Visit Maldives, on Thursday, announced its participation in TTM Connect, which will be virtually hosted by Travel Trade Maldives (TTM), spanning from November 25 to 26.
Relaunched as an online travel trade portal with over 500 partners from the tourism industry in order to provide opportunities for connection and networking, TTM Connect utilises the latest technology including an online event lobby for attendees, exhibitor booths with profiles, B2B video meetings and live-streamed presentations as well as marketing opportunities with videos and product collaterals.
TTM intends to conduct several travel shows throughout the remainder of 2020 via TTM Connect to ensure continued meaningful networking opportunities for industry partners.
By 2021, TTM aims to secure over 5,000 travel trade partners including hoteliers, online travel agencies, travel agencies, tour operators, airlines, and travel trade media from around the world. Registration for additional partners will open during December 2020.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Managing Director of Visit Maldives Thoyyib Mohamed stated that initiatives such as TTM Connect would facilitate cooperation in endeavours to identify innovative strategies to increase tourist arrivals and achieve success in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We support TTM’s mission to come together on a common platform to overcome the challenges and explore solutions for better and sustainable growth of the tourism sector in Maldives, and we welcome such efforts wholeheartedly!".
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.
Furthermore, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) hosted the Rediscover Maldives Webinar Series during September. This consisted of four sessions that were targeted towards providing updated information about the destination to travel trade and media across the globe.
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 only exceeded 50,000 since July 15.
However, Visit Maldives highlighted that arrivals had gradually increased every month following the reopening of borders and noted that figures were expected to peak in the coming days.
Earlier, Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom also 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.