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India 7th largest source market for Maldives

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Kahini ChakrabortyMumbai

Hussein Lirar

Maldives Tourism is looking at attracting honeymoon, FIT and family groups from the India market this year. India has been ranked as the seventh largest source market for Maldives, with the others in the list being – China, Germany, Russia, Italy and France. Speaking to Express TravelWorld on the sidelines of the roadshow held recently in Mumbai, Hussein Lirar, deputy tourism minister, Maldives informed, “Last year, 45,587 Indians visited Maldives and we are expecting a significant growth in this number this year. With regards to tourism product offerings, Maldives has a one island, one resort concept. On each island is situated one resort that offers the whole spectrum of activities, dining and leisure options. In terms of offerings we have all water activities such as snorkeling, deep sea diving, banana boat, surfing, sailing, etc that are offered on all resorts in the Maldives. Travellers could also opt for activities like diving and snorkeling, spa and rejuvenation, island hopping / seeing the culture, renewing vows and weddings, night fishing / big game fishing, visiting the capital, Male’, cruising the atolls, dolphin watching.”

When asked about how is the tourism board looking to work closely with travel agents in India, he said, “We are working with Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), who are connected with the agents pan-India and all the resorts closely work through direct meetings, sales calls and the four-city roadshow that was held across the cities of Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi.”

On any new hospitality projects expected in Maldives, he replied, “There are no Indian investments. But there is an Integrated Resort Development Project called Thumburi. It’s an initiative by the president of Maldives to open investment opportunities for locals which is targeted to Maldivian SME’s in the tourism industry. The first project will be developed in the island of Thumburi. And as part of the project, 2,000 beds will be developed creating 4000 jobs. With this project, we have estimated to receive two lakh tourists.”

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