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BOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES VATSAL SHETH AND WIFE ISHITA ESCAPE TO VAKKARU MALDIVES FOR BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS

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Baa Atoll, Republic of Maldives, 7 August 2022 – Bollywood actor, model and entrepreneur Vatsal Sheth and his wife, actress and model Ishita Dutta Sheth, escaped to the award-winning Vakkaru Maldives for a long-awaited holiday after their busy schedules  that also coincided with his birthday on 5 August.

The award-winning timeless sanctuary, the favoured holiday destination for Indian celebrities  this summer, played host to the star couple in early August. The two are excited about the 8  August launch of a new song, “Kuch Tumhara Kuch Hamara” and its music video in which  they play the lead roles.

The couple enjoyed their time in the Maldives, exploring the private island’s many offerings  and experiences, from exquisite dining, rejuvenating spa treatments to ocean adventures  around the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Baa Atoll. They also had the ultimate experience of  staying above the lagoon’s crystal-clear waters in a One Bedroom Overwater Pool  Residence, the largest one-bedroom overwater residence with splendid views of the endless  ocean and the spectacular Maldivian sunsets.

In addition, a surprise destination dining experience was arranged for the couple to celebrate  Vatsal’s birthday on 5 August. An elegant table for two surrounded by flame torches was set  up on a secluded beach on the island, and they were served a specially created vegetarian  menu.

“Vakkaru has instantly become my favourite destination ever since I stepped foot on the  island. The natural beauty, the amazing marine life and the elegant resort design are simply  mesmerising. But more than that, it’s the warmth of the people which made our stay  exceptional. I’m so glad I decided to celebrate my birthday at this stunning resort,” said  Vatsal.

Vatsal has acted in several Indian television shows and Bollywood films and is best known  for his portrayal of Raj Chaudhary in the 2004 film “Taarzan: The Wonder Car”. His wife,  Ishita Dutta Sheth, has also worked in Hindi films and television serials and made her  television debut in 2013 with Star Plus’ soap opera “Ek Ghar Banaunga” as Poonam. Two years later, she made her Bollywood debut with the movie “Drishyam”. Vatsal has just  finished filming for Adipurush, one of the most awaited feature films set to release in 2023.

Since its opening in 2017, Vakkaru Maldives has been a preferred destination for celebrities,  from Hollywood celebrities like Madonna to sports celebrities and Bollywood stars, both for  romantic or family vacations.

Source: Visit Maldives

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President’s Tourism Gold Award conferred to 77 recipients

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The President’s Tourism Gold Awards have been conferred to 77 recipients who have contributed to the country’s tourism industry in various ways over the past 50 years. The awards were presented by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at the Tourism Golden Year Gala Evening held at Kurumba Maldives to mark the 50th anniversary of the Maldivian tourism industry.

During the ceremony, President Solih conferred the prestigious award to those who have worked in various ways to bring about the golden age of tourism. The award was presented to the three pioneers Mohamed Umar Manik, Hussain Afeef, and Ahmed Naseem. The award was also conferred to Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed and Vice President Faisal Naseem for their contribution to the development of tourism under their leadership. The award was also presented in recognition of the efforts of former President Ibrahim Nasir to launch tourism in the Maldives and the efforts of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to make tourism in the Maldives an international brand.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom said there is talented youth in the Maldives who can take tourism very far with innovative ideas. Therefore, he said the future of tourism is very promising.

The award was presented to individuals in private associations, domestic and foreign airlines, and telecommunications service providers.

 

Source: psmnews

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Maldives celebrates 50 years of tourism, a sector undermined in the past

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Fifty years ago, an Italian travel enthusiast, George Corbin visited the Maldives after crossing many hurdles. Some believed the little nation in the Indian Ocean was not worth visiting and though his colleagues and friends advised against it, Corbin took a chance. Today, the Maldives is marking the golden jubilee of an industry people believed would not have flourished all those years ago.

Not knowing how to travel to the Maldives, Corbin visited the closest embassy, the Maldives Embassy in Sri Lanka, where he was introduced to the then junior employee at the embassy, the current Minister of Health Ahmed Naseem. Since there were no air connections, Naseem and Corbin travelled to the Maldives on a cargo ship.

The arrival of Corbin marked the beginning of tourism in the Maldives. Reminiscing on the beginnings of tourism, a key pioneer of tourism in the Maldives, Mohamed Umar Manik said that meeting Corbin made him realise that the Maldives is a place where tourism can be developed. At that time, Corbin was seeking uninhabited islands where he could bring Italians to swim and fish. He said the enthusiasm and faith of Corbin gave encouragement to himself, Naseem, and Hussain Afeef.

Manik recalled not having any services such as banks, airports, or telephones back in the day, adding that only hand radios or Morse code were used to contact Colombo, Sri Lanka. He said many people did not believe that tourism could be expanded in the Maldives due to the natural formation and the lack of development of resources. Even experts from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said that tourism would never succeed because there were no facilities and no infrastructure, he added.

Meanwhile, Cobin returned home and the first group of tourists arrived on February 16, 1972, under the leadership of Umar Manik, Afeef and Naseem. The group of tourists arrived from Milan, Italy chartering a flight from Air Ceylon. A total of 22 tourists arrived on the maiden trip. They came and stayed at Maagiri, Lux Hood and Kaneeru Villa. They stayed in the Maldives for 12 days.

When the first group of tourists arrived in the Maldives, Naseem was abroad on a government trip. However, Naseem described the situation in which they had to serve tourists. He said that Afeef with others ran from one house to the other serving the tourists, taking cutlery from one house to the other when one team is finished, adding the courage they showed back in the day is an incomparable example.

The first group of tourists included some Italian journalists. They went back home and wrote about their experiences in the newspapers which is how most people came to know of the Maldives. After the trip, discussions to develop a resort in the Maldives commenced.

Speaking on a programme aired on PSM News, Mohamed Moosa said many challenges were faced by the industry over the years. He said he used to supply vegetables and other products to the resorts for Afeef.

When the first group of tourists arrived in the Maldives, Afeef said there were no modern facilities. However, they loved the experience which ensured the trust of foreign investors in the Maldives. The first resort in the country opened on October 3, 1972, in Vihamanaafushi, as Kurumba Village or Kurumba Maldives as it is known now. Kurumba Maldives is a 30-room resort with a bed capacity of 60.

Today, 50 years later, the Maldives has 170 resorts, 866 hotels and guesthouses, and 154 liveaboards registered in the Maldives which brings the total bed capacity to 59,601. Today, the Maldives is known to everyone and tourism has flourished with the passion, determination and hard work of its young and energetic Maldivian founders. Just as Corbin fell in love with the palm trees, turquoise sea and white sandy beaches, the Maldives has made it to the bucket list of everyone

Corbin said the Maldives are world known and among the best destinations, getting visitors of different nationalities and regions, thus being a very safe haven.

 

Source: psmnews

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MMPRC TO PROMOTE THE MALDIVES TO FRENCH MARKET AT IFTM TOP RESA 2022 AND DEDICATED ROADSHOW IN FRANCE

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Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC / Visit Maldives) is gearing up to promote the Maldives as a destination in the French market through two consecutive activities this September; the “Connect with Maldives, Your Safe Haven Maldives Roadshow” and participation in International and French Travel Market (IFTM) Top Resa 2022.

Of the two activities, MMPRC’s roadshow targeting the French market was held in Paris, at Le 28 George V, joined by 13 industry partners. The purpose of this roadshow is to re-establish and consolidate France as one of the key source markets for the Maldives. The roadshow further aims to strengthen trade relationships between potential travel agents and our industry partners. The target audience for this event includes affluent travel agents.

At the same time, MMPRC and 27 industry partners are taking part in IFTM Top Resa 2022, held from 20th – 22nd September 2022 at Porte de Versailles. IFTM Top Resa 2022 is a multi-purpose trade show for tourism and travel, covering all travel reasons: business, leisure, group & MICE. The B2B event is held in Paris, offering excellent business opportunities, improved returns on investment, and access to qualified and relevant travel buyers, influencers, and market professionals.

Both of these events come under MMPRC’s marketing strategies for the French market. Through such activities, we aim to make the Maldives the most preferred destination for French travellers while maintaining and strengthening destination presence in order to increase arrivals to pre-pandemic figures. It will also help to promote our products (resorts, hotels, guesthouses and liveaboards) and segments including honeymoon, romantic, family, adventure, dive and underwater. MMPRC will also market the scattered geography of our islands, and the privacy, luxury and unique experiences that we offer visitors. Such events also provide industry partners with a platform to promote their properties, products, and services.

As of 24th August 2022, France is the 7th top source market to the Maldives with an arrival figure of 34,120, which is a 3.2% market share of the total arrivals of 1,056,851 that the country has achieved during this period. MMPRC has been holding several activities targeting this market, including marketing campaigns, social media campaigns, digital media advertising campaigns, and participation in fairs and exhibitions.

MMPRC carried out 260 different marketing activities in 22 global markets last year, including fairs, roadshows, familiarisation trips, marketing campaigns, webinars, and interviews. The greatest testament to the success of these activities came late last year, as the Maldives secured the title of ‘World’s Leading Destination’ (among several other accolades) at the 2021 World Travel Awards, globally recognised as the hallmark of industry excellence. This is the second consecutive year that the Maldives had successfully earned this prestigious title, a shining testimony of the trust placed in the ‘magic of Maldivian hospitality’ by travellers from all over the globe.

Source: Visit Maldives

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