SUDIPTA DEV – Mumbai
India is the third largest market for Maldives from the Asian region. The market has been growing at an average annual rate of 23 per cent over the last five years. “The huge annual growth rate recorded for this market is due to the heavy growth registered in 2007 and 2011. By the end of year 2011 India captured 3.3 per cent market share, generating over 30,000 tourists,” said Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, deputy minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Maldives.
Maldives Visitor Survey Report 2011 states that a high percentage of Indians visit the Maldives for holidays, for business purpose followed by for honeymoon. It is identified that out of the Asian visitors, business as a purpose of visiting Maldives is chosen mostly by Indians. “We believe India holds potential for Maldives due to its proximity and the affluent market segments and with major marketing activities we could create a higher demand in India for the Maldivian tourism product,” stated Maleeh Jamal.
|Mohamed Maleeh Jamal|
Maldives expects positive growth trend from the Indian market to continue in future. “Major Indian operators are confident of the destination Maldives. Already some airlines are negotiating to increase connectivity between the two countries,” added Maleeh Jamal.
MICE is an emerging segment for Maldives. There are resorts catering for the MICE market, providing business meeting facilities for small groups. According to Maleeh Jamal what makes Maldives a perfect MICE destination for Indian organisations are the facilities at the resorts for both work and leisure. “Ranging from ballroom to a collection of private rooms and boardrooms etc, as well as state of the art audio visual equipment and support services, Maldives is an ideal destination to hold global meetings and conferences. Companies could have their meetings in the morning and make the afternoon a time to relax and be indulged in varieties of activities offered at resort/hotels. Also India being close to Maldives with easy accessibility, non-visa restrictions makes it a more attractive destination for holding business meetings,” he stated, not forgetting to add that all the major hotel chains operate exclusive resorts in the Maldives. In fact Louis Vuitton has chosen Maldives as the destination to open their second hotel in 2013.