Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Most countries have now eased the travel restrictions imposed at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Maldives, a popular travel destination known for its sunny beaches and blue waters, is ready for an influx of tourism after the ease of Covid restrictions. The Maldives reopened its borders for international tourists in July 2020. More than 6,000 visitors have travelled to the Maldives from the emirates since then. Maldives is easily accessible to tourists from the UAE which also makes it a popular travel destination.

According to the data released by the Ministry of Tourism of Maldives, over 359,000 tourists have visited the Maldives so far this year as compared to 241,407 arrivals in 2021 for the same time period. This year the Maldives aims to welcome 1.6 million tourists from all over the world. YouGov’s Travel & Tourism: Brand & Destination Rankings 2022 reveals that Maldives has secured a place in the top 10 destinations for UAE travellers. This indicates an expected surge in tourists traveling to the Maldives from the UAE.

Visit Maldives is gearing up to create more possibilities for tourists to choose Maldives as the preferred destination for travellers from the UAE region. Visit Maldives partnered up for the 10th edition of the MICE Arabia and Luxury Travel (MALT) Congress as the official destination partner, which took place on the 30th and 31st March 2022 in Dubai.

The MICE Arabia and Luxury Travel Congress is an annual event conducted for buyers and suppliers in the Middle East, featuring expert sessions and business appointments. The perfect platform for networking, it is the region’s most exclusive event for individuals in the B2B space. An engaging experience for participants in the travel industry, the MALT is a two-day event that is organized with the aim of making connections, building networks to discuss luxury travel, and being on top of the travel game. It allows suppliers to meet and attract buyers for meetings, events, incentives, Business and Luxury travel from the Middle East to their destination. As for the buyers, they can choose from a host of options in terms of cost optimization, revenue models, pre-and post-pandemic technologies, thus keeping up with the changing trends in the travel industry. The tenth milestone edition of the MALT Congress saw an attendance of more than 200 buyers from across the GCC. 

Thoyyib Mohamed, CEO & Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation shed light on why the Maldives is constantly recommended as an attractive destination for travellers from the Middle East. “The Maldives is brimming with freshness. One of the main reasons behind the Maldives’ success in the tourism industry is that our industry offers a slice of paradise for all types of travellers on any budget. We officially launched homestay tourism this year, and just last year we launched our ‘Redefining MICE’ campaign.

We launched this in the spirit of innovation and change, quite literally to redefine how MICE travel is established in the world today. We often get questions like, ‘Could we go and enjoy the beach after the meeting in the conference hall?’ I always tell them in response that they are only asking this question because they don’t understand how MICE works in the Maldives. You don’t have to go to the beach after the conference – you can hold the conference on the beach itself! Imagine team brainstorming sessions on the sandy white beaches of Maldives, cocktails in hand, letting the gentle rhythm of the waves stimulate your thoughts and creativity?  Imagine a board meeting on the deck of a fully private liveaboard, overlooking the endless blues of the Maldivian horizon, doing some leisurely fishing, or diving, and stopping by an abandoned sandbank for a gourmet lunch. I hope that gives you a glimpse of the approach we are taking to MICE.” Added Mohamed.

Tourism is the biggest contributor to the Maldives’ GDP and economy, and the industry experienced the fastest growth in the Maldives. With a laudable recovery from the pandemic in only half a year, the Maldives reopened their borders to tourists from across the world while also implementing strict hygiene protocols and boasting one of the swiftest Covid-19 vaccination drives across the world. The immensely successful strategies employed by the Maldives government during the global pandemic saw the Maldives achieving the ‘Global Safety Stamp’ from the World Travel Tourism Council as early as September 2020. The Maldives also won the prestigious title of ‘World’s Leading Destination’ at the World Travel Awards for two consecutive years, in 2020 and 2021. 

Sidh NC, Director, QnA International says, “Dubai has always been at the forefront in embracing tourism and provides a robust ecosystem for businesses to interact and engage. We aim to provide a platform which offers various opportunities for buyers and destinations representatives to connect and establish business relationships.

The Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) is the National Tourism Board of the Maldives, responsible for carrying out promotional activities to become the most preferred island destination of the world under the theme of the Maldives-the Sunny Side of Life; whilst adhering to its mission to promote quality and sustainable growth in the local tourism industry to deliver long term economic, social, and cultural benefits to the country.

The MALT Congress boasted a wide range of sponsors: Moscow City Tourism Committee as the Tourism Partner, Czech Tourism, Eastern Europe Tours, Graficon, Kompas as the Gold Sponsors and Royal Commission of Al Ula, Destination Complete, Jordan Tourism Board, Korea Tourism Organisation, Rwanda Convention Bureau as the Silver Sponsors. The MALT Congress witnessed these organisations come together to discuss the future of travel in the world.

About QnA International: QnA International creates and delivers business learning and development exchange platforms through B2B conferences, bespoke events, and training sessions. The company also has expertise in outsourced sponsorship sales and key account management.

About MALT Congress 2022: The MICE Arabia & Luxury Travel (MALT) Congress is the regions’ unique platform that gathers 100% GCC buyers of MICE, Business, and Luxury Travel. It’s an opportunity to forge new partnerships, learn about best-in-class experiences and listen to some of the biggest players transforming the business of meetings, incentives, conferences, events (MICE), business & luxury travel.

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