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World tourism gradually recovers amid global uncertainty

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  • Travel and tourism contributed 21.7% to global gross domestic product in 2021

Global tourism has been facing the brunt of natural and man-made events, one after the other. However, it has the potential to grow to $8.6 trillion in 2022, according to an industry survey.

Travel and tourism contributed 21.7 percent to the global gross domestic product in 2021 after falling sharply in 2020 due to COVID-19, according to a joint survey by the World Travel & Tourism Council and Oxford Economics. According to the travel body, tourism growth this year holds tremendous potential.

Even as global tourism showed strong signs of recovery in January 2022 after reeling under COVID-related restrictions, the Russian invasion of Ukraine added to the uncertainty, the United Nations World Tourism Organization stated in a report.

The UN report stated that global international tourist arrivals more than doubled in January 2022, rising by 130 percent compared to January 2021. Around 18 million more tourists were recorded worldwide in March this year.

Despite these figures reflecting a positive trend, recovery halted indefinitely in the wake of Omicron and travel restrictions in several destinations. In January 2022, international arrivals remained 67 percent below pre-pandemic levels after declining 71 percent in 2021, according to the UN report.

In the same month, all regions performed significantly better than the corresponding month in 2021. Even as international arrivals were at around half the pre-pandemic levels, both Europe and the Americas continued to have the strongest turnout.

Changing travel dynamics

Although European arrivals increased by 199 percent and Americas by 97 percent, international arrivals remained below the pre-pandemic levels and declined by 53 percent and 52 percent, respectively, UNWTO explained.

Tourist arrivals in the Middle East grew by 89 percent and Africa by 51 percent in January 2022 compared to January 2022.

By the end of March, more than 10 COVID-restricted destinations had opened up, and a growing number of places eased or lifted travel curbs; it allowed the pent-up demand to be met.

However, the war on Ukraine severely dented global travel confidence and posed challenges to the global economy. As a result, international travel is at risk, putting the global economy at peril, the UNWTO said.

As the US and Asian source markets have been easing restrictions, they could be particularly impacted in travel to Europe since they have historically been more risk-averse.

Many European countries banned Russian carriers, which affected intra-Europe travel. It also increased the duration and cost of flights between Europe and East Asia due to detours, the report added.

Sojern Middle East and Africa Managing Director Stewart Smith

In 2020, Russia and Ukraine accounted for 3 percent of global tourism spending. UNWTO estimated that at least SR55.5 billion ($14 billion) in global tourism receipts would be lost if the conflict persists.

In an assessment by UNWTO on the impact of the war, it stated that “though it is early to assess the impact on international tourism, the military offensive of the Russian Federation on Ukraine represents a downside risk that could delay a still weak and uneven recovery of international tourism, despite the increasing number of destinations easing restrictions.”

On the road to recovery

Sojern Middle East and Africa Managing Director Stewart Smith said that the company had observed that neighboring countries in Eastern Europe provide aid and support to Ukraine rather than promoting their destinations to tourists.

Sojern, a digital marketing platform that both the UNWTO and the Pacific Asia Travel Association rely on for their travel and tourism recovery research, stated that flight searches for Asia-Pacific dropped 12 percent in 2022 compared to 2019.

Smith said that several destinations do not want to miss out on tourist opportunities during their peak season. Therefore, they continued to invest in tourism support, albeit less than usual.

Through co-op marketing, Sojern partnered with the Department of Culture and Tourism and demonstrated its commitment to supporting Abu Dhabi’s properties.

This year, the company saw a 2,000 percent increase in travel intent from Oceania, particularly Australia and New Zealand. However, there were more travel restrictions in that region than today, and it was much more difficult to travel to Europe from Oceania.

According to Sojern data, flight searches in Europe, the Middle East and Africa increased by 46 percent in 2022 compared to the pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Also, year-over-year flight searches to Europe were more than 200 percent higher in March 2022 than they were at the corresponding time last year, Sojern reported.

While the conflict led to uncertainty, hotel and flight bookings in the first quarter of 2022 and April onwards showed continued promise.

Source: AN

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MMPRC takes part in Travel and Tourism Fair in India

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Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has taken part in the Travel and Tourism Fair (TTF) and is gearing up to conduct a Maldives Roadshow in India. TTF is held from July 1-3 in Kolkata with 13 industry partners, and the Maldives Roadshow will take place in Bangalore, Chennai, and Trivandrum on July 5, 7, and 8 respectively.

The Maldives is being exhibited as the partner country for the exhibition. MMPRC, along with Riu Maldives and Sun Siyam Iruveli will be giving a special destination presentation to the visitor audience during the event, detailing the incredible holiday experiences available to visitors from the World’s Leading Destination 2020 and 2021.

TTF held in Kolkata is India’s leading exhibition for the travel and tourism industry. It provides an annual opportunity for organisations from India and abroad to showcase their products and services. As such, visitors can gather information and make national and international travel plans. TTF presents an unparalleled marketing opportunity for exhibitors to connect directly with the largest gathering of prospective travellers and members of the travel industry. The visitor profile for TTF includes tour operators, travel agents, airlines, hoteliers, and other travel and trade professionals and stakeholders.

After concluding TTF in Kolkata, MMPRC will hold a roadshow in three cities of India under the theme Connect with Maldives, Your Ultimate Destination Maldives Roadshow in India, together with potential operators and agents from India. The roadshow will be held on July 5 in Bangalore, July 7 in Chennai and July 8 in Trivandrum, alongside 16 industry partners. During the roadshow, MMPRC and industry partners will showcase a destination presentation highlighting the products, experiences, and latest travel guidelines on the Maldives. The presentation will be followed by a productive night of networking and building new business relations, and a special raffle will be conducted awarding a free holiday in the Maldives.

During these events, MMPRC said it aims to maintain the destination presence and promote the Maldives as the world’s leading destination in the Indian market alongside industry partners. Participation in the event also comes as part of the marketing strategy for the Indian market, which is based on conducting ambient campaigns to strengthen the brand in all major cities, identify channels to access the luxury market segment, promote affordable holiday options and focus on specific advertising for honeymooners and family holidays, combined with guest house stays.

India was the largest market in 2021 with over 278,740 travellers and a market share of 22.6%, and is the largest source market for the Maldives in 2022 as well, thus far. As of June 8, the Maldives has welcomed 104,800 tourists to the country from India, ranking as the top source market to the country and contributing 14.3% of the total market share for the period. MMPRC has planned several activities targeting the Indian market in the effort to maintain destination visibility. The efforts include ongoing joint-marketing campaigns with prominent partners such as Thomas Cook, Pickyourtrail, and Vistara Inflight Magazine, participation in major fairs such as South Asia’s Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) and Outbound Travel Mart (OTM), and hosting familiarisation trips.

 

Source: psmnews

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Kelapa Media influencers arrive in the Maldives

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Dani and Oscar, influencers representing Kelapa Media, have arrived in the Maldives for a familiarisation trip, upon invitation by Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC). The duo will be in the Maldives for this trip from June 26 to July 6.

Kelapa Media is a film production company that creates commercial photography and videography for brands and encompasses an audience covering the US, Canada, UK, Italy, and UAE markets. Kelapa Media comprises of Dani and Oscar, an award-winning photographer, and videographer.

Through the trip, MMPRC said it aims to market the romantic side of Maldives, emphasising a variety of services catering to luxurious, adventurous experiences available for couples. The duo will stay in Fairmont Sirru Fen Fushi, Grand Park Kodhipparu, and Reethi Beach Resort where they will experience spa and wellness, diving, snorkelling, gastronomy, and other unique services provided by these properties. The duo will create and share videos and photos, and promote the Maldives on their social media handles expected to reach a wide audience, especially honeymooners and couples.

The trip will help highlight the romantic side of life, the unique products, and the services awaiting couples in the Maldives. It will also help to promote the privacy, safety, and seclusion the destination offers, the geography of our scattered islands, the latest travel guidelines, and destination information.

The trip is organised as part of the marketing strategy to promote the various segments of tourism available in the destination for tourists from the US market, especially the experiences awaiting couples in the Maldives. The US currently stands as the 7th top source market to the Maldives from January till June 8 this year. During the period, the Maldives welcomed 732,884 visitors, with the US contributing 4.7% to the total market share with 34,609 visitors. MMPRC has been holding several activities, including joint campaigns with industry stakeholders, familiarisation trips, and participation in fairs and exhibitions targeting the market in order to maintain destination popularity, and visibility, in order to increase arrivals from the US.

Source: psmnews

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Joali Being Hosts Skills Workshop for local Kids with Football Legend Diego Simeon

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On the evening of 26th June 22, a hush descended on the football pitch at JOALI BEING…before erupting into an explosion of excited cheers and hurrahs. Football legend Diego Simeone had arrived, ready to kick off a memorable skills workshop with a group of young Maldivian players.

Simeone, who rose to fame as a midfielder for Atlético, Lazio and Inter Milan and won an Olympic medal playing for the Argentinian team, has been the manager of Spanish giant Atlético Madrid since 2011.

The footballer spent part of this summer at JOALI BEING, the first and only nature immersive wellbeing retreat in the Maldives, where he hosted football workshops for guests and a session with aspiring young local footballers.

Learning Meets Inspiration

On 26th June 22, a group of 14 young players from Meedhoo Island made their way to JOALI BEING for an adrenaline-pumping session with Simeone. Along with gaining valuable knowledge and practising pro techniques, the youngsters also had a chance to interact personally with the world-class player and coach – an experience that is sure to motivate them for years to come.

Launching a Collaborative Series

The collaboration with Simeone launched the Movement Skills Series at JOALI BEING. Over the coming months, the retreat will partner with renowned tennis players, fitness instructors and sports people to host a variety of interactive workshops for wellbeing seekers.

As General Manager Özgür Cengiz notes, “Our team is always looking for meaningful ways to connect with guests and support the local community. This commitment is integral to the JOALI brand.”

Rooted in Local Community

Ever since opening its doors in late 2021, JOALI BEING has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the wellbeing and progress of local residents. From conducting virtual education sessions for university students on International Women’s Day to hosting an appreciation event for healthcare workers on International Nurses’ Day, the team has made it a priority to support and empower neighbouring island communities. The wellbeing retreat has also created multiple hospitality internships for Maldivian aspirants.

Source: Visit Maldives

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