Opportunities to grow visitation from South-east Asian markets are richer now that the Maldives has better air connectivity and a wider range of products, say Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation/Visit Maldives.
The destination marketer recently led a road show to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand to engage with online travel companies and agents.
Thoyyib Mohamed, CEO of the organisation, said these three markets are top contributors among the South-east Asian countries for the Maldives’ tourist arrivals, with accessibility made possible by Singapore Airlines, AirAsia and Cathay Pacific.
Traffic from Malaysia is set to grow on the back of new daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and Male operated by Batik Air.
Thoyyib shared that arrivals from South-east Asia in the first eight months of 2023 reached 39,304, up 40 per cent from 2022. Thailand contributed the most arrivals during this period, with 12,000 arrivals. This is followed by Malaysia at 8,900 and Singapore at 7,300.
Speaking on the destination’s expanding points of appeal, Thoyyib said the Maldives is no longer just for honeymooners.
“Lately, through advertising and with (increasing) visibility, more people know that we are also a family destination. Almost all our resorts are family friendly. There’s so much for families to do, even on the local islands.”
The introduction of liveaboard boats and guest houses has also helped to attract different traveller segments.
He explained: “Liveaboard boats give a very different experience, where you can have the whole (vessel) for your group, travelling from one interesting place to another without having to change mode of transportation. Guest houses, on the other hand, are more affordable, priced between US$100 and US$340 per night.”
Guest houses have good amenities, similar to a two- to four-star hotel, according to Thoyyib. As they are located on local islands, travellers can learn about the local way of life.
“They can go fishing and island-hop with the locals,” he added.
Source : TTG Asia