents. Local travel agents industry represents almost 25% of total arrivals to the Maldives and today in an era of sustainable tourism, it is vital for local industries to support each other.

Given the current challenges in our economy such as youth unemployment or shortage of foreign currency, thus a sustainable tourism model could provide few solutions such as local guest houses selling to a local travel agent thereby creating job opportunities for locals and even solving the problem of foreign currency shortage to a certain extent as money isn’t going out of the country.

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And among other advantages of supporting local businesses such as it helps stimulate the economy; helps create a local character and identity; product diversity and innovation; environmental sustainability; local and community decision-making.

“I believe Guest Houses needs to understand their value and not give into price wars and under cutting or pressure from the operators, understand the importance of margins and yield: Abdulla Ghiyaz, President of MATATO, said in his speech to Guesthouse Conference.

MATATO is on the forefront of Maldives tourism industry and this year alone paved the way for the industry to participate in seven travel trade shows so far, and offers discounted participation fees for local guest-houses to all its events and trainings. With so many new resorts and guest houses opening where our bed capacity has doubled in the last decade thus with more products means a need for people to market this and this is where local travel agents can be proactive.

MATATO remains committed in promoting local guesthouses and taking SME sector of local travel agents forward very aggressively.

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