On October 1, 2020, Minister of Tourism Dr. Abdulla Mausoom met with the International Maldives Travel Market (IMTM) team to discuss on IMTM 2020 fair and the way forward in support of the virtual event.
During the meeting at the Ministry of Tourism, Tourism Minister and Managing Director of IMTM, Hawwa Shiuna Khalid discussed the importance of initiations like the IMTM 2020 fair in support of the government’s effort to revive the tourism industry of Maldives.
Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom stated that the Maldivian tourism industry is very capable and all the industry-related bodies must work together to strengthen the tourism business and the industry. He further stated that travel and trade fairs like IMTM should not restrict to be held only in the Maldives but needs to expand globally.
Dr. Abdulla Mausoom also highlighted that due to the impact of the pandemic the local island tourism is suffering a great length. However, he said that if COVID-19 cases are maintained without increasing, he is hopeful that the reopening of guesthouses in residential islands will help in recovering operations in the new normal.
Managing Director of IMTM, Hawwa Shiuna Khalid stated the main purpose of establishing IMTM fair is to facilitate an affordable alternative to travel and trade fair, further ensuring the growth of promoting IMTM as a potential platform and Maldives as a world-class MICE-destination. Shiuna also mentioned the Sustainable Tourism Forum which was inaugurated in the IMTM 2019 fair, which provides an opportunity to bring together partners in the tourism sector and the public to discuss and exchange ideas and knowledge on sustainable tourism approaches of the businesses.
Shiuna Khalid also called Minister’s attention to some of the challenges that are faced in the industry, highlighting the lack of a good convention center in the country to facilitate events in the Maldives. She added that IMTM always strives to showcase what we are selling through the event, thus for the past two years of IMTM fair was held in Adaaran Hudhuranfushi Resort and Farukolhufushi event space. “The best option to conduct a huge travel and trade show in the Maldives is Dharubaaruge, but the venue is not ideal if we want to showcase the selling point of the Maldives tourism; Sun, Sea, and Sand. Most of the International buyers participating are first-time visitors to the country and its important to let them experience the Maldives apart from fam trips,” she said.
The meeting was concluded with Tourism Minister reassuring that the Ministry will give endorsement and full support to the IMTM 2020 virtual event. He also applauded the initiation of the Sustainable Tourism Forum and mentioned that there are plans to develop a full-fledged convention center, most likely in Hulhumale’ for a better convention facility.
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