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Maldives targets Sichuan to lure more Chinese tourists

Fathmath Shaahunaz
25 September 2016, MVT 10:21
The Maldives' stall at Sichuan International Travel Expo in China. PHOTO/MMPRC
Fathmath Shaahunaz
25 September 2016, MVT 10:21

In a move to increase the number of tourists from China, the Maldives participated in a tourism fair held in the Asian giant’s Sichuan Province.

In a statement released Friday, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) disclosed that the Maldives is participating in the Sichuan International Travel Expo being held in Emeishan City in Leshan, Sichuan Province, from Friday to Wednesday this week. According to MMPRC, the Maldives had received an invitation to take part in the expo.

Tourism representatives from 45 countries across the world are participating in this year’s travel expo, which first commenced three years ago. A number of summits, forums and trade meetings are taking place at the expo prior to its public opening on Monday.

Previous promotions of the Maldives’ tourism industry had taken place in Chinese capital Beijing and various trade centres, including the South Asia Expo (Kunming Fair) and road shows held in cities such as Shengzhu and Shanghai.

The Maldives’ national airline Maldivian had also commenced direct flights to Sichuan Province’s capital city of Chendgu last July.

Whereas China is the largest tourism market for the Maldives, the number of visitors from China have been on the decline with only 36,456 tourists last July, which is a decrease of 12.2 percent from the previous year.

MMPRC noted in its statement that more effort is necessary in promoting the Maldives to maintain the tourist numbers from China.

The island nation also took part in one of the largest tourism fairs in Japan, JATA Tourism Expo, which began Thursday, and the International French Travel Market (IFTM) where the Maldives was represented by MMPRC and twelve other companies of the archipelago’s tourism industry.

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