Maldives has conducted a joint webinar with the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) targeting the United States market. The webinar provides the latest destination updates, information on products and experiences, and will promote Maldives as a ‘safe haven’ destination for the US market.
ASTA is among the leading global advocates for travel advisors with over 14,500 members representing over 120 countries as members. Therefore, the webinar with ASTA provides a significant opportunity to promote and strengthen the destination brand presence in the U.S. market.
The hour-long webinar session was held by the ASTA to educate the agents on Maldives as a popular and safe tourist destination to ensure that the agents are well informed about the latest updates and the destination overall. The presentation focused on the individual products and the experiences of Maldives with a focus on the unique geography of scattered islands which lends itself to natural social distancing and the one-island-one-resort concept. The presentation also showcased other experiences unique to the destination such as underwater spas and restaurants.
In addition, information regarding the COVID-19 situation in Maldives, entry requirements as well as the latest travel guidelines was presented during the webinar. It highlighted that Maldives achieved ‘Safe Travel Stamp’ in 2020 from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and Velana International Airport health accreditation as a recognition of the stringent measures in place.
Details on local initiatives such as the Maldives Border Miles program was briefly discussed in the webinar as well as the latest ‘I’m Vaccinated’ campaign initiated by the Ministry of Tourism and Visit Maldives. Further details were shared on the vaccination drive in Maldives such as the objective to make Maldives the destination with the first fully vaccinated tourism industry, vaccinated figures, and future plans.
The webinar concluded with a 15 minute Q&A session where participants voiced various queries. These included questions regarding the ‘I’m Vaccinated’ campaign, PCR testing, entry requirements for vaccinated tourists, and vaccination status of resort staff. This initiative serves to increase the destination knowledge of attendees which, along with the increased connectivity, will drive more tourists from the market to Maldives.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, the United States continues to contribute a significant number of tourists to the Maldives ranking as the 6th top source market with an arrival figure of 15,914 as of 2nd June 2021. Maldives have welcomed a total of 457,747 tourists so far in 2021. Being a key market, many activities are planned for the year including destination trainings, webinars, familiarization trips, roadshows, virtual events and participation in physical fairs such as Ultra Summit and the DEMA Show 2021. A familiarization trip consisting of 5 American journalists was also conducted last week by Visit Maldives.
The administration of the COVID-19 vaccine was initiated on 1st February 2021 with the government of Maldives set to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to all citizens and residents of the country in the upcoming months. Visit Maldives together with the Ministry of Tourism launched the "I'm Vaccinated" campaign in order to share a positive message regarding the vaccination of staff working in the tourism sector as well as promoting the initiatives undertaken to ensure the Maldives remains one of the safest destinations in the world for travelers. The ultimate target is to make Maldives the destination with the first fully vaccinated tourism sector in the world.