The Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC) has unveiled its integrated resort development project at the World Travel Market in London this week.
Representatives from the Maldivian government’s tourism promotion department – as well as local tour operators – are taking part alongside 146 representatives from 54 countries.
“A press conference was held on the first day of the fair, where the highlight of the conference was the recently launched Integrated Resort Project which was disseminated to the audience,” read an MMPRC press release.
The new scheme, described as ”communal tourism development” or “vertical tourism” by President Abdulla Yameen is being overseen by the MMPRC.
Sixteen bids were reported to have been received earlier this year for the first 20 plots made available as part of the Thumburi guest house island project – designed to attract small and medium business to an industry dominated by high-end island resorts.
Also present in London this week are representatives of the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), which is acting as an associate partner for the second year.
“This partnership opens new doors for MATATO members,” explained the association – the only Maldivian group to be given associate partner status.
”We believe that the growth and sustainability of our members, local travel agents and tour operators and other industry stake holders, require continued exploration and networking efforts in the emerging markets along with strengthening the presence in the lucrative markets for Maldives.”
The World Travel Market was launched in 1980, and has grown from 350 exhibitors to around 5,000 and 50,000 participants – agreeing deals worth $3.7 billion last year alone.
The Maldives tourism industry welcomed over one million tourists for first time in 2013, with the government expecting the 1.5 million arrivals in 2015.
The MMPRC visited China last month in an effort to further boost the now-dominant Chinese market, which makes up over 30 percent of the market share.
Recent statistics show that visitors from the UK – traditionally one of the largest sources of tourists to the Maldives – rose to 8 percent of the total in the first three quarters of 2014.
“The Maldives delegation will be meeting with the Top Travel Agents and Travel trade media to identify opportunities to build strong ties between two countries and to identify strategies to increase the number of tourist arrivals from UK,” said the MMPRC today.