Month: March 2022

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Visit Maldives Launches ‘Maldives E-learning Program’ for SEA Market

Visit Maldives Launches ‘Maldives E-learning Program’ for SEA Market

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC / Visit Maldives), has launched an E-learning program for South East Asian travel trade. Through the E-learning program, MMPRC will promote the Maldives as a preferred and safe tourist destination to maximize visibility in the SEA market.

The Maldives E-learning Program has a dedicated website and can be accessed by logging in to The modules provide the latest information about Maldives’ tourism sector for travel trade professionals working in the SEA market. This E-learning platform is flexible and allows members to join in at any time, anywhere, to learn more about Maldives and what it has to offer to tourists. Travel trades can access and use the E-learning website up to one year from the date of launch.

Through this program, MMPRC aims to familiarize travel trade professionals working in the SEA market with the latest information on measures taken in our products (resorts, hotels, guesthouses and liveaboards), and the unique experiences available in the Maldives for travelers from this market. This is the ideal platform to market the destination as a safe haven and promote the unique geographical formation of the scattered islands which allow natural social distancing for travelers.

Over 600 travel partners are expected to participate in the program, with a reach of 3000 travel partners throughout the year from the SEA market. The interactive course will include 3 modules, with the first module focusing on introductory basic information, module 2 focusing on promoting unique selling points of the destination, and the last module on the latest travel guidelines, covid measures and updates. Agents who complete the course will obtain an official certificate issued by Visit Maldives. This program is conducted in line with the marketing strategy for the SEA market to strengthen the Maldives’ brand in the SEA region and create greater appeal for travelers.

The world is currently on the trajectory to adapt to a broader new normal and ease Covid-19 measures across all sectors to recover from negative impact caused to economies due to Covid-19 restrictions. We are witnessing more countries easing travel measures and opening 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 Covid-19 PCR negative result upon arrival if the prescribed doses of vaccine are completed 14 days prior to date of arrival. As of 13th March 2022, the Maldives has also lifted the national public health emergency, imposed in response to the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ease of travel restrictions and measures would make it easier for tourists to visit the Maldives.

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.


Celebrating the Role of Women in the Maldives

Celebrating the Role of Women in the Maldives

Women are the bedrock of society. The Maldives is a destination with elements of a strong matriarchal society in history; our island nation flourished under the rule of Sultanas and Queens in the days of old. This age is no different, with women continuing to be the heads of households while simultaneously spearheading innovative workplaces, and today is the day to take the time to celebrate the capable, powerful, and talented women in Maldivian society. We at Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC / Visit Maldives) would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to all Maldivian women today, the often unsung heroes of society, in celebration of International Women’s Day 2022.

The historic role of women in the workplace
Women in the Maldives have always been spirited, ambitious, and strong-willed, as displayed by their tendency to excel at whatever work they choose to do. As with most other nations, women were historically expected to only take care of the ‘housework’ and ‘soft’ jobs, but in the Maldives, this translated into something different. Our main source of income (prior to 1972 and the inception of the tourism industry) was fishing. There may not have been any female anglers in the Maldives back then, but the work of cleaning, smoking, and preparing the catch for consumption, bartering, or sale has always been the work of women. This led to women in the Maldives long-being a partner in acquisition of finances - men and women playing equally important roles in generating household income.

Women, Tourism and MMPRC
With the advent of tourism in the Maldives 50 years ago, this has changed, with more women interested in and taking up important positions in workplaces in travel, hospitality, and tourism.
At MMPRC, we have successfully constructed a gender positive environment because we believe in the capacity of women to enhance, enrich, and elevate this industry. There are 17% more female workers at MMPRC than there are male workers, and not just in junior, soft, or ‘feminine’ positions; 67% of the Heads of Departments in MMPRC are women; and 87% of the marketing department comprise of self-driven and tenacious female workers.

“Having devoted most of my career working for this corporation, it has always given me great pride that most of our teams are led by strong, creative, and diligent women who have dedicated themselves to marketing our beautiful destination. It has been a great pleasure to watch how the times have changed so fast over the past few years, with more women joining the tourism industry in different roles. Maldivian women have always been strong, and they have been vital to building the socio-economic fabric of this nation. This is evident from our history and it is repeating in a more profound way in our present and hopefully our future too. This is all due to the continued effort by our government, industry leaders, and individuals to cast aside long-held prejudices, overcome challenges and break biases,” said Fathimath Afra, Chief Marketing Officer of MMPRC.

An era of change
Creating thoughtful discourse about gender parity in the Maldives took on a new stride with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration. With key policy reforms and the abolishment of practices that had long propagated inequality in Maldivian society, women in the Maldives have never had as many opportunities as now to thrive. The evolution of the consideration of roles traditionally played by women has also led to brand new ideas about the role of women, especially in the tourism sector.

"There is no job in any industry that a woman cannot excel at, but we must accept that there is still a gender disparity in the Maldives tourism industry. For instance, only 12% of resort workers are women, but there are a lot of women who are involved in the industry in a myriad of ways. So first, we must change the way we count and gather data on this. Only then can we begin to truly close the gap, and this is just one of the avenues that we are actively working on to improve the roles of women in the tourism industry. MMPRC makes the pledge today to continue to uphold the values of gender parity within our workplace," said Thoyyib Mohamed, CEO and MD of MMPRC.

Taking action to build a brighter, better and more equitable tomorrow
Over the past three years alone, the Maldives has reached new milestones in social equality and gender parity. It started with President Solih’s historic decision in 2019 to appoint female Justices to the Supreme Court for the first time in the nation’s history. This was followed by the monumental reform to the Decentralisation Act, allocating one third of all local council seats to women. This move was celebrated throughout the nation, as women were finally offered avenues to hold key positions in governance.

In addition to this, President Solih’s administration paid special attention to reforming rules and regulations to better the lives and livelihoods of Maldivian women, notably in endorsing policy reforms such as the administration’s Gender Equality Action Plan, as part of the ‘National Resilience and Recovery Plan (NRR) 2020–2022’. The plan includes measures such as; increasing the number of women in leadership positions in local government by 40% by 2025 and in the judiciary by 25%; providing services such as daycare; initiating gender-responsive budgeting; and revising national data systems to include disaggregation of data by gender and age.

Although we have achieved much in working to create a more equal environment in our homes and workplaces, we still have a long way to go. Our efforts are a continuous journey of upholding the reforms presented by policies, taking action to back up promises made on platforms, and sustaining the progress we have earned through the sacrifices of our ancestors. We must work together, at all levels to ensure that the bias that is always looming and present does not break the gains we have made in ensuring women are provided better opportunities at all junctures of life. Let's walk the talk, and ensure that we stand our ground to reach the true potential of any nation, which cannot be achieved without the full involvement of our women.


Aviation one of the Fundamental Pillars Leading to the Advent of Global Tourism, says Managing Director of Visit Maldives

Aviation one of the Fundamental Pillars Leading to the Advent of Global Tourism, says Managing Director of Visit Maldives

The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/Visit Maldives), Mr Thoyyib Mohamed, has stated that aviation is one of the fundamental pillars that led to the advent of global tourism. Mr Thoyyib made this statement while speaking during a panel discussion held during the 9th Arab Aviation Summit, being held in Dubai.

Speaking during this panel, Mr Thoyyib delineated how the past two years had transformed the entire state of the world, especially the tourism and aviation industry. Noting that the travel and aviation industries were perhaps some of the hardest hits by the global pandemic, he commended the steadfast efforts of the global travel trade towards recovery.

Citing Aviation as one of the fundamental pillars that led to the advent of global tourism, Mr Thoyyib said that the tourism and aviation industries should work closely together to overcome the challenges. He stated that during the early days of the lockdowns, MMPRC made sure to constantly maintain a strong relationship with local and global aviation partners. He announced that over 35 international flights currently operate to the Maldives.

Referring to how destinations can stand out and become the preferred choice for travellers in the post-pandemic era, Mr Thoyyib said destinations have to implement stringent safety measures and see how the natural geography and unique features of the country can contribute to making it a safe option for travellers. He then went on to highlight how the Maldives heavily promotes the scattered geography of the country and the ‘one island, one resort’ concept as a feature that makes the Maldives a safe destination.

Outlining the ‘new normal’ for the tourism industry, Mr Thoyyib said that we are already in the midst of a new normal, and every new phase of the global pandemic presents us with a brand new version of ‘the new normal’. He further elaborated that it’s important to carry on with our lives and work towards full recovery of the tourism industry and the economy as a whole. He also noted that we shouldn’t be under the impression that the global tourism market will return to the state it was in prior to 2020, rather we should work towards evolving with every phase of the new normal.

Speaking further during this panel, Mr Thoyyib referred to the important role the Middle East plays as a growing source market for the Maldives. He said this market is one of the fastest growing markets to the Maldives, as well as the central hub for a large number of tourists. He expressed pride over the fact that leading Middle Eastern airlines such as Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, Fly Dubai, Etihad Airways, and Gulf Air operate to the Maldives on a regular basis.

Endorsed by the Arab Government and previously held in various Arab countries, the Arab Aviation Summit 2022 is hosted in collaboration with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) and supported by global industry partners such as Airbus, CFM, Air Arabia, Alpha Aviation Academy, and Ras Al Khaimah Airport.

From the GCC market, Saudi Arabia was the top 6th market to the Maldives, with an impressive arrival figure of 39,178 travellers. The entire Middle East region accounted for 7.0% of total arrivals in 2021. In order to maintain this momentum and position Middle Eastern markets as top markets to Maldives, MMPRC is conducting a wide variety of marketing activities in the region. We are taking part in Arabian Travel Market 2022, ILTM Arabia 2022, Riyadh Travel Fair 2022. We are also conducting a Maldives Roadshow in Dubai, as well as media familiarization trips, and a joint marketing campaign with Emirates Holidays.