The Maldives Tourism Promotion Board and representatives from Maldives tourism industry participated in the 31st World Travel Market (WTM) that was held from 8 to 11 November 2010 at ExCel London. This is the biggest travel trade event held in the United Kingdom.
The Maldivian delegation led by the State Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture; Mr. Thoyyib Mohamed Waheed, comprises 177 participants from 75 organisations, namely resorts, hotels and tour operators that participated in WTM 2010 under the Maldives’ banner. 35 companies represented resorts and hotels in the Maldives and also travel agencies selling resorts, hotels and live-aboards participated in this fair.
WTM, the second largest travel trade exhibition after ITB Berlin, serves as an ideal platform for Maldivian suppliers and relevant agencies to establish marketing networks with their United Kingdom (UK) and European counterparts. The Maldivian delegation updated the travel trade and members of the media in the UK and Europe on new developments and products in Maldives. Participation in this annual travel market helped to strengthen the presence of Maldives in the European market as WTM brings together worldwide buyers and sellers from every sector of the industry.
Maldives continuous support for this annual event demonstrates a firm interest in the UK market, which remains its main focus in Europe.
THE MALDIVES STAND: The two-storey Maldives Stand with an area space of 276 sq. meters is prominently located at stand number AS340, next to the India and Mauritius stand. Maldives stand at WTM was re-designed with a bigger floor area to portray the dynamism of the tourism product developments in the destination Maldives.
During the event, the State Minister held interviews and meetings with the major tour operators and key tourism players in UK.
As part of the promotional activities during the market targeting the travel agents, a raffle draw was organised to give away a free holiday prize to the Maldives. The raffle draw was held at the end of the four day show at 16:00 on 11th November 2010. The main purpose of this draw was to drive more visitors to the Maldives stand and to convey the massage of voting for the Maldives as the New 7 Wonder of Nature campaign. Number of visitors at the Maldives stand had voted for Maldives through the voting stations located throughout the stand.
Maldives stand was also amongst the six stands who received the Best Stand Awards at WTM which was announced on 9th November 2010. On behalf of the Maldives delegation the State Minister accepted the award for the ‘Best Stand for Interacting with Travel Agents’ given away by the Exhibition Director of Reed Exhibitions, Mr. Simon Press.
The panel of judges praised the Maldives stand which was designed by Global Display Ltd.; for its layout including areas to drop by and pick up brochures as well as an upstairs breakout area for more serious meetings. Furthermore, they also singled out the knowledgeable and helpful team and overall the stand was described by the panel of judges as ‘approachable and easy to interact with’.
STATISTICS: Maldives recorded a total of 643,410 tourist arrivals during the first ten months of 2010, indicating a sign of continuous growth of tourists to the country. It represented an increase of 21.8 per cent compared to 528,271 for the same period in 2009. The UK remains Maldives’ prime market in Europe. In 2009, a total of 105,950 tourists from the UK visited Maldives and ranked as the top tourist generating markets to Maldives.
The first ten months of this year recorded a total of 95,586 travellers from the UK visiting Maldives, signifying an increase of 9.4 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2009.
The unaudited figure of this year’s event reveals that 26,908 visitors attended WTM 2010 over the four days compared to 24,402 visitors who attended WTM 2009. Visitors include press, media and travel trade.
Furthermore, overall participant figures increased by 4.7% compared to WTM 2009. WTM 2010 saw 47,719 travel industry professionals take part compared to 45,571 at WTM 2009. There were more than 5,000 exhibitors including 628 Main Stand Holders, compared to 607 in 2009.
For more information, please contact:
Aminath Hudha, Senior Marketing Officer
Maldives Tourism Promotion Board
Telephone: +960 332 3228
Facsimile: +960 332 3229