Visit Maldives participated in the International Maldives Travel Market (IMTM) 2020 from November 16 to 17.
The two-day fair, held virtually with the IMTM Air Platform, facilitated business interaction and strengthened endeavours to promote Maldives as a tourist destination to new and existing markets.
Aiming to 'Reconnect, Revive and Grow' the country's tourism sector, IMTM is a private travel and trade fair which plays a crucial role in bringing together international buyers from across the world to associate with Maldivian tourism products.
IMTM maintains the stance that stakeholders of the local tourism industry must come together to deliberate on challenges, solutions and opportunities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby furthering efforts to support increased and more sustainable growth within Maldives' tourism sector.
"We hope that the brand awareness and visibility of the destination increases among tourists and potential buyers with the success of this event. As the tourism promotion board of Maldives, Visit Maldives welcomes such collaborative efforts by all private and public entities. As digital and online marketing is vital these days, we believe that carrying forward similar activities is essential", stated the Managing Director of Visit Maldives while speaking during the event.
Visit Maldives has been taking part in several virtual fairs and marketing activities to promote tourism in Maldives. This includes a global campaign with CNN, a joint campaign with DNATA Travel, promotions with Emirates Woman, integrated webinar sessions in China and the recent participation in World Travel Mart (WTM) Virtual 2020.
In 2021, Visit Maldives aims to spearhead the national effort to unite all tourism stakeholders in the attempt to boost arrival figures to pre-COVID rates.
Maldives reopened its borders to international passengers on July 15, after nearly four months since the state halted issuing on-arrival visas on March 27. Guesthouses were permitted to resume operations and kick start local tourism on October 15.
Despite the lifting of restrictions, Maldives has noted a significant reduction in tourist arrivals compared to pre-COVID figures. While a total of 382,760 tourists were recorded before borders were closed in March, the latest figures show that tourist arrivals have exceeded 50,000 since July 15.
However, Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom earlier expressed hopes for the industry's recovery, estimating that 100,000 tourists would visit Maldives before the end of 2020. The tourism ministry expects a total of 500,000 arrivals for the year.