Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC / Visit Maldives) and industry partners have participated in BIT Milan held in Italy, the traditional top source market of the Maldives. The event is being held from 10th to 12th April at Fieramilanocity, Milan.
Organized by Fiera Milano since 1980, BIT Milan brings together potential investors, corporate travel decision makers, tour operators and travel agents with VIP clients from the hospitality, leisure & travel Industry. It provides the perfect backdrop for industry partners from across the globe to form alliances and partnerships, while enabling them to promote their brand and present new products to a select audience of travelers looking for fresh inspiration and opportunities for their next trip or holiday. This year’s BIT Milan event is expected to get a huge turnout seeing as covid related measures and restrictions are being eased with wider establishment of new normal guidelines and procedures across the world.
MMPRC is joined at this event by 9 co-exhibitors. Participation in this event is aligned with our marketing strategies for the Italian market which focuses on promoting the natural geography of the scattered Maldivian islands which offer the ultimate safety and privacy for tourists. It also aims to market our products including resorts, hotels, guesthouses and liveaboards and the unique experiences available in the Maldives for tourists. Such events also provide MMPRC the opportunity to relay the latest travel guidelines, safety measures in place at our facilities to the travel trade and travelers interested in choosing Maldives as a preferred destination for their business and leisure travels.
Maldives welcomed over 1.3 million tourists to the country in 2021, despite the challenges faced due to the pandemic. Total arrival figure from Italy during last year stood at 27,309, which is a 41.5% decrease comparatively, which is due to the Italian borders being closed due to the pandemic. However, it is to be noted that Italians were only able to travel for leisure with the establishment of travel corridors in late September 2021. By 2nd March 2022, Maldives had welcomed over 289,964, with Italy ranking as the 5th top source market during this period, with a total of 19,696 arrivals, which is 6.8% of the total market share.
MMPRC has been holding several activities for the Italian market in order to maintain the destination’s momentum and increase arrival figures to reach pre-pandemic numbers. This includes joint campaigns with Welcome Travel, Easy Market, Bluvacanze, Alpitour, Mediamond and Lonely Planet Italy. MMPRC also took part in BIT Digital Edition 2021 and TTG Travel Experience 2021. Ongoing campaigns targeting this market include one with Sporting Vacanze and the Maldives E-learning Program by Turismo & Attualità, with more marketing activities in the pipeline for this market in 2022.
The world is currently on the trajectory to adapt to a broader new normal and ease covid measures across all sectors in order to recover from negative impact caused to economies due to covid restrictions. We are witnessing more countries easing travel measures and opening up with a new normal. With regards to the recent development across the world, Maldives has also eased travel restrictions imposed on tourists which enforced presenting of negative PCR tests by all travelers. In this regard, from 4th March 2022, tourists visiting Maldives are no longer required to present a COVID19 PCR negative result upon arrival if the prescribed doses of vaccine are completed 14 days prior to date of arrival.
As the company responsible for marketing the Maldives as a destination abroad, MMPRC carried out 260 different marketing activities in 22 global markets last year, including fairs, roadshows, familiarization trips, marketing campaigns, webinars, and interviews. The greatest testament to the success of these activities came late last year, as the Maldives secured the title of ‘World’s Leading Destination’ (among several other accolades) at the 2021 World Travel Awards, globally recognised as the hallmark of industry excellence. This is the second consecutive year that the Maldives had successfully earned this prestigious title, a shining testimony of the trust placed in the ‘magic of Maldivian hospitality’ by travelers from all over the globe.
This year also celebrates an exceptional year to visit the Maldives – the Golden Jubilee celebration of tourism in the Maldives kicked off earlier last year with plans to conduct new and exciting activities throughout the year. MMPRC has planned over 60 in-person events for the year 2022, including 11 fairs, roadshows and events scheduled for just the first quarter.