Visit Maldives conducted a webinar and virtual roadshow under the name ‘Connect with Maldives – Your Safe Haven’ on 14th and 15th April 2021 targeting the South Korean travel trade. These promotional events are part of the greater strategy of Visit Maldives to educate travel trade on the latest information regarding Maldives, establish strong relationships with travel trade, and promote Maldives as one of the safest and most preferred destinations in the world.
Both events were held on the recently launched virtual event management platform of Visit Maldives, ‘My Virtual Maldives’. The modern platform named, “My Virtual Maldives” amplifies audience engagement and networking by connecting attendees from across the globe through hosted online events ranging from virtual exhibitions, roadshows, webinars to trainings and live marketing events targeting the travel trade and consumers alike.
The webinar targeting the key trade partners was conducted in Korean language. The latest updates, guidelines, health and safety measures regarding the pandemic were highlighted with an emphasis on the natural socially-distanced islands of Maldives and the stringent measures. Furthermore, information on the four products of Maldives: Resorts, Guesthouses, Liveaboards and Hotels was shared along with various unique experiences available. The webinar also included a Q&A session where participants voiced their queries regarding travel guidelines, entry requirements and safety measures in place. These queries indicated a keen interest amongst participants towards traveling to the Maldives.
The webinar was followed by a virtual roadshow attended by key trade partners from South Korea. Along with Visit Maldives, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, W Maldives, Crossroads Maldives, Kandima Maldives, Perfect Voyage and Splendid Asia took part in the roadshow. The industry partners were able to connect and network with the travel trade and share latest updates of their products and services. A raffle draw was held during the event, where a holiday prize was sponsored by Crossroads Maldives.
As a result of the border closures and travel restrictions amongst the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a significant drop in the number of arrivals from South Korea. As of February 2021, Maldives welcomed 162 arrivals from South Korea. Prior to the pandemic, South Korea was an emerging top source market in terms of arrivals to the Maldives. In 2019, Maldives recorded 36,609 arrivals from South Korea ranking the market as the 12th top source market to Maldives.
Visit Maldives recently launched a digital media marketing campaign for the South Korean Market aiming to position the Maldives as the leading travel destination through digital platforms that are popular in the target market. These platforms are Naver, Kakao Talk, Facebook & Instagram. Activities in the pipeline for the market include familiarization trips, joint promotions with travel trade, print media advertisements and outdoor advertising campaigns. These activities along with vaccination campaigns and easing of border restrictions, there is great hope that the South Korean market will once again climb the top source market charts for Maldives.
Maldives reopened its borders for tourists of all nationalities on 15th July 2020, with rigorous procedures in place to ensure the safety of tourists and tourism workers. Tourists are required to fill an online health declaration form within 24 hours prior to their departure, as well as have a negative PCR test result, conducted 96 hours prior to their departure.
On 1st February 2021, Maldives initiated the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the government aims to provide free COVID-19 vaccine to all citizens and residents of Maldives in the upcoming months. In this regard, the Ministry of Tourism also launched an initiative to vaccinate people in the tourism sector to develop an even safer scenario for the industry. As of March 25th, 224,979 people have received the vaccine including 14,898 frontline workers in the tourism industry. The initiation of the vaccination drive is bound to offer hope to the local population, as well as ensure the safety of tourists. This conveys the message that Maldives is a low-risk destination for travelers and will hopefully generate a surge in tourist arrivals.