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The Genius of Destination Marketing – From the POV of Maldives

Mohamed Rehan
28 January 2022, MVT 06:06
Industry partners promote Maldives at FITUR 2022 -- Photo: Visit Maldives
Mohamed Rehan
28 January 2022, MVT 06:06

The primary focus of any given tourism industry will be to drive up the tourist arrival number with each successive year. Meaning, the bottom line is to increase the number of tourist arrivals in annual terms as the years progress.

Different countries opt for different approaches when they strategize to attract larger number of travelers to their respective destinations. Some market different high-profile and top-end properties originating from their countries while others use unorthodox techniques and then there are some odd few who check every nook and cranny to ensure that they get the ‘word out’ to as many people as possible and in any manner that they can.

But the most effective method is perhaps to collaborate with relevant industry players from each of the targeted source markets and promote tourism holistically instead of cherry picking which and what property to be showcased.

This is the destination promotion approach that Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), or better known as Visit Maldives, has adopted when it comes to ensuring that the island nation is amply promoted in foreign travel-trade platforms. The premier tourism promoter of the island nation is leaving no stones unturned when it comes to collaborating with foreign industry affiliates and other international tourism promoter counterparts.

Recently it was reported that Visit Maldives has launched a month-long destination promotion campaign in association with News UK which is the current publisher of The Sunday Times and The Sun – both these imprints have amassed a massive readership over the years. Through this collaboration Visit Maldives aims to drive up popularity of the island nation in an already popular source market – the United Kingdom. One might often wonder why a tourism promoter will go such lengths just to promote the Maldives in a source market that is already among the top five tourist contributors.

The simple answer; maintaining momentum. It appears that the relevant tourism promotional bodies of the Maldives long since understood the gravity of keeping momentum of a product’s popularity if they aim to enforce sustainability. This is exactly the targeted bottom line here; which in turn would factor greatly towards surge in tourist arrival numbers.

Promoting a country as a tourism destination is not a menial task and it requires staying up to date with popular promotional trends. What the industry currently accepts as standard in terms of marketing, is what most destination promoters aim to echo and this does not exclusively revolve around partnering up with international media hubs to run advertorials or digital content.

For effective destination promotion, it is instrumental that all necessary instruments are utilized. Which explains why Visit Maldives actively seeks out international travel-trade fairs and events to showcase Maldives as a tourism destination.

Recently it was reported that Visit Maldives along with industry affiliates had promoted the country’s tourism and various products at FITUR 2022 from 19th to 23rd January 2022; which is regarded as one of the biggest global trade fairs originating from Spain.

Spain has been a significant source market to the Maldives and as of December 2021 the country was ranked seventh in terms of top-ten source markets with an annual count of 37,186 tourist arrivals to the island nation from the European giant.

The decision of partaking in an event where major travel-trade corporations, industry affiliates and investors come together for networking and building rapport is an ideal approach to take if Maldives aims to maintain its popularity in a market that is regarded as a strong contributor in terms of tourist arrivals. By promoting Maldives at an event of such caliber would definitely attract prospective investors and travel trade businesses to the island nation’s tourism industry – mostly those who have previously not had intimate knowledge about the destination. A clever business-to-business networking tactic that Visit Maldives has often employed and it is result driven given the island nation’s overall tourist arrival continues to increase despite the challenges faced across the globe in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, a research report on the effectiveness of destination marketing that appeared on the Journal of Travel Research concluded that “incisive and intelligent marketing” in terms of destination marketing can entice visitors to a given destination. Moreover, the research further analyzed on the factors that contribute towards effectiveness of destination marketing which include influence of the marketing material and the reach of the marketing campaign among other factors.

It is evident that the top tourism promoters of the Maldives are utilizing these factors when they are marketing the country across international travel platforms, as a popular tourism destination. By extending the audience reach with each successive marketing campaign, the tourism promoters aim to sustain the momentum of popularity of the country that had resulted with strong arrival figures in the preceding years.

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