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Halal Tourism- the next step in tourism for the Maldives?

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According to Global Muslim travel index 2019 there was an estimate of 140 million Muslim travelers in 2019 worldwide while the number was only 131 million on 2017, and it was estimated that Muslim travelers will spend up to $300 billion globally by 2026 making halal tourism a major market for tourist destinations.

Halal tourism is growing in a fast pace and competition by Muslim and non-Muslim countries is growing to win this market. According to the to Global Muslim travel index 2019 Malaysia and Indonesia are the market leaders although non-Muslim nations such as Singapore and UK are not far behind them.

Given the numbers and forecasts in 2021 the Maldives is also expected to enter the race. A recent campaign was announced in partnership with “Have Halal, Will Travel “ to promote halal tourism to the south east Asian markets. Throughout the campaign Maldives will be promoted as a destination perfect for Muslim travelers with the availability of Halal Food  and ease of access to prayer rooms and mosques.

Maldives being a 100% Muslim country and having a world class tourism industry gives it an edge over other destinations to win over this market. The already proven one island one resort concept is expected to attract Muslim tourists where they can enjoy the white sandy beaches in line with the principles of Islam.

Moreover this campaign will showcase Maldives as a destination that will cater for everyone although Maldives is labeled as high end market, today budget tourists also have the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty and serenity of the paradise on earth.

The Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation is yet to officially launch any global campaign announcing halal tourism in the Maldives, but it is expected that their current efforts to penetrate the Middle Eastern market will lead to the launch of halal tourism in the Maldives in the coming years.

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G7 fail to reach consensus on phase-out of coal.

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The G7 has been left stranded on coal as the U.S. and  Japan blocked a deal to end the use of coal in the G7 countries.

Following days of negotiations between the world’s richest and most advanced countries, the G7 leaders’ summit in Cornwall, England failed  as the decision to set a date to phase-out the use of coal was blocked by the U.S. and Japan.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that they sought “language that aligns with the president’s domestic commitments, including a carbon pollution free power sector by 2035”.

According to an EU official, majority of the G7 members were willing to back the phase-out of coal in the 2030s. But Japan which has changed its views on coal following the Fukushima nuclear accident remains in favor of coal.

Criticism has been targeted at the G7 for their lack of commitment on such critical issues while Russia and China has made commitments to go carbon free. China is set to limit the use of coal starting this year and go carbon neutral by 2060.

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Journalists from the US market hosted by Visit Maldives.

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Visit Maldives is hosting a group of journalists from the US market.

According to the their website, this is the first of the familiarization trips planned for the market this year. Held from the 9th to the 16th of June 2021, the purpose of the trip is to promote Maldives as a safe haven for the travelers, highlighting the unique geographical formation of the country as well as the safety measures in place.

A combined circulation of over 500,000 print readers will be reached with over 78 million on online channels, as the journalists will have their content appear on major publications in online and offline channels such as Travel & Leisure, TripSavvy.com, Forbes, Insider Travel, LA Style, Citizen-Femme.com, Travel Age West and Travel Pulse said Visit Maldives.

In the article published on their official website, Visit Maldives stated that the accommodation for the trip was arranged at Robinson Club Noonu, LUX* North Male’ Atoll and Kuramathi Maldives. To target the high-end travelers of the US market, activities highlighting the natural beauty and the luxury aspects of the destination is to be carried out during the trip.

Visit Maldives highlighted additional activities planned for the US market this year such as familiarization trips for influencers, joint marketing promotions with tour operators, virtual roadshow, webinars and participation in virtual and physical fairs such as the Ultra Summit show taking place in the upcoming month.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, stated Visit Maldives, steady growth has been observed from the US market, with 19,759 arrivals in 2020, ranking as the 8th source market of tourist arrivals. 15,914 arrivals were recorded as of 3rd June 2021, ranking as the 6th market of top tourist arrivals for the year.

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Instagram and Facebook giving more flexibility to users.

Mariyam Mohamed

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On 26th May 2021, Facebook announced that both Facebook and Instagram users will have the option to make their “like” counts private so they can decide what works best for them.

The company has been testing if hiding the “like” counts gives a favorable experience for Instagram users. They found that the “like” counts are beneficial for some and displeasing to others. Now Facebook is giving people a choice to hide their “like” counts on all post on their feeds and their own posts so the public do not see how many likes they get.

For some users, like counts are recognized as current trends. So giving people a choice over hiding the “like” count will benefit people to focus on the content being shared instead of focusing on the popularity of the posts.

As claimed in the Facebook announcement, “Changing the way people view like counts is a big shift. We’ll continue in new ways to give people more choice, so they feel good about the time they spend on our apps.”

Furthermore, the company stated that they are giving more control on their social platforms to its users. They also announced new tools that allow users to filter offensive content from their direct messages and control over what they can share and see on Facebook news feeds.

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