TTM Periodical | Issue 005 | January 2020

Page 1

January 2020

www.traveltrademaldives.com ttm@traveltrademaldives.com

ISSUE 005 International Travel Trade Periodical of Maldives

HARISH NAIR

RESORT MANAGER AT THE ST. REGIS MALDIVES VOMMULI RESORT

IBRAHIM INAD

DIRECTOR OF SALES AT INTERCONTINENTAL MALDIVES MAAMUNAGAU

RAHIM FLYNN

GENERAL MANAGER OF SHANGRI-LA’S VILLINGILI RESORT & HOTEL JEN

IN THIS ISSUE : Roadshows & Fairs | Statistics | Government | New Properties | Market Overview | People | Aviation | Cruises | Travel Tech | Awards/Listings | Accommodation | Travel Agents | Celebrity News | TTM Highlights


02 FOREWORD & TEAM

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

OUR TEAM MANAGING DIRECTOR

Akhmeem Abdul Razzaq

Welcome to the issue January 2020 of

that the airport will be ready to cater to

we at Orca Media Group will try everything

“TTM Periodical”. TTM Periodical is a

over 7 million passengers annually by 2023.

to ensure TTM 2020 will be better and

travel trade publication published by

Since being launched in 2017, TTM 2020 is

more rewarding for the participants in

Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) - Maldives

the 4th edition of the show that effectively

every aspect. All this would not have been

leading international travel trade show.

connects the travel trade community of the

possible without the incredible support of

Estimated figures for 2023 indicate that

Maldives to the global network of travel

our partners and industry stakeholders.

Maldives will achieve well over 50,000 in

professionals. This year, the multi-event

Here’s wishing all the best and a successful

beds in operation and government target

travel trade show will include the TTM

event for all participants of TTM 2020.

of 2.5 million tourist arrivals annually. The

Travel Summit, and TTM prescheduled

ongoing airport development projects at

meetings,

Velana International Airport will ensure

successful as previous editions of TTM were,

TTM

Awards

&

Gala.

As

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Dr. Hussain Sunny Umar

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Nashaath

DIRECTOR

Ibrahim Areef

DIRECTOR

Mohamed Khoorsheed

MANAGER

Ahmed Nasir Aminath Yusra Ibrahim

ASSISTANT MANAGER Fathmath Maisaan

PHOTOGRAPHY DYNAMYST Moonis Nazeem Noushad

DESIGN DIRECTION CREATIVE TUNA Zaya Ahmed Moothi Hamdhoon W. Asthu Shahindha Zuhura Ismail

MARKETING

Ali Sageef Ibrahim

Copyright c 2019 Orca Media Group.All rights reserved throughout the world. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited. Opinions expressed in the articles are of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or publishers. While the editors do their utmost to verify information published they do not accept responsibility for its absolute accuracy. Materials in this publication may not be reproduced, whether in part or in whole, without the consent of Orca Media Group.

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PUBLISHED BY

MEDIA & MARKETING COMPANY +960 301 1720 | marketing@orcamedia.group www.orcamedia.group


ROADSHOWS & FAIRS 03

MMPRC ROADSHOW & FAIR LIST 2019

APR

JAN 19 JAN 27JAN

BOOT

05 APR 07 APR

Düsseldorf, Germany

MARINE DIVING FAIR

AUG 02 AUG 04 AUG

14 OCT 15 OCT

ITALY ROADSHOW Rome & Milan

NATAS Singapore

Tokoyo, Japan

16 OCT 18 OCT

ITB ASIA Singapore

23 JAN 25 JAN

ONE WORLD TRAVEL MARKET (OTM)

08 APR 09 APR

SOUTH AFRICA, ROADSHOW

08 AUG 09 AUG

Cape Town & Johannesburg

SOUTH KOREA, ROADSHOW Seoul, Busan 16 OCT 18 OCT

Mumbai, India

23 JAN 27 JAN

FITUR INTERNATIONAL TOURISM TRADE FAIR

10 APR 12 APR

WTM AFRICA

19 AUG 21 AUG

SWITZERLAND, ROADSHOW

Madrid, Spain

31 JAN 03 FEB

FESPO Zürich, Switzerland

31 JAN 03 FEB

EAST MEDITERRANEAN INTERNATIONAL TOURISM & TRAVEL EXHIBITION (EMITT)

SEP

CHINA OUTBOUND TRAVEL & TOURISM MARKET (COTMM) Beijing, China

06 SEP 08 SEP

28 APR 01 MAY

ARABIAN TRAVEL MARKET (ATM) Dubai, UAE

30 APR & 02 MAY

16 SEP 19 SEP

24 JUN 28 JUN

12 MAR 14 MAR

MOSCOW INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL & TOURISM EXHBITON (MITT) Moscow, Russia

MATTA

NOV

JULY 05 JUL 07 JUL

VISIT MALDIVES TRAVEL EXPO 2019

GERMANY, ROADSHOW

04 NOV 06 NOV

AUSTRALIA ROADSHOW

OCT 01 OCT 04 OCT

WORLD TRAVEL MARKET (WTM) London, United Kingdom

7, 8 & 11 NOV

UK, ROADSHOW Dublin, Manchester & Glasgow

Perth, Melbourne & Sydney

INDIA, ROADSHOW Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chandigarh

ITB Berlin, Germany

23, 25 & 27 SEP

JAPAN, ROADSHOW Nagoya, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Osaka

Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich & Vienna

JUNE

BIT

MAR 06 MAR 10 MAR

MIDDLE EAST ROADSHOW Abu Dhabi & Dubai

FEB Milan, Italy

28 OCT 31 OCT

KL, Malaysia

Istanbul, Turkey

10 FEB 12 FEB

Osaka, Japan

Basel Zurich & Geneva

Cape Town, South Africa

15 APR 17 APR

TOURISM EXPO JAPAN (JATA)

12 NOV 15 NOV

NORDIC, ROADSHOW Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki

IFTM TOP RESA Paris, France 25, 27, 29 NOV & 2 DEC

07, 08 & 10 OCT

FRANCE, ROADSHOW

CHINA, ROADSHOW Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou & Chengdu

Toulouse, Nice & Paris

DEC

Malaysia, Putraja 09 OCT 11 OCT

TTG TRAVEL EXPERIENCE Rimini, Italy

02 DEC 05 DEC

INTERNATIONAL LUXURY TRAVEL MARKET (ILTM) Cannes, France


04 ROADSHOWS & FAIRS

SERIES OF PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT IN UK TO PROMOTE THE MALDIVES Maldives Marketing & Public Relations

reality experience, and Raffle draw. The

Corporation (MMPRC) has commenced a

Maldives was showcased at a two-story

series of marketing activities in the UK to

345sqm stand designed colorfully to

promote the Maldives.

display the beauty of Maldives.

MMPRC together with the tourism industry

The Journey to the Sunny Side Maldives

partners took part in World Travel Market

roadshow was held in Dublin, Manchester,

(WTM) 2019 held in London, the UK

and Glasgow on 7th, 8th and 11th of

from 4-6 November 2019. WTM, now in

November coinciding with WTM London.

its 40th year is one of the leading global

This event served as a platform for

events for the travel industry. Mr. Thoyyib

Maldives tourism industry partners to

Mohamed, the Managing Director of

showcase products and network with

MMPRC led the delegation consisting of

top travel trade industry partners to

163 representatives from 63 companies

increase tourist arrivals from these target

from the tourism industry of Maldives.

markets. 16 companies from the Maldives

campaign to promote the Maldives in major

busiest train station, with an estimated

During the fair, officials met with industry

Tourism Industry have participated in this

locations across London. The campaign

94.4 million people passing through the

professionals to explore means to further

roadshow to create potential opportunities

includes 3 major efforts to market the

station each year.

develop and strengthen the presence

and to further strengthen the relationship

Maldives as an ideal holiday destination.

of Maldives. In addition to this, a press

with the operators. In addition to the

It included 40 digital advertisements

The UK is one of the major source markets

conference was held on 4th November,

destination presentation and one-to-one

featuring

on

for the Maldives. Arrival figures from

chaired by the Managing Director of

networking sessions during the event, a

screens at bus stops near busy train

January to September 2019 rank UK in

MMPRC Mr. Thoyyib Mohamed and top

raffle draw winner was chosen from each

stations in London. Maldives was vibrantly

the fifth position for highest performing

industry partners. Other activities carried

city to spend holidays in the Maldives.

advertised on The Original Tour buses in

markets to the Maldives accounting for

out at the stand included live Music by

To

London and at the digital screen situated

7.3% of total market share.

Detune band, local food tasting, virtual

MMPRC

further promote the destination, has

launched

an

outdoor

the

Maldives

displayed

inside Waterloo train station, which is UK’s

MMPRC AMENDS MEMBERSHIP FEE STRUCTURE TO ENCOURAGE INDUSTRY PARTNERS The Board of Directors along with the

MMPRC reports that this fee amendment

Management of MMPRC has decided to

will be in effect from 31st October 2019.

amend the Membership Fee Structure of Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation

The corporation reported that the purpose

(MMPRC) to encourage participation from

of this amendment is to increase the

all the industry partners.

number of registered members, to assist the industry partners to work with the

To continue receiving the benefits of

corporation and to increase the number of

being a member of MMPRC through

participants for the activities carried out

2020, members had to renew membership

by MMPRC.

subscriptions

before

31st

December

2019. The bed charges have been removed and the nominal fee has been reduced in the new membership fee structure.


ROADSHOWS & FAIRS 05


06 ROADSHOWS & FAIRS

MALDIVES PROMOTED AT THE INTERNATIONAL LUXURY TRAVEL MARKET IN FRANCE

Maldives Marketing & Public Relations

to further develop and strengthen the

Corporation

presence of the Maldives in the French

(MMPRC),

together

with

tourism industry partners, participated

luxury market.

in the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM)

fair

in

Cannes,

France

that

The Maldives stand was built in a 60-meter

commenced on the 2nd of December

space with colorful displays and light-up

2019. This is the first time Maldives is being

boards to accentuate the vibrant beauty of

represented at ILTM as a destination in

the Maldives. Every co-exhibiting partner

several years.

was allocated a dedicated meeting space co-branded within the main stand.

An event organized by Reed Exhibitions, ILTM was a luxury show that focused

MMPRC has participated and represented

solely on pre-booked B2B meetings. This

the Maldives in a total of 23 fairs this year,

year, ILTM celebrated its 18th edition,

including ILTM. Maldives participated in

promising to be the largest ILTM to be held

IFTM Top Resa France earlier this year, and

with more than 5000 expected visitors.

ILTM would be the second fair in France

Over 80 countries and 1880 companies

participated by the Maldives in 2019.

participated in last year’s fair, with an estimated amount of over 72,000 pre-

Based on the Arrival figures from January to

booked appointments.

October 2019, France is ranked in the 7th position of the highest performing markets

During the 4 days of ILTM Cannes, a

to the Maldives accounting for 3.5% of

total of 17 officials from 13 companies

total market share. To sustain and increase

met with industry professionals from the

the arrivals to the country, MMPRC has

lucrative luxury tourism market. MMPRC

conducted several marketing activities in

utilized this platform to explore the means

the French Market throughout 2019.

MALDIVES PARTICIPATED AT THE THAI SILK FASHION WEEK & GRAND EXTRAVAGANZA IN THAILAND Maldives participated in the Thai Silk Fashion

Famous

Week from 18th to 21st of November 2019

Moonisa

and Grand Fashion Extravaganza held on

Asiyath Shimla (Shimla) showcased their

23rd of November 2019 to promote the

designs during the fashion week inspired

Maldives as a Tourist Destination and to

by the traditional Maldivian dresses. The

strengthen the bilateral relation between

dresses

Maldives and Thailand.

week by Maldivian

local

fashion

Luthufee

designers

(Mooni)

displayed during

and

the

fashion

Ms. Ms.

fashion designers

were tailored using Thai Silk. This was Maldives participation at the Thai Silk

a great opportunity to promote the

Fashion week was organized by the

culture and tourism of the Maldives on an

Embassy of the Republic of The Maldives in

international platform. 31 ambassadors

Thailand with the immense support of the

from 71 countries showcased their designs

Ambassador of the Republic of Maldives

at the Grand Fashion Extravaganza and

to the Kingdom of Thailand Mr. Mohamed

the Maldives’ designs were presented by

Jinah the Maldives and Deputy Ambassador

Deputy Ambassador of the Republic of

of the Republic of Maldives to the Kingdom

Maldives to the Kingdom of Thailand Ms.

of Thailand Ms. Huda Shareef.

Huda Shareef.

This is a great initiative and for the

During the event, the beauty of Maldives

first time, the Maldives made a mark in

was shown through the destination video

integrating Maldivian culture and fashion at

on the main screen. Promotional materials

the 9th Celebration of Silk: Thai Silk Road

such as information brochures were also

to the World 2019. MMPRC’s strategy to

distributed during the event. The event was

market the Maldives as a tourist destination

covered by international media and local

worldwide in 2020 will include reaching to

media in Thailand.

potential niche segments.

This project celebrating Thai silk is organized

in honor of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the

exhibit traditional and modern Thai silk and

Queen Mother called “Celebration of Silk

design.

– Thai Silk Road to the World.” This is the 9th annual celebration of Silk. 71 countries

Thailand is one of the top markets among

displayed their cultural dresses during

the South East Asian countries with

the fashion show and famous designers

promising growth of tourist arrivals with

including

participated

over 25,334 arrivals by the end of October

in the fashion show. Since 2010, the

2019. Thailand is one of the highest

Thai Tourist Assistance Foundation, in

performing markets to the Maldives in the

collaboration with members of the foreign

South East Asian region accounting for 14%

diplomatic corporations in Bangkok, has

of total market share by the end of October

organized the Celebration of Silk project to

2019.

Jimmy

Choo


ROADSHOWS & FAIRS 07

ROADSHOW IN 4 CITIES PROMOTED MALDIVES IN CHINA travel trade industry partners to increase

with 230,349 tourist arrivals. This is a 3.7

tourist arrivals from the target markets.

percent increment compared to the same

Eleven companies from the Maldives

period of last year.

Tourism

this

MMPRC has carried out several activities

roadshow to create potential opportunities

during this year to further boost the

and to further strengthen the relationship

arrivals from the Chinese market. As such,

with the Chinese tour operators. In addition

MMPRC has participated in China’s biggest

to the destination presentation and one-to-

outbound travel trade fair, China Outbound

one networking sessions during the event,

Travel & Tourism Market (COTTM). This

a raffle draw winner was chosen from each

fair has recorded more than 200,000

city to spend holidays in the Maldives,

visitors from the travel trade industry.

with sponsorship from Paradise Island

Furthermore, MMPRC has conducted social

Resort, Sun Island Resort & Spa, Robinson

and digital media campaigns, Outdoor

Club Maldives, and Furaveri Maldives.

advertising campaigns and Familiarization

MMPRC received excellent support from

trips targeted to enhance the presence

Maldives industry partners for the “Journey

of Maldives as a destination Moreover a

to the sunny side” roadshows in 2019.

campaign in partnership with Singapore

This marked the completion of the series

Airlines is part of the Star Alliance is being carried out in this market.

Industry

participated

in

As part of the series of roadshows planned

event of this series which is a marketing

planned for 2019 where 12 roadshows in

by Maldives Marketing & Public Relations

campaign launched by MMPRC in 2019.

37 cities have been conducted this year.

Corporation (MMPRC), “Journey to the

As a result of these activities, the China

Sunny Side” commenced in China. The

The four-city roadshow targeted the China

Based on the Arrival figures until the end

market has shown progress and it is

roadshow was held from 25th November –

market to maximize the Maldives brand

of September this year, China is ranked

expected to see the potential for further

02nd December 2019 in 4 prominent cities:

exposure. This event served as a platform

number one for the highest performing

growth in the coming years.

Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou & Chengdu.

for Maldives tourism industry partners to

markets to the Maldives accounting for

Maldives Roadshow in China was the 13th

showcase products and network with top

18.4 percent of the total market share

MEDIA & INFLUENCER TEAM FROM ITALY ARRIVED TO PROMOTE THE MALDIVES trips organized by MMPRC this year. The

Maldives would be featured as articles and

aim of these trips is to further increase

photographs in their respective publications

the exposure for the destination in the

in Italy.

international markets. During their stay in the Maldives for the next 8 days, the team

With

the

first

group

of

tourists

to

would experience the different types of

Maldives being a group of Italians, the

products that are available in the Maldives,

market has remained amongst the most

ranging from guesthouses on local islands

important traditional markets to-date.

to resorts and liveaboards.

It has maintained its position in the top three markets to the Maldives, with a total

A team of journalists and social media

feature the products of the destination and

influencers from Italy have arrived in

highlight the sustainable tourism initiatives

the Maldives on 3rd November 2019.

practiced in the Maldives.

The purpose of this trip is to create awareness of the destination in the Italian

This is the 16th group to arrive in the

market while reaching a wider audience,

Maldives as part of a series of familiarization

The team will be staying at the recently

of 97,375 arrivals being recorded till the

opened resort, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo

end of September, which is a growth of 31.7

located in GA atoll, Sun Siyam Irufushi, local

% compared to the same period of last year.

guesthouse, White Lagoon Guesthouse

Through the series of FAM trips, MMPRC

in Baa Fehendhoo and Voyages Maldives

hopes to reach wider audiences in these

Gahaa Safari.

markets to promote the Maldives.

The team of writers belong to well-renowned

MMPRC has participated in TTG, which is

publications such as GQ Italia, Vanity Fair,

the leading tourism fair in Italy which was

Turista.info, Viaggi Corriere and Il Giornale

held last month followed by a Roadshow in

along with two of Italy’s most popular

Milan and Rome to develop and strengthen

social media influencers, Roberto De Roza

the presence of the destination within the

and Lorenzo Liverani. Their experiences in

Italian market.


08 ROADSHOWS & FAIRS

MEDIA TEAM FROM FRANCE VISITED TO PROMOTE THE MALDIVES

A team of some of the top media journalists

excursions. They also took part in the many

arrived in the Maldives to experience first-

wellness options offered in the Maldives

hand and share their stories. The main

such as yoga and spa facilities. In order for

purpose of this trip is to create awareness

them to further witness the natural beauty

of destination Maldives in France while

of the Maldives, they were also taken on a

reaching a wider audience, feature the

cruise trip in a yacht. The team consists of

products of Maldives and show what the

journalists from Nice Martin, Paris Match,

destination has to offer in terms of wellness.

TimeOut, L’Officiel and Marie France. fr. Their experiences would be featured

This FAM Trip organized by MMPRC

on

was the 17th FAM trip to take place this

articles that feature their experience in the

year which took place from 06th till

Maldives.

media

platforms

with

destination

13th November 2019. The FAM trips are expected to increase the exposure of the

France is ranked in the seventh position

destination in the international market.

for the highest performing markets in the Maldives. The number of arrivals

The team stayed at Velassaru Maldives,

was recorded as 44,792 from January to

Huvafen Fushi Maldives, Kandima Maldives

September which is an increase of 21%

and a liveaboard experience at one of the

increase from the same period of 2018.

vessels provided by Yacht Maldives. In this

MMPRC believes our marketing efforts

trip, the team experienced the underwater

through this series of FAM Trips will help

beauty

further promote the Maldives to a wider

of

Maldives

through

planned

activities such as snorkeling and diving

audience from this Market.

MALDIVES DESTINATION GUIDE 2020 LAUNCHED AT WTM LONDON The English edition of the Maldives

Adheel Ismail and Managing Director of

Destination Guide 2020 was launched at

MMPRC, Thoyyib Mohamed at the Maldives

World Travel Market, London.

stall. Published in ten languages, the guide features

hotels,

resorts,

guesthouses,

The publications was published by leading

and liveaboards. The publications provide

marketing

Associates.

travelers and travel trade professionals

Maldives Destination Guide 2020 along with

alike with the latest up to date information

the Resort Hotel Guide 2020 were officially

relating to tourism properties, products and

unveiled by the CEO of Think Associates,

service providers in the Maldives.

agency,

Think

MALDIVES WELCOMED MEDIA TEAM FROM TURKEY Maldives Marketing and Public Relations

of media on conventional and digital

Corporation

welcomed

platforms with some having a special focus

media from Turkey to the Maldives for

on tourism. Atlas Magazine also plans on

a familiarization trip today. This is the

doing a report of 12-16 pages about the

21st familiarization trip conducted by the

Maldives. The hosting properties for this

corporation for various markets this year.

trip are Kuramathi Maldives, Kurumba

(MMPRC)

Maldives, and Mirihi Island Resort. The media was comprised of journalists and editors from a number of famous

The

publications such as Sabah, Daily Sabah,

segments that would interest the Turkish

Yoldasin and Atlas magazine which is

market

circulated widely amongst the Turkish

honeymooners and eco-tourism. These

population.

experiences was shared in their respective

They

are

a

combination

media such

explored as

potential

nature,

niche

adventure,


ROADSHOWS & FAIRS 09 publications and the coverage is expected

8,059 were recorded as arrivals from

MMPRC took part in EMITT 2019 together

from different countries have also been

to bring forward further awareness about

Turkey. Activities are also carried out by

with the industry stakeholders – one of the

conducted to promote tourism in the

the Maldives. The trip concluded on the

MMPRC in small markets such as Turkey

leading platforms for Turkish and global

Maldives.

06th of December 2019.

aside from rigorous campaigns in key

sectors. A FAM trip was also conducted

traditional markets, all of which are pivotal

by bringing in Turkish influencers to

There was a total of 1,393,619 tourist

in achieving the milestone of the 1.5

target the market just last month. Similar

arrivals till October 2019 out of which

millionth tourist this year.

familiarization trips with various media

MALDIVES WELCOMED INFLUENCERS FROM TURKEY

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations

influencers were expected to position

Corporation

welcomed

the Maldives as a holiday gem with new

influencers from Turkey to the Maldives

experiences for consumers in Turkey. The

for a familiarization trip on 26th November

trip concluded on the 30th of this month.

(MMPRC)

2019. This was the 19th familiarization trip conducted by the corporation for various

There was a total of 117,619 tourist arrivals

markets this year.

in September 2019 out of which 907 were recorded as arrivals from Turkey. Activities

The Turkish influencers, Mehmet Kırali

are also carried out by MMPRC in small

and Çiler Geçici have years of experience

markets such as Turkey aside from rigorous

in photography especially focused on

campaigns in key traditional markets, all of

destinations. The hosting properties for this

which is pivotal in achieving the milestone

trip were Kihaa Maldives resort, Shangri-

of the 1.5 millionth tourist this year.

La’s Villingili Resort & Spa and Kiha Beach

Aside from participating in EMITT 2019

Dharavandhoo guesthouse. The influencers

– one of the leading platforms for Turkish

experienced and captured the culture and

and global travel sectors, these trips are

other unique features that make up the

part of the many additional marketing

Maldives.

activities initiated by MMPRC this year to promote the Maldives as a destination.

These experiences will be shared via

Similar familiarization trips have also been

social media and the coverage is expected

conducted targeting various media from

to bring forward even more awareness

different countries to promote tourism

about the Maldives amongst the Turkish

in the Maldives. Another trip targeting

population. With a joint count of over

Turkish media is also planned to take place

a million followers on social media, the

in December this year.

MEDIA TEAM FROM BELGIUM ARRIVED IN THE MALDIVES TO PROMOTE TOURISM As part of the series of familiarization

at Meeru Island Resort & Spa. During

trips organized by Maldives Marketing

their stay, the team of journalists enjoyed

& Public Relations Corporation, a media

various activities in these resorts such

team from Belgium arrived in the Maldives.

as special dinners, watersport activities,

The

to popular

experiencing the underwater beauty of

publications such as La Libre, Marie

the Maldives while also experiencing the

Claire Belgium, Together Magazine, Het

culture of Maldives at local islands. The

Nieusblad, and Psychologies Magazine, will

purpose of these activities was to present

experience the Maldives during their week-

the variety of experiences available in the

long stay in three different resorts in the

Maldives for its visitors. By organizing

Maldives.

such familiarization trips, the main target

The arrivals to the Maldives from Belgium

this region. The familiarization trips are

of MMPRC is to promote the Maldives

have shown growth this year, compared to

part of the many marketing activities

The trip commenced with a two-night stay

as the most preferred tourist destination

the past five years. The arrivals till September

initiated by MMPRC this year to promote

at Paradise Island Resort & Spa followed

in the world. The coverage from this

of 2019 marked a 20.5% increase in arrivals

the Maldives in important markets. This is

by the team heading to Nika Island Resort

trip is anticipated to bring forward more

in comparison to the same period of 2018.

the 18th familiarization trip organized by

& Spa for the next two nights. Their

awareness about the Maldives in Belgium

This is significant growth, indicating the

MMPRC this year.

stay concluded with a three-night stay

and increase the arrivals from the country.

success of the marketing efforts towards

journalists

belonging


10 ROADSHOWS & FAIRS

WTM 2020 TO HOST A ‘MALDIVIAN NIGHT’ Minister of Tourism, Ali Waheed has

traditional Maldivian activities will take

announced that the World Travel Market

place during the WTM 2020.

(WTM) 2020 will host a ‘Maldivian Night’. “We want to make this fair (WTM) more The WTM 2019 was held in London, UK

significant

and

therefore

will

include

from 4-6 November 2019 and was its 40th

a Maldivian night. This will be held in

year. WTM is one of the leading global

collaboration with the Maldives Marketing

events for the travel industry. During his trip

and Public Relations Company (MMPRC)

to London to take part in the WTM 2019,

along with industry partners”, Minister Ali

Tourism Minister Ali Waheed has also made

Waheed said.

a visit to the House of Lords to meet the

MALDIVES BOOST DESTINATION PROFILE IN NORDIC REGION 2019 The Maldives hosted roadshows targeting

(MMPRC), thirteen representative partners

the Nordic region from 12th – 15th

from the tourism industry of Maldives

November 2019. Covering four cities,

would be participating at the Roadshow.

the roadshow kicked off in Copenhagen, Denmark, and move to Oslo, Norway on

The roadshow created a platform to

13th November, followed by Stockholm,

reach

Sweden

from

on

14th

November,

finally

top the

outbound region

tour

operators

through networking

concluded in Helsinki, Finland on 15th

opportunities between Maldives tourism

November 2019.

industry partners and top travel trade in Nordic. The partners were given the

The roadshow was extensively covered by

platform to meet over 200 buyers and

the most prominent mainstream and travel

media representatives, with the potential

trade media in the market. Organized by the

for reaching out to 20 million potential

Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation

visitors from the region.

members of the parliament and discussed

The Minister also discussed ways the UK

ways in which they can assist the industry.

government can provide assistance to the

In view of these meetings, the Minister

Maldivian football community during his

announced that a ‘Maldivian Night’ with

visit.


STATISTICS

TOURIST ARRIVALS INCREASE BY 9.3% IN SEPTEMBER 2019 As per the Tourism Ministry’s September

105.1 percent growth in tourist arrivals

statistics, tourist arrivals for the past nine

during the past nine months of the year. A

months of the year increased by 15.8

total of 115,507 tourists from India spent

percent to reach 1,251,690 compared to

their vacation in the Maldives during the

the same period last year.

period making their total market share 9.2 percent.

The official figures by the tourism ministry show that a total of 117,619 tourists visited

Italy is the third biggest market with a

the Maldives during the month of September

market share of 7.8 percent. Arrivals

— a 9.3 percent increase from 107,620 in

from Italy increased by 31.7 percent to

September 2018. The strong performance

reach 97,375 in the January-September

region-wise in the January-September

period. Germany and the UK, which stands

period was from Europe (48%), followed

at fourth and fifth position in May and again

by Asia & the Pacific (43%), Americas (5%),

in August, retained their respective positions

Middle East (4%) and Africa (1%).

in September, as the UK and Germany maintained a market share of 7.3 percent China

and 7.5 percent, respectively. Germany

upheld its position as the top contributor

tourist arrivals grew by 16.8 percent to

to Maldives tourism with a market share

reach 93,727 during the past nine months

of 18.4 percent, with an increase of 3.7

of the year, whilst visitor numbers from the

percent during the January-September

UK saw an increase of 9.2 percent to reach

period to reach 230,349.

90,963 during the period.

India, continued its streak with the recent

France maintained the seventh position,

takeover from the traditional European

whilst Russia claimed the sixth position

markets to claim the second spot and

with a market share of 4.7 percent. Arrivals

maintained its position with a whopping

from Russia increased by 14.1 percent to

As

per

country-wise

markets,

11

reach 58,306 by the end of September,

9.5 percent to reach 33,367. The emerging

while the number of French tourists visiting

Australian market reached 2.4 percent

the Maldives in the same period grew by 22

in September with arrival growth by 8.2

percent to reach 44,722.

percent in the January-September period with 30,066 Australians.

The US and Japan ranked as the eighth (3.1 percent of total arrivals) and ninth (2.7

The Maldives has welcomed over a million

percent of total arrivals) on the list of top

tourists this year and the Maldives Marketing

10 markets. Arrivals from the US market

and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC)

increased by 29.2 percent to reach 39,013

has announced that tourist arrivals are

in the past nine months of the year, whilst

expected to reach 1.5 million by the end of

the number of Japanese tourists visiting the

November.

Maldives in the same period increased by


12

GOVERNMENT

MALDIVES SIGNS AIR SERVICES AGREEMENT WITH FINLAND

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and Foreign

ties between both countries. Foreign

Minister Pekka Haavisto have signed an Air

Minister Shahid also commended Foreign

Services Agreement between Maldives and

Minister Haavisto and the Government of

Finland today. The Agreement will allow

Finland, for the international recognition

international commercial air transport

the country has achieved in the development

services between Maldives and Finland,

of a symbolic educational model. Both

enhancing the people to people contact as

Ministers also reiterated commitment to

well as the broader economic cooperation

further strengthen the bilateral partnership

between both countries.

between the two countries in areas such as economic and trade cooperation, education,

Minister Shahid was accompanied by the

people to people contact, climate change

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ahmed

and sustainable development and counter-

Khaleel, Non-Resident Ambassador of the

terrorism.

Republic of Maldives to the Republic of Finland, Ahmed Latheef, Minister of State

Noting Finland’s current role as President

for Economic Development, Mohamed Iaad

of the EU Council, Foreign Minister Shahid

Hameed and Director at the Ministry of

also acknowledged the pivotal role played

Foreign Affairs, Shiuneen Rasheed

by the EU in reviving democracy in the Maldives and assured the Government’s

At the meeting held at the Ministry of

commitment to support this partnership

Foreign Affairs of Finland today, both

in the future. Minister Shahid further,

the Ministers discussed on strengthening

requested the support of Finland to support

bilateral cooperation between the two

the Maldives’s bid to obtain visa-free access

countries in a wide range of areas.

for Maldivians traveling to EU countries and tax exemption for the export of Maldivian

Minister Shahid stated that the increased

tuna to the EU market.

engagement between Maldives and Finland is testament to the strengthened bilateral

PLANNING MINISTER ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF 6 NEW AIRPORTS The Planning Minister Mohamed Aslam has

There are 14 airports currently operating in

announced the development of 6 additional

the Maldives. These include the international

regional airports.

airports from the Velaana International Airport,

Hanimaadhoo

International

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of

Airport, Gan International Airport, Villa

the Maafaru airport yesterday, Minister

International Airport, Maafaru International

Aslam said they are aiming to open airports

Airport, and domestic airports at Baa

in different locations in the Maldives.

Dharavandhoo, Raa Ifuru, Th Thimarafushi, Dhaalu Kudahuvadhoo, Gaaf Alif Kooddoo,

He further added, “In addition to the

Gaaf Dhaal Kaadedhoo, Laamu Kadhdhoo,

airports that are currently being developed,

Haa

we need about 6 more airports. The current

Fuvahmulah airport.

Dhaal

Kulhudhuhfushi,

and

Gn.

government is working on to develop these airports in 5 years.”

The government announced the opening of 5 new airports in the Maldives this year. These

The Minister said that the locations to

include the newly opened Kulhudhuhfushi

develop the airports are finalized.

airport, Maafaru airport, and airports at Gaaf Alif Maavarulu, Shaviyani Funadhoo

Highlighting that the current government

and Lhaviyani Madivaru.

will withhold the corrective measures by the previous government, Aslam stated:

Establishing airports within 20 minutes

“Domestic maritime public transportation

of each habited island was a pledge of

system will be implemented next year to

the previous government and the current

connect the islands in the Maldives via sea

government is working toward the same

transport.”

goals.


GOVERNMENT

13

MALDIVES TO WELCOME 1.67 MILLION TOURISTS BY END OF 2019 – THOYYIB Maldives Marketing and Public Relations

Thoyyib highlighted that it is the first time

Corporation’s

Mr.

the Maldives is marketed not only on

Thoyyib Mohamed has stated that tourist

traditional media platforms but on modern

arrivals to the Maldives will reach 1.67

and creative media as well. He said, “Global

million by the end of 2019.

tourism is changing. The millennial traveler

Managing

Director

wants more than a relaxing holiday. Today He made the announcement at the event

the keyword is experiential tourism and we

held to welcome the 1.5 millionth tourist to

are working hard to maintain position as

the Maldives at Velana International airport

the most sought after destinations in the

on 24th November 2019. He thanked the

world.”

continuous efforts by the government and the industry stakeholders that have led

He also mentioned that the Maldives is

to the achievement of the destination’s

looking to capitalize on MICE, culture and

target for tourist arrivals 43 days ahead of

sports tourism next year.

time.

TOURIST ARRIVALS INCREASE BY 15.4 PERCENT IN OCTOBER Ministry

of

Tourism

has

announced

had visited during the month of October,

that tourist arrivals in the Maldives had

which is an increase of 15.4 percent

increased by 15.4 percent in October 2019,

compared to October 2018. With the

in comparison to October 2018.

1.5 millionth arrival record on November 24th, over 1.5 million tourists have been

GOVERNMENT RECEIVES USD 260 MILLION AS REVENUE FROM THE TOURISM SECTOR Ministry of Finance has revealed the

Moreover, the state has received USD 46.5

government has received over USD 260

million from Green Tax so far in 2019 while

million as revenue from the tourism

it is estimated to receive USD 58 million by

sector so far this year. As per the statistics

the end of the year.

published by the Finance Ministry, the state has received USD 264 million as Tourism

The statistics also reveal that 155 resorts,

Goods and Services Tax (TGST) and

553 guesthouses, and 12 city hotels are in

projected revenue of USD 327 million.

operation as of September this year.

Ali Waheed, Minister of tourism spoke at

recorded this year. Recording 2 million

a conference where he said, over 1.393

arrivals next year is the target set by the

million tourists have visited the Maldives

government alongside targets to record an

by the end of October 2019. In addition to

annual tourist arrival of 2.5 million by the

that, he also mentioned 141,928 tourists

end of its five-year term.


14

GOVERNMENT

MALDIVES ACHIEVE 1.5 MILLION VISITOR TARGET Maldives welcomed the 1.5 millionth tourist

Current

of the year, reaching the destination’s

government also show that total arrivals for

target for tourist arrivals established for

the first nine months of the year increased

the year 2019. At a special event held

by 15.8 percent compared to the same

at Velana International Airport earlier

period last year.

statistics

released

by

the

today, officials from Maldives Marketing and Public Relations (MMPRC) along with

Reflecting on the new government’s pledge

Tourism Ministry welcomed Ms. Marina

to ramp up tourism promotion, a budget of

Kazakova from Russia.

MVR 104,200,000 (USD 6.7 million) was allocated for tourism promotion in 2019.

Ms.

Marina

was

presented

with

a

commemorative sash and was escorted

MMPRC and Tourism Ministry officials have

to the arrival hall with a traditional

revealed earlier this month that 2019 has

Maldivian Bodu Beru performance where

been the most successful year in tourism

she along with her husband was received by

statistics within the last 10 years.

industry representatives.

TOURISM MINISTER DISCUSSES WAYS TO ATTRACT MORE INDIAN AND CHINESE TOURISTS Minister of Tourism, Ali Waheed has

more tourists from the two allies.

conferred ways to increase tourists from

India and China are two rising tourist

India and China as the Maldives aims to

markets in the Maldives. According to

attract 2 million tourists by the end of 2020.

statistics publicized by the Ministry of

The discussion was held by the Minister

tourism, China was the single largest

during meetings and was held with the

market of tourist arrivals by October 2019.

Indian Ambassador of Maldives, Sunjay

In this regard, 252,245 tourists from China

Sudhir and the Chinese Ambassador of

arrived in the Maldives, whereas, 121,000

Maldives, Zhang Lizhong.

tourists arrived from India, who is the second-highest single market.

Both ambassadors visited the Minister to

MALDIVES SIGN VISA WAIVER AGREEMENT WITH MOROCCO Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maldives has

relations between the two peoples. “This

signed a Visa Waiver Agreement with the

will pave the way for Maldivians to travel to

Kingdom of Morroco on 15th November

Morocco without visas from 31st January

2019. On behalf of the Foreign Ministry

2020. Another momentous milestone for

Maldives,

the

Maldives-Morocco relations, ” he further

agreement while his Moroccon Counterpart

remarked. Along with the visa exemption

Nasseer Bourita signed on behalf of the

agreement, the two countries signed a total

Moroccan Government. Abdulla Shahid,

of four agreements during the Maldivian

the Foreign Minister of Maldives said that

Foreign Minister’s trip to Morocco to

the visa waiver agreement will further

strengthen diplomatic ties at all levels.

consolidate

Abdulla

the

Shahid

political,

signed

economic

congratulate him as the Maldives reached

Preparations

and

its target of attracting 1.5 million tourists

conducted

this year. Furthermore, discussions took

new destinations as the country has

place on approaches Maldives can attract

accomplished the target it set for this year.

to

planning

market

the

are

being

sector

in


GOVERNMENT 15

MALDIVES SIGNS WITH LIMKOKWING UNIVERSITY TO DEVELOP INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS The Maldives signed an agreement with

Limkokwing

Limkokwing University to conduct training

President Tiffanee highlighted that with this

and develop industry professionals.

agreement they will provide assistance not

University’s

Vice

only in the tourism sector to train industry In a ceremony held at the Malaysian

professionals but also in other sectors and

Limkokwing University campus in London,

will provide technology-wise support and

the agreement was signed by Minister of

assistance to the Maldives.

Tourism Ali Waheed and the University president’s daughter and the vice president

Tourism Ministry aims to lease islands for

of the university, Dato’ Tiffanee Marie Lim.

the development of resorts with the strict

The Minister informs that this agreement

regulation imposed by the government to

will provide opportunities for fully funded

hire locals from the nearby islands.

and semi funded scholarships. He further added, “President Mohamed Solih aims to

The Minister also stated that under this

bring locals to the top managerial positions

understanding, teams will even visit new

in the industry. There are locals who need

resort development areas, if needed and

further training to accomplish that and this

will conduct the required training to ensure

agreement will facilitate them.”

that locals get opportunities in the industry.

MALDIVES TO BE THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE RC CELT FROM NOW ON ‘Maldives… the sunny side of life’ as well

better known throughout the world, mainly

as on the official bus and various areas in

in Europe, India, and China through the

the Abanca Balaídos stadium and training

audiences at the matches on television

camps. In addition, RC Celta, as an

and Facebook, to which collaboration in

international benchmark for youth work,

the development and growth of football

will collaborate with the Maldives in the

is added. ” Together we will make a great

promotion and improvement of youth

partnership that will bear much fruit for

football and the future national team of

both of us,” he said.

this country. The sky blue club will host a number of young Maldivian players to

For his part, the Minister of Tourism of

improve their training and club coaches

the Government of Maldives, Ali Waheed,

will travel to the Maldives to share their

expressed his gratitude to the sky blue

knowledge and experience.

team for the agreement reached to have the name of his country appear on the

RC Celta President Carlos Mouriño was

first team’s kit. “We would like to thank RC

enthusiastic about the agreement reached

Celta for allowing us to bring the sunny side

RC Celta and the government of the Maldives

the minister of tourism of the islands, Ali

with the Government of the Maldives. “It is

of the Maldives to this club. We’d like us to

signed a sponsorship and collaboration

Waheed, his counterpart for youth and

an honor and an enormous satisfaction for

be the sunny side of the RC Celta from now

agreement on 4th November that will

sports, Ashad Ali, and the president of

us, RC Celta, that we have been chosen to

on,” he said.

foster a fruitful relationship between the

the Maldives Football Association, Bassam

promote the beauties of their islands,” he

two institutions over the next three years.

Adeel Jaleel.

said during the presentation of the team’s

“This agreement will greatly promote

new sponsor.

tourism and sport and will strengthen the

The signing of the agreement, which took place in A Sede’s Salón Regio, was attended

The agreement includes the promotion

by the president of the Vigo club, Carlos

of the country on the first team’s home

Mouriño also stated that the club will

Mouriño, the vice-president, Pedro Posada,

and training jersey sleeves with the slogan

collaborate in making these idyllic islands

backbone of our national team and all of our country’s football,” he added.


16 GOVERNMENT

MALDIVES TO ATTEMPT ‘WORLD SCUBA DIVING’ RECORD NEXT YEAR Tourism Minister, Ali Waheed has said that

del Mare 2’ – Verona, in Torri del Benaco,

the Maldives will attempt the ‘World Scuba

Verona in 2009 with 280 people free-diving

Diving’ record in the coming year. During a

simultaneously.

press conference held before the Tourism Minister’s official trip to Spain, the Minister

“This attempt will give us the opportunity

said that they intend to make ‘World Scuba

to promote the Maldives and showcase

Diving’ record as part of the “World Tourism

the beautiful marine life here. We intend

Day 2020” which will see the longest human

to break the current world record on the

chain underwater scuba diving.

‘longest human chain underwater scuba diving’ by re-creating this on World Tourism

The Minister made this statement while

Day with locals and foreigners alike at one

referring to the ‘free-diving world record’

of our mesmerizing islands.”

attempt at Baros lagoon with 520 freedivers as part of this year’s World Tourism

The current world record for the ‘longest

Day

marks

human chain underwater’ was achieved by

Maldives’ first world record. The event

Indonesia Women’s Organisation (WASI) in

was the country’s attempt to break the

Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia on 1

world record previously set by ‘La Scuola

August 2019 with 578 people.

celebrations,

which

also

MALDIVES SEES BOOST OF GROWTH IN THE TOURISM INDUSTRY - STATE REVEALS Celebrating

the

current

government’s

initiated promoting guesthouse tourism

Seminars. The statistics also revealed that

in 8 cities, 1 fair, 5 joint promotions, 9

successful 1 year, the president’s office

through

destination

bed capacity has been increased to 1,336

campaigns, and 5 media fam trips. As

has revealed the boost of growth in the

marketing. The government has revealed

along with 90 new guesthouses. This growth

part of the World Tourism Day 2019

tourism industry with the achievement of

MVR 86.7 million has been given out as loans

in the industry came with an increase in job

celebrations, the island nation’s President

1.5 million tourist arrivals way ahead of the

for the development of the Guesthouse

opportunities accumulating a total of 518

Ibrahim Mohamed Solih also joined 520

target period.

industry. Further to this Maldives Marketing

new jobs.

others in simultaneous freediving off the

the

government’s

& PR Corporation (MMPRC) in association

lagoon of Baros Maldives resort, which

Addressing the need for aspiring businesses

with the Guesthouse Association of Maldives

Under the ‘Visit Maldives’ slogan, MMPRC

broke the world record for the most people

in local island tourism, the president

and Orca Media Group, also conducted

had conducted and launched several

freediving simultaneously in the Maldives.

organized the Guesthouse symposium and

the first-ever Local Tourism Marketing

marketing activities include two roadshows


GOVERNMENT

17

MINISTRY OF TOURISM SETS NEW TARGET OF 2 MILLION TOURISTS PER YEAR Minister of Tourism, Ali Waheed has

Observing the numerous activities and

announced that the new target for Maldivian

events carried out to promote the Maldives

tourism is two million tourist arrivals within

this year, the Minister noted that similar

a year.

activities would be carried out in the following year as well since the government’s

He made this statement during the special

aim is to reach the target in 2021.

event held at Velana International Airpot (VIA) following the achievement of the

Managing Director of MMPRC, Thoyyib

previous set target of 1.5 million tourists.

Mohamed also said that “I will say this year

Tourism Minister, Ali Waheed said that this

was very successful. I am very pleased

is a huge feat for the Maldives and that the

because we have worked satisfactorily.

Government intends to achieve the two

Most of what we have done will be reflected

million target within the next two years.

next year”.

He further highlighted that “this does not

Russian national, Marina Kazakova was the

mean that Maldives Marketing and Public

1.5 millionth tourist to visit the Maldives

Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and the

in 2019 where she along with her husband

Ministry failed if we do not reach two

was received by industry representatives

million by December 31 next year. There is

during the special reception held at VIA.

no pressure”.

MALDIVES DEBUTS AS RC CELTA’S SUNNY SIDE AGAINST BARCELONA RC Celta debut with the ‘Maldives… the

home and training jersey sleeves with the

sunny side of life’ on their shirt sleeve at

slogan ‘Maldives… the sunny side of life’

the La Liga match against FC Barcelona.

as well as on the official bus and various

The match took place on 10th November

areas in the Abanca Balaídos stadium and

2019 at the home stadium of FC Barcelona,

training camps. In addition, RC Celta,

Camp Nou.

as an international benchmark for youth work, will collaborate with the Maldives in

COUNTRIES MALDIVIAN CITIZENS CAN GET ON ARRIVAL VISA REACH TO 90 Ministry

of

Foreign

Affairs,

Maldives

Ministry of Maldives has been carrying out

recently signed visa waiver agreements

discussions on enhancing the prospering

with the Kingdom of Morroco, Russia, and

ties between the Maldives and foreign

Thailand, making the total destinations for

countries in order to strengthen diplomatic

Maldivian citizens to get on arrival visa to

ties at all levels.

reach a total of 90 countries. The Foreign

RC Celta and the government of the

the promotion and improvement of youth

Maldives

and

football and the future national team of

collaboration agreement on 4th November

this country. The sky blue club will host

that will foster a fruitful relationship

a number of young Maldivian players to

between the two institutions for the next

improve their training and club coaches

three years. The agreement includes the

will travel to the Maldives to share their

promotion of the country on the first team’s

knowledge and experience.

signed

a

sponsorship


18 NEW PROPERTIES

THE STANDARD, HURUVALHI MALDIVES OPEN ITS SHORES

The Standard, an American hotel brand

for purchase on the island. Guests are

known for its taste-making clientele,

then escorted to one of the resort’s 115

pioneering design, and unrelenting un-

overwater and beach villas, each with its

standard-ness,

The

own infinity plunge pool and private lounge

Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives on November

deck with direct access to the lagoon,

1 st 2019, marking the brand’s first property

ocean or beach. A glittering disco ball

destination, The Standard has taken a

bathtub in every villa bathroom makes for

fresh approach to its island retreat, offering

a signature Standard statement piece and

relaxation, social activities and vibrant

serves as a reminder that you really can

cultural experiences that welcome not only

party anywhere and at any time of the day

couples but groups of friends and singles

at The Standard.

proudly

launches

aromatic rice dishes and freshly baked

skis and windsurfers. The resort also has

bread. For a spot of grilled grub and reggae

an 82 square meter inflatable water park

beats on the beach, swing by BBQ SHAK,

accessible by pontoon for both adults and

where fresh seafood and meats are grilled

kids. Parents looking for a reprieve can

to order over coconut shell charcoal and

drop their kids off at the Lil’ Shark Kids

paired with a selection of house-made

Club complete with professional childcare

sauces.

services, a teen zone, and a paddling pool.

Island living makes for thirsty work. Head

For recovery or a reboot, The Standard

over to TODIS BAR, located off the pool

Spa is an indoor hydrotherapy playground

deck for a signature TODIS cocktail, served

complete with a contemporary communal

in a half coconut shell and made from

hammam, aroma cypress steam room

“toddy”, a local specialty liquor made by

and contrast shower experience. Chill out

fermenting fresh coconut water. As the sun

with a Do-It-Yourself Mud Experience for

sets, guests are invited to BERU BAR for

one or a massage for two and take in The

craft cocktails, tropical juices and Maldivian

Spa’s ocean views from our nine private

inspired light bites. An adults-only over-

treatment rooms, couples den, and yoga

water-club perched just feet above the

studio hosting daily classes.

ocean, it features fantastic views, a glass

Deck and Tonic Bar is the perfect place

floor bottomed floor and a sunset ritual led

to kick-back post-treatment, enjoy a yoga

by a Boduberu drummer (a local Maldivian

session or maybe a moonlit soiree. The

percussionist). Local DJs spin breezy

Sun Lounge experience offers crystals and

Maldivian inspired-beats, drawing everyone

an apothecary for the body and mind that

to the dance floor.

includes skincare and lifestyle products.

The Spa

Adventures On the Island and Committed to Conservation Underwater The Standard’s commitment to showcasing in Asia. Traditionally seen as a couple’s strategically perched above the soaking

looking to reset and recharge in paradise. On property, guests will find a large scale Following

its

groundbreaking

London

specially commissioned work from Rostarr,

debut, Standard International, the parent

a

highly

acclaimed,

company of The Standard, the company

multidisciplinary artist and member of The

intends to mark its entry into Asia with the

Global Standard Family – the brand’s inner

rebranding of Carpe Diem Beach Resort and

circle of creators, collaborators and cultural

Spa to “The Standard Huruvalhi Maldives”.

tastemakers.

Getting There

Dining in Style

A breathtaking 35-minute seaplane ride

The

away from Velana International Airport,

the bounty of the region. The freshest

The Standard, Huruvalhi is nestled between

ingredients and produce sourced both

the Raa and Baa Atolls, on a naturally

regionally and from the resort’s own

protected island. Guests can also take a

island farm are showcased in a delicious

combined 20-minute domestic flight to

array of local and global creations. Six

Dharavandhoo and a 35-minute speedboat

unique restaurants cater to every taste

ride to the resort.

and preference. GUDUGUDA, an authentic

Standard,

groundbreaking

Huruvalhi

celebrates

Maldivian Restaurant, is the first of its kind

A Warm Welcome to The Standard, in the Maldives. Featuring a traditional Huruvalhi Maldives celebratory Maldivian cuisine cooked by Guests step into an airy, intimate lobby,

Maldivian “aunties” – the women who

accessible 24-hours a day and complete

carry on the tradition of this remarkable

with an exclusive curated selection of cult

cuisine, menus showcase locally caught,

beauty and wellness products, eclectic

seafood driven dishes, flavourful coconut

wares, and resort essentials only available

milk curries, regional fruits and vegetables,

Guests are spoiled for choice with a

an unparalleled resort experience is equaled

selection of curated experiences and

by its dedication to the conservation of

cultural programs that include indigenous

marine life. Preserving coral life, reducing

basket

cinema

plastic waste, and using products made

beneath the stars or join one of their

from repurposed and recyclable materials

legendary pool parties at the beachside

all form a groundwork of the resort’s

infinity pool. The Standard, Huruvalhi

conservation efforts to saving the ocean

also has some of the most experienced

and marine life. Guests will find some

guides for snorkeling and diving excursions

signature menu items include a $1 donation

through the resort’s protected house reef

towards the resort’s foundation for coral

and local waters. Enjoy sunset boat trips

conservation. The Standard, Huruvalhi

to uninhabited islands and undiscovered

also proudly has its very own lagoon coral

reefs, as well as day and night fishing and

nursery which houses over 3,000 juvenile

private destination dining. For some fun in

corals, creating the resort’s very own

the sun, a full collection of sea equipment

personal underwater garden.

weaving,

a

moonlight

is available from glass bottom kayaks to jet


NEW PROPERTIES 19

LUXURIOUS JW MARRIOTT DEBUTS IN THE MALDIVES “We are thrilled to open our JW Marriott

and Japanese teppanyaki, along with a

brand in this truly amazing destination,”

chef’s garden to supply the resort with daily

said Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President & Global

fresh produce. Three full-service bars will

Brand Leader, JW Marriott. “With a focus

serve up old and new world wines with over

on

300 labels to choose from, fine Japanese

holistic

well-being

thoughtfully-curated

and

enriching,

experiences,

this

sake and handcrafted cocktails with over 98

private island resort will inspire our guests

different types of rum available. Guests can

to be fully present and come together

also enjoy 24-hour in-villa dining services.

with loved ones to enjoy a getaway that

For families traveling with children, Little

nourishes not only the body but also the

Griffins, a Family by JW kids club, features

mind and soul.”

a 43 foot-long pirate ship, kids sleeping area, a servery, games and educational

Guests can escape into a world of complete

activities to provide the little ones hours of

well-being with an extensive array of

fun and entertainment. Guests over 18 will

dedicated fitness and spa amenities, along

be able to enjoy an adults-only infinity pool

with a daily schedule of engaging and

area at the tip of Vagaru island, as well as

Marriott International’s iconic JW Marriott

or sunset views. While Beach Pool Villas

mindfulness-focused activities. The resort’s

a clubhouse complete with a cigar room,

brand debuts in the Maldives with JW

come with direct access to the pristine white

overwater gym, open-air pavilion, daily

shisha room, and billiards table.

Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa. JW

sandy beaches of the private island, the

workout classes, yoga sessions, and easy

Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa is a 55

unique, split-level Duplex Beach Pool Villa

movement and breathing exercises will

The private island where the all-new JW

minutes flight from Velana International

is designed to cater to multigenerational

guests provide numerous opportunities to

Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa sits holds

Airport (VIA) and is 192 km away from

families,

lounges,

find mindful moments and reconnect with

a stunning natural reef just meters from

Male’ City on the island of Vagaru in the

bedrooms, and bathrooms to accommodate

their surroundings. The signature Spa by

the shore teeming with sea life for guests

northern Shaviyani atoll.

larger groups. Each room throughout the

JW will offer a sanctuary for indulging

to take in. An on-site marine biologist

resort draws inspiration from the natural

in head-to-toe pampering and luxurious

oversees the health of the reef along with

The stunning new resort features 60

surroundings and local Maldivian culture,

treatments.

organizing diving and snorkeling excursions

spacious villas, starting at approximately

incorporating colors and materials that

2,520 sq. feet, which include private pools

highlight the island destination. Thatched

The JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa

white sand beaches, stunning designs, and

and wooden sunbathing decks. Duplex

roofs on villas are reminiscent of inverted

will be a gourmand’s paradise with five

authentic Maldivian cultural experiences

Overwater Pool Villas and single-story

dhoni boats, the traditional Maldivian

restaurants, featuring a remarkable array of

come together at the luxurious property to

Overwater Pool Villas are set on stilts

wooden fishing vessels, and slanted roof

fine-dining choices; from classic Maldivian

ensure guests get the most out of their stay.

overlooking the clear turquoise waters of

tips recall white herons dipping their heads

seafood to exotic Thai cuisine on a treetop

the Indian Ocean, with a choice of sunrise

into the water.

restaurant, wood-fired brick oven pizzas

featuring

separate

and other water sports. Mesmerizing

SOUTH PALM RESORT WELCOMED ITS FIRST GUESTS South Palm Resort Maldives has opened its

tropical vegetation.

shores welcoming its first guests on 01st

The resort is a 10-minute boat ride away

December 2019.

from

Gan

International

Airport.

The

island of Gan is most commonly known as The resort’s first arriving guests were a

RAF Gan, the former base of the United

couple on their honeymoon. The resort

Kingdom’s Royal Air Force after the world

released a statement with a picture of

war. The island was handed back to the

the couple saying, “Meet our first arriving

Maldivian Government on 1st April 1976,

guests. This lovely couple is on their

and since has been used as the main airport

honeymoon, and we have the pleasure of

in the south of Maldives.

serving them on their first journey together. We hope to welcome you again, for many

South Palm Resort Maldives has a total

more years to come.”

of 130 rooms in five categories: Sunrise villas, Palms villas, Beach Villas, Family

The island of Ismehela Hera, where South

Villas, and Over-water villas. A magical

Palm Resort Maldives is set, is on the

spa, set around the island’s natural lake,

eastern edge of the heart-shaped Addu

boasts the world’s first floating spa rooms,

atoll. A natural island with its own small

accessible only by traditional Maldivian

lake, stunning ocean view, a beautiful

boat.

beach, crystal clear lagoon, and lush


20 NEW PROPERTIES

S HOTELS & RESORTS TO DEVELOP A HIGH-END LIFESTYLE RESORT IN THE CROSSROADS MALDIVES

S Hotels & Resorts has announced a joint

market. We expect to start the construction

venture with a strategic partner to develop

in 2020 and to commercially open by 2022.

an 80-key high-end lifestyle resort in the

The Island 3 Resort would also enable

CROSSROADS Maldives.

the Company to expand our offerings to experiential travelers in the Maldives. In

Mr. Dirk De Cuyper, Chief Executive Officer

addition to our newly opened resorts, SAii

of S Hotels and Resorts Public Company

Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton

Limited (“SHR”) revealed, “On November

on Island 1 and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives

14, 2019, S Hotels & Resorts entered into

on Island 2. With the advantage of prime

a Joint Venture Agreement in accordance

project location, just 15minute speedboat

with the investment in a high-end lifestyle

ride from the international airport, and The

resort on Island 3 of the CROSSROADS

Marina @ CROSSROADS providing one-

Maldives project with our strategic partner,

of-a-kind fully integrated lifestyle tourist

Eco World Developer Holding Company

facility offering a luxurious 30-berth yacht

Limited (EWD) – a conglomerate business

marina, beach club, restaurants, retail

partner

invests

shops, multipurpose event hall and various

including

leisure activities; having an exceptional

properties, mining, automotive, and food

partner such as EWD allows the Company

and beverage businesses. This agreement

to be even more confident to the further

marks another remarkable milestone for

realize success of CROSSROADS project

the Company to explore the expansion of

after the ground-breaking CROSSROADS

the hospitality business in this region.”

Maldives project and as well to successfully

in

from

various

Myanmar

business

who

sectors

achieve our revenue and earning target.” He further added, “The Resort on Island 3 of the CROSSROADS project will be

More details on the joint venture structure,

composed of 80 spacious villas with the

i.e. shareholding percentage, construction

majority of the inventory as water villas

budget, other key terms, and conditions are

at a price point of $900-$1,000 per night,

expected to be disclosed to the investors in

which strengthens CROSSROADS position

due course.

with a more diversified portfolio in the

EMERALD MALDIVES RESORT & SPA MAKES ITS OFFICIAL DEBUT

Emerald Maldives Resort & SPA made

awaits nothing short of a masterpiece.

its official debut on 4th December. A real

Poole’s striking design includes enormous

first in terms of spectacular and unusual

sparkling, white marble bathrooms with

design and with an outstanding deluxe all-

lavish silver mirrors and color-blocked

inclusive offering, the resort offers ‘Natural

bedrooms with exotic marine life wall art to

Elegance’.

compliment.

The resort had a grand opening event

All guests stay on a deluxe all-inclusive basis,

inaugurated by the former president and

which means when they arrive at Emerald

current speaker of the parliament of

Maldives, they don’t have to worry about a

Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed.

thing. Deluxe all-inclusive allows guests to dine at any of the four resort’s restaurants

The 20-hectare Emerald Maldives Resort,

as many times as they like during their stay.

which has just opened, is located in the

They can help themselves to the villa mini

Northern Maldives archipelago in the Raa

bar which is restocked every day, enjoy

Atoll and has a 120-hectare lagoon which is

premium spirits and all non-motorised

home to 1.7km of coral reef, as well as its

water sports at no additional cost.

own private marina which can be accessed by seaplane.

When it comes to dining, Emerald hasn’t missed a trick, covering cuisine from

The US$200m property has 120 villas that

every continent there are four fantastic

have been constructed using bamboo,

restaurants to choose from, each with their

natural stone and “Langhi Langhi” leaves.

own menu, style, theme, and ambiance.

Designed by architect Edward David Poole,

Boasting the first and only South American

each villa exudes contemporary and tropical

restaurant in the Maldives is the popular

influences to create modern and unique

Amazonico, serving dishes like ceviche with

interiors. From the outside, the villas blend

passion fruit dressing and meats and fish

harmoniously with the backdrop of the

from the huge open fire grill which takes

serene, tropical island and on the inside

center stage in this atmospheric restaurant.


NEW PROPERTIES

21

Nestled in the center of the island amongst

Emerald Maldives offers extensive water

of Balinese and Thai treatments across 10

trainers are available to all guests too.

the palm trees, there are red lanterns that

sports facilities, and some of the best

air-conditioned treatment rooms, as well as

The resort has prioritized sustainability

are strategically placed to mirror the effect

diving in the Maldives at the five-star Diving

a Turkish bath, sauna, and jacuzzi. Elemis

by using long-lasting Langhi Langhi leaves

of an open campfire, offering guests an

Centre where guests can even get their

treatments are also available for guests

to build the canopies, and solar panels on

authentic rainforest experience! Carefully

PADI license. Spanning 1500 sqm, the

seeking a sensory wellness experience with

every villa to power the entire resort’s hot

curated by head Chef Aldo Cadu, other

resort’s Dolphin Kids Club is one of the

a difference. Situated on one of the quietest

water. In a bid to reduce single-use plastic

culinary highlights include Asiatique’s live

largest in the Maldives with its own zip wire

parts of the island, the Yoga Pavilion is

waste, the resort uses paper straws as well

cooking shows in front of the teppanyaki

that journey’s from one side of the island to

the perfect setting to truly switch off and

as glass bottles and the island is home to

grill and fresh Maldivian lobster at the

the other and welcomes kids from the age

offers breath-taking sunrise yoga sessions.

a recyclable water irrigation system and

Beach Club Grill Restaurant. The signature

of 3-12 on a complimentary basis.

The resort has also been built with sports

composting facility.

Aqua Restaurant offers bare-foot luxury

and fitness lovers in mind with two large

at its finest, and with a variety of cooking

Home to a sumptuous haven of tranquillity,

tennis courts, two paddle courts and an

stations, chefs are able to bring guest’s

Emerald SPA, can be found a secluded

air-conditioned Gym & Sports Centre with

culinary dreams to life.

corner of the private island, offering a range

a state-of-the-art Technogym. Personal

ATMOSPHERE HOTELS & RESORTS TO RUN NEW 5-STAR HOTEL IN SRI LANKA

Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts is to manage

The BOI agreement is with the Amagi

a five-star hotel to be built in Sri Lanka’s

Group, a big Sri Lankan seafood exporter,

southern Tangalle region with an investment

and Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts of the

of 35 million US dollars, the investment

Maldives.

promotion agency announced. “Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts is an Indian The Board of Investment said it had signed

Ocean hospitality group currently based

an agreement with La’ More Hotel (Private)

in the Maldives,” its President of Business

Limited to set up and operate the 176-

Development Shrikant Dash said.

room hotel in Tangalle which will provide employment for 355 people.

“We strongly believe in Sri Lanka’s expansion and growth as a top tourism destination for

Following the announcement of their latest

travelers worldwide.”

property– VARU by Atmosphere – the Indian Ocean-based hospitality brand unveiled

“We opted for Tangalle because it is an ideal

that they further plan on opening two

location, which offers a unique old-world

properties in Sri Lanka.

charm and is far less crowded than other developing tourist areas in the province,

Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts of the Maldives, which has five resorts in the archipelago, will be managing the Sri Lankan hotel, a statement said.

RAHAA BY MO HOTEL MAKES OFFICIAL DEBUT Rahaa by MO Hotel makes its official debut

into the history and heritage of Maldives

on 1st November 2019.

alongside

its

natural

wonders.

The

property features Deluxe Ocean View Villas Rahaa is a 4* resort located in Laamu Atoll,

and Superior Lagoon View Villas which

which is in the southern Maldives. Rahaa

offers a spectacular of the beach and the

aims to make the Maldives more accessible

translucent blue sea.

to all classes of travelers who want to experience its pristine white sands and

The Rahaa experience is tailor-made to be

clear waters.

a flexible fit regardless of whether you are on a honeymoon, family vacation, or an

The unique location of the island highlights the property as the atoll offers a glimpse

adventure trip.

such as Galle.”


22 NEW PROPERTIES

THE ALL NEW COMO COCOA ISLAND TO REOPEN ON 9TH JANUARY 2020

COMO Cocoa Island has announced that it

with a choice of:

will reopen on January 9th, 2020 following

- A coral propagation experience, where

a seven-month transformation: one not

guests can contribute to the propagation of

designed to expand and modernize, but to

coral reefs in the house lagoon.

further accentuate the island’s away-from-

- Sunset cruise, gliding through the waters

it-all setting.

of South Male Atoll as dolphins jump in the ocean all around

The resort is a 40-minute speedboat

• Turtle expedition snorkel by boat to a

ride away from the Velana International

nearby reef, where guests can snorkel with

Airport. Everything about the resort has

hawksbill turtles

been refreshed, from the dhoni boat-shaped

• Return boat transfers at US$350 per

villas that appear to float on the water, to the

person

wellness center that now occupies a third of the entire island, designed with Maldivian

The reopening package is available for stays

coral walls and Kajan-thatched roofs. The

from January 9th, 2020 to March 14th,

resort has added private pools to many of

2020.

its villas, created an airy Pilates studio and state-of-the-art gym, and designed a yoga

Headquartered in Singapore, The COMO

studio with 360-degree views of the island.

Group represents Christina Ong’s unique

COMO Cocoa Island’s reopening package

vision of contemporary living. The COMO

includes:

Group

encompasses

the

hospitality

collection known as COMO Hotels and • Accommodation in an overwater villa

Resorts, the international luxury fashion

• Daily breakfast

retailer

• Daily three-course dinner

wellness concept COMO Shambhala and

• Complimentary excursion for two people

the philanthropic COMO Foundation.

Club

21,

the

award-winning

UNICORN HOSPITALITY TO DEBUT IN THE MALDIVES WITH ZAZZ ESCAPES MALDIVES RESORT IN 2021 range of consulting services for hotels,

that a boutique or smaller operator can

restaurants, bars, club and beyond. Their

provide. Moreover, guests feel that these

brand pillars are anchored in excellence,

‘cookie-cutter’ brands don’t have a strong

uniqueness and brand consistency.

connection with their locale,” said Yann Gouriou, founder and CEO of Unicorn

The company said in a statement that its

Hospitality.

growth is being driven by an increasing

Thailand’s Unicorn Hospitality is to make

Airport or 1h 45 mins by speed boat, the

debut in the Maldives with the Zazz Escapes

resort is currently under construction.

Maldives Resort in 2021.

appetite among hotel owners, especially

“Big chains compensate for this by promising

in Asia, to move away from the large

extensive global sales and distribution,

international chains and work with a local

but with more direct channels available

hospitality provider who understands their

than ever before, independent and small-

culture and can more accurately help them

chain hotels can now compete on a more

deliver their vision. Unicorn Hospitality also

equal footing. Unicorn Hospitality enables

seeks to cater to the growing segment of

Asian hoteliers to enjoy professional and

customers who are “seeking more intimate

fully bespoke management services, and

experiences that reflect the essence of their

importantly, retain a product that matches

destination”.

their original vision and demonstrates a unique charm and personality,” he added.

“For many Asian hoteliers, partnerships with

Unicorn Hospitality currently operates

Unicorn Hospitality is a new hospitality

big chains can be fraught with difficulties.

six brands and white label management

ZAZZ Island is an adult-focused beach

management group, based in Bangkok and

Management contracts are often extremely

concepts: Unicorn Hotels & Resorts, Kly

resort, offering efficient, friendly service to

striving for enhanced creativity, integrated

rigid, making ‘divorces’ almost impossible

Hotels & Resorts, Hangout By Kly, Live

a millennial-focused customer base coming

wellness, and modern lifestyles. Founded in

or very expensive. Many owners we have

By Kly, Zazz Hotels and The Unchained

from the leading cities. Located 35 mins

2015, UNICORN Hospitality is a full hotel

spoken to complain that their relationships

Collection.

seaplane ride away from Male International

management specialist offering a broad

lack the personal warmth and intuition


MARKET OVERVIEW 23

5 CHANGES TO THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY IN THE MALDIVES BY VILLA TRAVELS gives travelers access to new routes and

4. Pre-plan travel in advance

destinations and with the increase in the

Traditionally, as people were traveling

number of competition, the travelers

to neighboring countries, they ended up

are offered more flights with competitive

purchasing the tickets at the last minute.

packaged rates.

There was not much planning prior to the trips. As the demand for traveling increases,

2. Changes to the traveling destinations Maldivians

used

to

travel

Maldivians plan their trips beforehand and buy the tickets months ahead. more

to

the southern parts of India. Maldivian

5. Change in mode of communication

travelers now seek European countries and

Previously telephone calls and emails were

ASEAN countries like Thailand, Philippines,

widely used as means of communication

Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali, Malaysia and

between the travelers and the travel agents.

Singapore.

With the increased popularity of the social

neighboring countries like Sri Lanka and

3. Purpose of travel changes - from medical to leisure

media and instant messaging platforms like Viber, it has made it easier for travelers to communicate with the agents. This includes

The travel industry is the fastest growing

better understanding of the changes in the

Many Maldivians travel abroad for dual

the change in the mode of payment as

industry in the world. A large number

outbound travel industry of Maldives in the

purposes, most commonly holidays would

well where the local banks provide online

of Maldivians travel out of the country

past decade.

include medical check-ups and treatments.

payment gateways. From the initial inquiry

However, this trend is changing. Maldivians

about a ticket price to the actual purchase

now travel simply for leisure. They look for

of the tickets now take place with the touch of a button.

every year. The purpose of travel ranges from seeking medical services, education

1. Travel industry growth

and training, business and official trips

According to Villa Travels manager Farhath,

packaged tours for various destinations

or holidaying. Our team at Travel Trade

the hype in the travel industry came with

and thus, this has led to an increase in the

Maldives decided to sit with Villa travels

an increase in the number of travel agents

number of travel industries catering to the

manager Farhath Abdul Latheef to have a

and

local holidaymakers.

new

airlines.

This

consequently

THE RISING ONLINE PENETRATION TO THE GERMAN TRAVEL MARKET Germany, with its strong economy and high

to represent more than half of all travel

consumer confidence, is Europe’s largest

revenue by 2022.

travel market, and while a number of recent surveys show that it’s likely to remain that

Phocuswright’s

way for the foreseeable future, the online

Overview reports, although Germany’s

penetration contributes to increase in this

airlines continue to dominate the supplier-

market.

direct online market, the largest shift

German

Online

Travel

away from offline distribution will come The majority of Germans still book travel

in the rail market, where online channels

offline, but online and mobile are growing

are predicted to represent over 62% of all

quickly. Rising internet penetration, at

revenue in 2023. Offline gross bookings will

96% in 2019, will help boost online travel

fall to 44% of car rental revenue by 2023,

revenue to €28.8 billion in 2019, with a

as market leaders Sixt, Europcar, and Avis

45% online penetration rate, according to

spend heavily on their branded online

the Phocuswright report.

websites and mobile apps. During the five-

ubiquitous throughout the country. Online

mobile revenue growth over the next five

year forecast period, Germany’s airlines,

transactions are gaining momentum, and

years. The rail market will again lead the

Offline channels, including travel agents, as

tour operators and hotels will rely on offline

31% of online purchases are now done

digital transformation, with Deutsche Bahn’s

well as airline and hotel call centers, have

distribution for more than half of their gross

through PayPal. In the travel market, mobile

DB Navigator app becoming the company’s

historically accounted for the majority of

bookings.

gross bookings are projected to account

fastest-growing booking channel in 2018.

for 30% of online travel revenue in 2019,

By 2023, mobile bookings will account for two-thirds of all rail online revenue.

travel gross bookings. However, online distribution, powered by supplier-direct

Germany boasts a smartphone penetration

increasing to 39% by 2023. Every travel

web and mobile investments, is expected

rate of 80%, making smartphone use nearly

supplier segment is expected to experience


24 PEOPLE

AMILLA FUSHI APPOINTS NASRULLA ADAM AS DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL SALES Amilla Fushi has appointed Nasrulla Adam

Nasrulla is an experienced sales director

as its new Director of International Sales.

with a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry. He is skilled in

Prior to his transfer to the new position

Front Office, Hospitality Management,

at Amilla Fushi, Nasrulla most recently

Customer Service, Hotel Booking, and Tour

worked at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

Operators. Academically, he completed

as the Director of sales. He has previously

a strong sales professional with a BA

worked with Baros Maldives, Anantara

(Hons) focused on Hospitality & Tourism

Kihavah Villas, and at PER AQUUM Niyama

Management from Birmingham College of

and Huvafenfushi. He initially started as the

Food-Tourism-Creative Studies.

assistant reservations manager and climbed up the leadership ladder to now the Director of International Sales.

PARK HYATT MALDIVES HADAHAA APPOINTS STAVROS PACKEISER AS NEW GENERAL MANAGER Park

Hyatt

Maldives

Hadahaa

has

Tajikistan; Sani Resort in Halkidiki, Greece;

appointed Stavros Packeiser as its new

Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi (now on

General Manager.

Andaz); Grand Hyatt Dubai; Rixos The Palm Dubai; and Palace Downtown in Dubai.

Stavros grew up in Sidirokastro, a small

Since 2017, Stavros has been F & B Director

city in northern Greece and at the age of

at Park Hyatt Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City.

18, ventured into Edinburgh to study for a degree in computer science at Heriot-Watt

“At Park Hyatt Maldives, I plan to continue

University. For extra income, Stavros got a

the valuable work my predecessors have

part-time job as a waiter and soon realized

done for the resort in terms of performance

that he enjoyed working with people more

and sustainability”, says Stavros of his first

than computers.

General Manager role. “I am to bring to life new projects and experiences that will

After

graduating

in

2002,

Stavros

commenced his hospitality career as a

make our resort a leader in sustainability and luxury travel.”

bar supervisor at The Carlton Hotel in Edinburgh and during his working life has

Stavros is married to Dia who loves adventure

advanced through food and beverage roles

and travel. They have a 15-month-old son

on the world’s largest ocean line RMX Queen

Harris who has already taken more than a

Mary 2, and at Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki

dozen flights to numerous countries.

in Greece; Hyatt Regency Dushanbe in


PEOPLE 25

THE ST. REGIS MALDIVES VOMMULI RESORT APPOINTS HARISH NAIR AS RESORT MANAGER The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort has

the Institute of Hotel Management and

appointed Harish Nair as its new Resort

Catering Technology in India.

Manager. The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Harish worked at Six Senses Hotels Resorts

which opened in November 2016, is nestled

Spas as Corporate Director - Rooms in

on a private island in a Dhaalu Atoll. This

Thailand before moving to the Maldives.

resort has won the World Travel Awards

He has over 14 years of experience working

for “Maldives Leading Luxury Island Resort

in hospitality. Harish has also worked in

2017” and “Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury

India and Greece markets. He studied at

Resort 2017”.

INTERCONTINENTAL MALDIVES MAAMUNAGAU APPOINTS IBRAHIM INAD AS DIRECTOR OF SALES InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau

and

resort has appointed Ibrahim Inad as its

from Taylor’s University College Malaysia

new Director of Sales.

and Clique College Maldives.

Inad is an experienced sales and marketing

Inad worked at Velaa Private Island for

professional with a demonstrated history

over 6 years. He has also worked with

of working in the hospitality industry. He

The Nautilus Maldives, Milaidhoo Island

is skilled in market planning, E-commerce,

Maldives, and Huvafenfushi Maldives.

hotel management, hospitality industry,

RAHIM FLYNN AS GENERAL MANAGER FOR SHANGRILA’S VILLINGILI RESORT & HOTEL JEN Rahim Flynn has been appointed as Shangri-

Shangri-La in Sri Lanka, Oman, and

La’s Villingili Resort & Spa’s new General

Malaysia.

Manager in addition to his current role as General Manager for Hotel Jen, Male.

He is skilled in Catering, Food & Beverage, Hotel Management, Customer Satisfaction,

Rahim has been working with Shangri-

and Facility Management (FM). Rahim also

La Hotels and Resorts since 2006 and

has a strong sales professional with a Diploma

brings more than 20 years of experience in

focused

Executive roles in the hospitality industry.

Management from HotelConsult “Institute

Prior to his move to the Maldives, he

Hotelier Cesar Ritz” Switzerland.

held Resident Manager positions with

in

Hospitality

Administration/

market

research.

He

graduated


26 AVIATION

AIR NEW ZEALAND TOPS THE 2020 LIST OF THE WORLD’S BEST AIRLINES The list of AirlineRatings.com’s best airlines

safety- and product-rating site based out of

in the world for 2020:

Perth, Australia.

1. Air New Zealand 2. Singapore Airlines

To decide who wins, seven editors at

3. All Nippon Airways

the agency consider a dozen key factors

4. Qantas

including operational safety, passenger

5. Cathay Pacific

reviews, profitability, investment rating, fleet

6. Emirates

age, and product offerings such as premium

7. Virgin Atlantic

economy on long-haul flights and seating

8. EVA Air

options in other classes. To be named

9. Qatar Airways

in the top twenty airlines must achieve a

10. Virgin Australia

seven-star safety rating and demonstrate

11. Lufthansa

leadership in innovation for passenger

12. Finnair

comfort. The editors of AirlineRatings.

13. Japan Airlines

com, some of the most experienced and

14. KLM

awarded, look for a consistent level of

15. Korean Airlines

service, innovation and staff engagement

16. Hawaiian Airlines

from each major contender.

17. British Airways AirlineRatings.com

has

announced

its

claimed the top spot for six of the past

20 Top Airlines in the World for 2020,

seven years. Singapore Airlines, which took

and regaining the top spot this year from

2nd position, is always at the forefront of

Singapore Airlines is Air New Zealand. Air

airline awards and introduced its new A350

New Zealand’s number-one score comes

and 787-10 over the last 2 years, along with

as no surprise since, aside from last year’s

revamped A380s.

loss to Singapore Airlines, the carrier has

EMIRATES IMPROVES TRAVEL EXPERIENCE WITH ‘AIRPORT MAPS’ Emirates has launched a new feature on its

the Emirates network - London Heathrow,

app called Airport maps which will allow

London

customers to navigate seamlessly through

International airport.

Gatwick,

and

Hong

Kong

the airport. The Airport maps can detect the user’s location (via Bluetooth and wifi) and

90 million passengers transit through

provide point to point navigation through

Dubai international Airport each year and

all touchpoints of the airport including

the wayfinding technology was introduced

check-in desks, Emirates lounges, shops,

to provide convenience and world-class

restaurants or ATMs in the airport.

customer experience at every touchpoint of the Emirates journey.

The Emirates app, supported in 19 languages, currently has 1.5 million active

In the last year, the Emirates app was

users each month and allows customers to

enhanced with new technology allowing

search, book and manage their flights as

customers to create bespoke playlists of

well as their Emirates Skywards accounts.

their inflight entertainment ahead of their

The new feature maps out Emirates’ hub

travels and sync it to their seats once

- Dubai International Airport’s Terminal

onboard, providing a world-class travel

3 – and also includes major airports in

experience.

18. Alaska Airlines

According to Airlineratings.com Editor-in-

19. Delta Air Lines

Chief Geoffrey Thomas, “we are looking

20. Etihad Airways

for leadership and airlines that innovate to make a real difference to the passenger

The

much-awaited

annual

Airline

experience, particularly in economy class.

Excellence Awards are carried out by

In our evaluation, we also consider audited

AirlineRatings.com, which is an aviation

feedback from passengers on our website.”


AVIATION 27

INDIA PLANS TO OPEN 100 AIRPORTS IN FIVE YEARS India is planning to open 100 additional

Last month, the government cut corporate

airports by 2024, as part of a plan to

tax rates, putting India on par with some

revive economic growth in Asia’s third-

of the lowest in Asia, to help compete with

largest economy, according to people with

the likes of Vietnam and Indonesia for

knowledge of the matter.

investments amid global trade tensions.

The proposal, which includes starting

India’s plans to expedite airport development

1,000 new routes connecting smaller towns

still trails that of China’s, which has set a

and villages, was discussed at a meeting

goal of having 450 commercial airports

last week to review infrastructure needed

by 2035, almost double the number at

by 2025, the people said, asking not to be

the end of 2018. A spokesman at India’s

identified as the discussion is private. Steps

civil aviation ministry was not immediately

to start a plane-lease financing business in

available for comment.

the country was also discussed, they said. With economic activity at a six-year low and

The proposal by India’s state think tank also

prospects of further slowdown looming,

includes boosting the number of locally

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen to

trained pilots to 600 a year and double the

double down on infrastructure projects in a

domestic aircraft fleet to 1,200 during the

bid to revive growth and achieve a target of

period, the people said.

making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025.

QATAR AIRWAYS AND INDIGO SIGN CODESHARE AGREEMENT

much look forward to working together to

A multiple award-winning airlines, Qatar

harness our complementary strengths and

Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by

resources to enhance the travel experience

the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed

for our passengers around the world.”

by the international air transport rating organization Skytrax. It was also named

IndiGo Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ronojoy

‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s

Dutta, said: “This is a momentous occasion

Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business

for us, as we sign this codeshare agreement

Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-

with one of the finest airlines in the

breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite.

world. This strategic alliance will not only

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern

strengthen our international operations

fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub,

but also boost economic growth in India,

Hamad International Airport (HIA), to more

by bringing in more traffic and heralding

than 160 destinations worldwide. The

opportunities for trade and tourism through

world’s fastest-growing airline has added a

seamless mobility. We are confident of a

number of exciting new destinations to its

successful partnership as we extend our

growing network this year, including Rabat,

signature on-time, courteous and hassle-

Morocco; Izmir, Turkey; Malta; Davao,

free service experience to the passengers

Philippines; Lisbon, Portugal; Mogadishu,

of Qatar Airways. These are exciting times

Somalia; and Langkawi, Malaysia. The

for the aviation industry and it is our

airline will add Gaborone, Botswana, in

commitment to remain focused on building

2019 to its extensive route network along

one of the best air transportation systems

with Luanda, Angola; and Osaka, Japan, in

in the world.”

2020.

Qatar Airways currently operates 102

IndiGo is India’s largest passenger airline

Qatar Airways has signed a codeshare

‘World’s Best Airline’ and the ‘Best Low-

weekly flights between Doha and 13

with a domestic market share of 47% as

agreement with IndiGo, India’s largest

Cost Airline in India’.

destinations in India, including Ahmedabad,

of August 2019 and is amongst the fastest

Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa,

growing carriers in the world. IndiGo has a

passenger airline. Sales will start from 7th November with the first codeshare flights to

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive,

Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode,

simple philosophy: offer low fares and an

operate from 18th December 2019.

His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said:

Mumbai, Nagpur, and Thiruvananthapuram.

on-time, courteous, hassle-free service.

“We are extremely proud to secure this

The airline’s cargo division, Qatar Airways

With its fleet of over 240 aircraft, the

This agreement will enable the airline

strategic partnership with IndiGo, the

Cargo, currently operates a total of 28

airline offers almost 1,500 daily flights and

to place its code on IndiGo flights

largest airline in one of the world’s fastest-

weekly freighters to seven destinations

connects 60 domestic destinations and 23

between Doha and Delhi, Mumbai and

growing aviation markets. We believe this

in India. The top three cargo destinations

international destinations.

Hyderabad and is said tp be the first step

agreement will be just the first step in

in

in strengthening cooperation between the

strengthening our relationship and we very

Ahmedabad.

India

are

Mumbai,

Chennai,

and


28 AVIATION

SRILANKAN AIRLINES TO CODESHARE ON AIR INDIA DELHITORONTO SERVICE SriLankan

Airlines

firm

network through a combination of increasing

Travelers will now have the opportunity to

SriLankan and Air India currently codeshare

step towards further increasing travel

our own destinations and frequencies;

book their entire journey in one go, which

on each other’s flights to a large number of

connectivity between Sri Lanka and Canada.

and expanding into new markets through

they were earlier unable to do. The non-

destinations in South Asia, the Far East,

SriLankan Airlines commences codeshared

codeshares with partner airlines. This is

stop flight from Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson

and the Indian Ocean region.

non-stop services between Toronto and

intended to facilitate travel for visitors to

International Airport to New Delhi’s Indira

New Delhi with long-standing partner Air

Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan residents overseas

Gandhi International Airport is supported

SriLankan Airlines has a route network

India,

and Sri Lankans wishing to travel overseas.”

by rapid connectivity to Colombo with

of 130 cities in 58 countries, including

to Colombo, from 7th November 2019

Ms.

connection times of just 4 hours for

codeshare operations in partnership with

onwards.

Commercial, Air India said: “Air India is

Colombo-Delhi-Toronto and 6 hours for

the world’s finest airlines. SriLankan also

continuously working towards providing

Toronto-Delhi-Colombo. Flights operate on

connects travelers to over 1,000 cities in

Vipula Gunatilleka, Chief Executive Officer

convenience to travelers & with this enhanced

Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays both to

160 countries through its Oneworld partner

of SriLankan Airlines said: “Air India is a

cooperation with our long-standing partner

and from Toronto. The Delhi-Toronto flight

airlines.

valued longtime partner and we are pleased

Sri Lankan Airlines, travelers will now have

AI187 will have the UL code UL3640; while

to be teaming up with them to provide this

seamless connections between Canada &

the Toronto-Delhi flight AI188 will have the

service. SriLankan has been expanding our

Sri Lanka through Delhi Airport”.

code UL3641.

providing

is

taking

seamless

a

connections

Meenakshi

Mallik,

Director

EUROPEAN AIRLINE GIANT BUYS SPANISH CARRIER AIR EUROPA FOR ONE BILLION EUROS

The parent company of British Airways and

incorporation of Air Europa to IAG implies

Iberia, International Airlines Group (IAG) has

the strengthening of the company’s present

agreed to buy Spanish rival Air Europa for

and future that will maintain the path

1 billion euros ($1.1 billion). In a statement

followed by Air Europa in the last years. We

released on 4th November, the completion

are convinced that the incorporation of Air

is expected to take place in the second half

Europa to a group such as IAG, who over all

of 2020. The Air Europa brand will initially

these years has demonstrated its support to

be retained and the company will remain as

the development of airlines within the group

a standalone profit center within Iberia run

and the Madrid hub, will be a success”.

by Iberia CEO Luis Gallego. Luis Gallego, Chief Executive of Iberia Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of IAG, said:

commented: “This is of strategic importance

“Acquiring Air Europa would add a new

for the Madrid hub, which in recent years

competitive, cost-effective airline to IAG,

has lagged behind other European hubs.

consolidating Madrid as a leading European

Following this agreement, Madrid will be

hub and resulting in IAG achieving South

able to compete with other European hubs

Atlantic leadership, therefore generating

on equal terms with a better position on

additional

our

Europe to Latin America routes and the

shareholders. IAG has a strong track record

possibility to become a gateway between

of successful acquisitions, most recently

Asia and Latin America.”

financial

value

for

with the acquisition of Aer Lingus in 2015 and we are convinced Air Europa presents a

Air Europa operates 66 aircraft to 69

strong strategic fit for the group.”

destinations in and outside of Spain. As one of the world’s largest airline groups, IAG

Javier Hidalgo, Chief Executive of Globalia

flies to 268 destinations with 573 airplanes.

was quoted saying: “For Globalia, the


AVIATION 29

ETIHAD AIRWAYS, PAKISTAN INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES RELAUNCH CODE-SHARE DEAL Etihad Airways and Pakistan International

Islamabad, and Lahore, and Abu Dhabi.

Airlines (PIA) announced that they have

PIA will also place its code on Etihad flights

relaunched their code-share partnership,

from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam, Bahrain,

allowing customers better access to each

Chicago, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Madrid,

airline’s routes. Code-share flights will be

Moscow, Washington D.C, and Zurich,

open for sale on November 13, with the first

allowing passengers from Pakistan access

travel date being November 26.

to these cities through Etihad.

The code-share deal will see Etihad place

Pending government approval, PIA also

its ‘EY’ code on PIA’s services between

plans to place its code on Etihad flights to

Abu Dhabi and Lahore, Islamabad, and

Amman, Athens, Nairobi, Rome, Sydney,

Peshawar. Meanwhile, PIA will place its ‘PK’

Melbourne, and Brisbane.

code on Etihad’s services between Karachi,

AVIATORS MALDIVES INTRODUCES ONLINE AVIATION SHOP The Facebook page dedicated to bringing

pens. They also have tie pins that come in

the Maldivian aviation community together,

models A350, B777, P51 Mustang, ATR,

Aviators Maldives has launched an Online

and Concorde.

Aviation Shop in the Maldives. Aviators Maldives page shares Maldives In order to further expand their operations,

aviation-related

information,

pictures,

Aviators Maldives introduced this shop with

videos and more on a daily basis. They

different aviation gifts, goodies and Pilot

have achieved rapid popularity in just a

supplies.

few months. The page also unveiled ‘The Aviators Maldives’ official logo (designed by

Products

available

right

now

Azmeel) recently.

include epaulets, ASA EASA logbooks, keyrings, B777 tie bars, and Airbus carbon

MALDIVIAN BEGINS FLIGHTS TO MAAFARU AIRPORT National airline carrier, Maldivian has begun flight operations to N. Maafaru earlier today. The airport which has a 2,200-metre-long and a 40-meter-wide runway was developed from a USD 60 million donation from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. Maldivian has revealed that the one-way flight rate from Male’ to Maafaru is MVR 750.


30 AVIATION

FLYME WELCOMES BRAND NEW ATR 72-600 TO ITS FLEET Villa Air Flyme has welcomed a brand new

2011. In the past 8 years, Flyme has taken

expansion program. ATR, known for its

awaited seaplane operation, once the new

ATR 72-600 aircraft to its fleet today, 7th

delivery of three brand new ATR 72-600

economic and operational efficiency and

seaplane terminal at Velana International

November 2019.

aircraft and was the first company ever

with the already experienced professional

Airport is completed. Each seaplane livery

to bring a brand new ATR aircraft to the

workforce and facilities, this is the ideal

will be representing an indigenous fish in

Maldives.t

acquisition to spread our wings within the

the Maldives marine environment.

The new aircraft has a capacity of 72 seats with a seat pitch of 29 inches and

archipelago and beyond.”

a customer-friendly interior. This will be

Abdulla Nashid, Managing Director of Villa

In addition to this, Flyme will be commencing

the youngest turboprop aircraft under a

Air stated, “the new aircraft will be deployed

Flyme has stated that more aircraft will join

commercial operations to Ifuru Airport

Maldivian registration with the highest seat

for a commercial operation soon. Adding

the current fleet in the coming years with

soon and Maafaru Airport once the airport

capacity. Flyme has operated ATR aircraft

new aircraft to the fleet and expanding the

more routes to follow. The airline operator

is open for commercial operation.

since it began its operation in October

route network is part of Flyme’s intended

will add 4 twin otters to begin its long-

THE MANTA IS HEADING TO HUVADHU WITH SPECIAL FARES! The five-star experience in the skies of

in a short amount of time in making your

the Maldives, Manta Air, is starting its

tropical journey an amazing one. Our

commercial operations to Huvadhu via

promise to all passengers flying to Kooddoo

Kooddoo Airport today with special fares.

is that we will change your flying experience

Manta Air will operate on a pre-published

by making flying more mantastic, enjoyable

fixed schedule with daily flights between

and effortless for everyone!”

Kooddoo & Male’, which will provide customers

with

multiple

connectivity

With less than one year into its operations,

options throughout the day and allows

the airline has already become a game-

them to book their preferred flights well in

changer in the skies of Maldives. Manta Air

advance of their travel dates. The operation

has become famous for providing the first

is set to start from 1st December onwards.

on-time scheduled service in the Maldives

Manta Air tickets to Kooddoo are now

where passengers have finally let go of

available for purchase through online from

their worry for last-minute surprises and is

official website www.mantaair.mv and also

known for providing a top-notch five-star

through the authorized passenger sales

experience for all its guests which has also

agents.

impacted the airline industry.

Mohamed Khaleel, CEO of Manta Air, said,

For more details call our reservations

“We are excited to announce the start of our

number 3314477 or 7994405 during

services to a new destination. It has been

standard business hours

a very exciting year for us. We have been able to achieve back-to-back milestones


AVIATION

31

ETIHAD PARTNERS WITH BOEING FOR B787 ‘GREENLINER’ fuel consumption and carbon emissions.”

growing number of other operators, as

Boeing said that the partnership will see

well as engineer exchanges with a focus on

the Greenliner aircraft “periodically serving

further developing the skills and experience

as a testbed for assessing environmental

of UAE nationals”.

sustainability initiatives”. Commenting on the news Mohammad Al The two groups said they had signed “a

Bulooki, chief operating officer of Etihad

comprehensive agreement through which

Airways, said:

the companies will share knowledge, experience, and resources to continuously

“These

improve the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and

wider partnership and support future

reduce aircraft carbon emissions, a major

collaboration between Etihad and Boeing

challenge across many industries today”.

on supply chain management and both

The partnership includes commercial and

line and predictive maintenance, further

technical agreements valued at around

reinforcing the airline’s commitment to

$215 million, “encompassing a broad range

reliability.

agreements

complement

our

of services including a landing gear overhaul Boeing and Etihad have teamed up to

(which runs from January 11 to January

build and operate a very unique Boeing

18, 2020).

787, one that is designed to test new green technologies. The ‘Greenliner’ will be

Etihad said that the flight would incorporate

created to operate as environmentally as

“a wide range of environment-focused

possible, as announced at the Dubai Air

initiatives”, and commenting on the special

Show.

livery Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer of the Etihad Aviation Group, said:

The aircraft – which will sport a special

“The graduated blue tones of this design

green/blue livery – will enter service early

represent the importance of water in Arabic

next year, and will operate a special “eco-

life and culture and symbolize the ‘blue

flight” between Abu Dhabi and Brussels

sky’ thinking needed to deliver practical,

during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

incremental initiatives to progressively lower

SPICEJET TO INTRODUCE DIRECT FLIGHTS BETWEEN MALE’ & THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

program, high-value airframe components,

”They

and maintenance planning optimization

credentials as a global innovation hub, a key

tools”.

pillar of the Emirate’s 2030 economic and

also

strengthen

Abu

Dhabi’s

social vision. Etihad operates more Dreamliners than any other Middle Eastern carrier, with the

“As a next step, Etihad and Boeing will

aircraft comprising a third of the airline’s

explore partnerships with universities in

fleet, with plans to increase this to 50

both Abu Dhabi and Seattle, home to

percent by 2023. The two companies said

Boeing’s largest assembly facilities, to

that they have committed “to build upon

further increase capabilities that support

the significant technical capabilities which

the development of the aerospace sector in

Etihad has developed to support both

Abu Dhabi, and elsewhere in the UAE.”

its own 787 Dreamliners, and those of a

SpiceJet direct

airline flights

will

be

between

Thiruvananthapuram

introducing Male’

starting

and

SG 3074 Thiruvananthapuram to Chennai 5:55 PM, Daily

20th

SG 91 Thiruvananthapuram to Male’

November 2019.

12:30 PM, Daily SG 92 Male to Thiruvananthapuram

The Indian low-cost airline, SpiceJet

2:45 PM, Daily

announced new flights on its domestic as

well

as

international

networks.

SpiceJet said it has introduced all-inclusive

The carrier will operate flights on the

fares starting from Rs. 2,501 for flights

Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram

between Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram,

and

Thiruvananthapuram-Male routes at a

and

starting all-inclusive price of Rs. 2,501.

Thiruvananthapuram and Male’.

The airline said in a statement. “All the

“In

new flights will operate daily and SpiceJet

potential, SpiceJet is introducing a direct

will deploy its Bombardier Q400 aircraft

flight

on these routes”. Bookings are open on

Male route,” the airline said. “With the

the airline’s official website- spicejet.com,

increased demand from customers and

mobile app and through online travel

reaffirming its commitment to enhancing

portals and travel agents.

domestic connectivity, SpiceJet has also

The schedule of SpiceJet’s new flights

introduced new flights on the Chennai-

starting from November 20:

Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai sector,” it

added.

SG 3073 Chennai to Thiruvananthapuram 9:50 AM, Daily

Rs.

view on

5,539

of

the

the

for

those

significant

between

tourism

Thiruvananthapuram-


32 AVIATION

SRILANKAN AIRLINES CARRY OUT FREE MEDICAL CAMP AT ADDU ATOLL international airline to commence flying

them through Colombo with its network of

out of Gan Island three years ago, and we

destinations. SriLankan has a route network

are delighted to serve the traveling public

of 130 cities in 58 countries, including

in all of the nearby atolls with their travel

codeshare operations in partnership with

requirements, via Colombo, and also the

the world’s finest airlines. SriLankan takes

important air cargo business into and out

pride in operating three flights a week

of Gan.”

to Gan Island, provides with convenient connections to Singapore, Bangkok, London,

This CSR project was jointly organized

Beijing, Shanghai, Canton, Chennai, Delhi,

by SriLankan Airlines in partnership with

Mumbai, Bangalore, Karachi, Doha, Dubai,

the airline’s General Sales Agent in the

Abu

Maldives, Ace Aviation Services, Kauvery

Jeddah, Dammam and many more. A

Hospital,

of

member of the prestigious Oneworld global

Maldives Aasandha Company Ltd, and the

airline partnership, SriLankan Airlines also

Hithadhoo Regional Hospital. Ace Aviation

connects travelers to over 1,000 cities in

Services Maldives has held similar CSR

160 countries through its Oneworld partner

projects across the Maldives and are the

airlines.

the

insurance

company

Dhabi,

Kuwait,

Muscat,

Riyadh,

SriLankan Airlines, the largest carrier into

the Maldives, SriLankan is fully integrated

winners of 2019 South Asia Travel Awards

the Maldives, and the only international

into international travel into and out of the

(SATA) for the Leading Airline GSA award in

The airline has been consistently winning

airline that operates three flights a week

Maldives, as well as Maldivian society in

the Maldives for the third consecutive year.

prestigious accolades, including ‘Leading

to Gan Island celebrated three years of

general. We are pleased to be providing this

Kauvery Hospital is a chain of multi-

International Airline’ in South Asia and

operations to Gan Island by conducting a

CSR service in partnership with Kauvery

specialty hospitals with a total capacity

‘Leading Airline Passenger Class – Business’

free medical camp from 28th November to

Hospital

of 1,250 beds. Two of its multi-specialty

award, both for the second consecutive

1st December 2019 for the public in many

partners.”

hospitals are in Trichy along with one of a

year at the South Asian Travel Awards

kind exclusive state of the art cardiac care

2019 (SATA); ‘Best Marketing Innovation’

The medical camp was carried out in Addu

facility. The hospital has carried out more

award from APEX; two awards at the World

SriLankan flew in a high-level team of

Atoll for residents of Addu, Fuvahmulah

than 7,000 cardiac surgeries, 1,000 joint

Travel Awards 2018 Asia and Australasia;

medical specialists from Kauvery Hospital

and other nearby atolls. A significant

replacement surgeries, 2,500 complex

‘Best Full Service Airline in Central & South

in Trichy especially for this corporate social

portion of SriLankan’s passengers from the

cancer

angioplasties,

Asia’ at the Future Travel Experience Asia

responsibility (CSR) project, including a

Maldives travel to Trichy via Colombo for

5,000 open heart procedures, around

Awards; and ‘Innovation in Commercial

neurologist, cardiologist, pulmonologist,

medical treatment. SriLankan held a similar

50,000 dialysis, and over 1,000 major

Airline Cabins’ at the In-flight Asia Pacific

endocrinologist, a dietician and support

CSR event in 2017.

pediatric cardiology procedures.

Awards

Regional Manager Sri Lanka & Indian

Nayomi Tennakoon, Area Manager Gan,

SriLankan

Ocean, said: “As the largest carrier into

said: “SriLankan was the first scheduled

capital Male and Gan Island, connecting

and

several

other

valuable

atolls around the island.

surgeries,

5,000

staff. Jayantha Abeysinghe, SriLankan’s serves

both

the

TURKISH AIRLINE ANNOUNCES SPECIAL FARES TO ISTANBUL FOR EMITT 2020 Turkish Airlines, the national flag carrier

EMITT annually attracts around 60,000

airline of Turkey has announced special

industry professionals and tourists seeking

fares for EMITT 2020 for direct flights

for new and exciting travel opportunities

starting from USD 999 from Male’ to

from

Istanbul.

companies from across the globe.

The 24th East Mediterranean International

Attending EMITT allows the chance to

Tourism & Travel Exhibition (EMITT) taking

network and do business with the leading

place at Tüyap Fair and Congress Center,

companies and discover new destinations

Büyükçekmece, Istanbul is one of the four

and offers. EMITT annually hosts around

biggest

1,200

tourism

exhibitions

worldwide

destinations

exhibitors

and

-

travel

service

destinations,

tour

and will take place 30th January to 2nd

operators, travel agents and other travel

February.

service providers from across the globe.

Maldivian


AVIATION 33

MANTA AIR BEGINS ITS FIRST SCHEDULED SEAPLANE SERVICE The arrival of Manta Air has already

of Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaalu atoll, and

been a game-changer in the domestic

Dharavandhoo Airport, located on the

aviation industry, removing the fears of

island of Dharavandhoo in Baa atoll, from

flight uncertainty for passengers flying in

the Maldives’ main Velana International

the Maldives, and setting new standards

Airport.

in service excellence along the way with pre-published schedules and a tailored

“Our service is designed specifically with

approach to provide an amazing experience

customers in mind, to relieve pain points

to all passengers. For its seaplane service,

and make domestic travel enjoyable and

Manta Air will publish monthly schedules —

effortless. Our aim is to give the best

a first in the Maldives’ seaplane sector as

of Manta Air’s hospitality to each and

Game-changing local airline, Manta Air,

Managing Director of airport operator

well as in the world. Passengers will receive

every customer who will be joining us on-

on Sunday launched the first scheduled

Maldives

confirmed flight timings along with their

board whilst they enjoy a spectacular view

seaplane service by the operator, bringing

(MACL), opened the airline’s seaplane

hotel confirmation.

across the blue,” said Manta Air CEO, Mr.

another revolutionary experience to the

terminal. Manta Air also operated its first

skies of Maldives. A purpose-built seaplane

commercial seaplane flight on Sunday,

In addition to the seaplane service, Manta

terminal at the Maldives’ main Velana

taking an exhilarating 40-minute journey

Air utilizes three brand new ATR 72-

International

south of capital Male to Hotel Riu Atoll

600 aircraft to operate domestic flights

aboard one of its Twin Otter aircraft.

to Dhaalu Airport, located on the island

Airport

was

inaugurated

Sunday afternoon. Moosa Solih, the acting

Airports

Company

Limited

Mohamed Khaleel.

EMIRATES ANNOUNCES $16B DEAL TO BUY 50 AIRBUS 350 PLANES Emirates Airlines has announced that it

good fit,” he said. “With our A350…we plan

region but also up to 15 hours of flying

plug on the costly plane, which airlines have

would buy 50 Airbus 350-900 widebody

to offer different cabin configurations.” The

time from Dubai,” he said, adding that the

struggled to fill to its capacity of 500-850

aircraft in a deal worth $16 billion, with

new cabin configurations on the aircraft

$16bn deal reflects Emirates’ confidence in

people.

delivery to begin in May 2023.

will include a premium economy, Sheikh

the future of the UAE’s aviation sector and

Ahmed added.

role as a travel hub.

At the time, Airbus said it would buy smaller A330 and A350 models instead.

“I am happy to announce we are purchasing 50 Airbus 350 for $16 billion,” the carrier’s

Together with Emirates’ fleet of A380s

Emirates serves a global network spanning

chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed Bin

and Boeing 777s, Sheikh Ahmed said the

over 158 destinations in 84 countries. Its

“It is very good news for Airbus,” the

Saeed Al-Maktoum told reporters at the

additional A350s will offer Emirates more

fleet stands at 267 large aircraft, including

European aerospace giant’s CEO Guillaume

Dubai Airshow. “We are confident in the

flexibility in terms of capacity, range and

more than 100 Airbus 380 superjumbos.

Faure said of the announcement in Dubai,

performance of the Airbus A350 XWB and

deployment. “We’ll be able to take new

Its move earlier this year to reduce its total

adding he was “very proud that Airbus 350

we believe this aircraft this aircraft will be a

aircraft to new markets, not only in the

A380 orders triggered Airbus to pull the

has been selected by Emirates”.


34 AVIATION

GOAIR RECOMMENCES FLIGHTS TO THE MALDIVES

GoAir has recommenced its flights to Velana

between Mumbai-Male’-Mumbai will be

International Airport on 1st December

on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

2019. Tourism minister Ali Waheed, Indian

Flights between Delhi-Male’-Delhi will be on

ambassador to the Maldives Sunjay Sudhir

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. And

and top officials of the airport operator

flights between Bengaluru-Male’-Bengaluru

Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL)

will be on Wednesdays and Sundays.

welcomed the crew and passengers. Tickets for the flights can be booked GoAir launched its operations in November

through Voyages Maldives, by phone or in

2005 as a low-cost carrier to commoditize

person. Voyages Maldives is the appointed

air travel across India at a marginal

GSA for GoAir in the Maldives located on

fare. Today, the airline operates to 27

Chandhanee Magu, contact details are 301

destinations across the Indian subcontinent

8877 and goair@voyagesmaldives.com

and 9 international business metros and leisure destinations.

Voyages Maldives is also the General Sales Agent for British Airways, Lufthansa and

The airline will operate direct flights from

Passenger Sales Agent for Qatar Airways,

3 prominent cities in India; Mumbai,

Etihad Airways, Bangkok Airways, and

Delhi, and Bengaluru to Male’ on a state-

Maldivian.

of-the-art Airbus A320 aircraft. Flights

QATAR AIRWAYS LAUNCHES NEW IN-FLIGHT SAFETY VIDEO WITH NEYMAR JR With little more than two years until the

version of himself attach an oxygen mask

2023 FIFA World Cup, the host country’s

and Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar Jr

national airline has released a new soccer-

makes a special appearance to guide Qsuite

themed in-flight six-minute video safety

passengers. Qatar Airways said it hopes the

video staring Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr

video will add a playful spin to a vital part of

along with FC Bayern Munich star Robert

the in-flight experience.

Lewandowski and AS Roma legend Cafu – all three teams sponsored by Qatar Airways.

“At Qatar Airways, safety is priority one and

The all-star teams are led through the safety

we want to ensure everyone, including our

flight entertainment underway. The level of

risk with passenger safety, a spokesperson

routine by a comedy double act of coach

most frequent travelers, watches our safety

quality and attention to detail in this video

for the video’s production company said:

and kitmam, played by British television

briefings,” explained the airline’s head

is paramount and I am sure the content

“Humour has been shown to increase

actors Jason Thorpe and Ross Hatt.

of marketing Ms. Salam Al Shawa. “The

will both inform and amuse our global

memory, so there seems to be no better way

wonderfully creative concept will capture

passengers of all ages,” she continued.

to communicate such important information

Lewandowski demonstrates how to use

our passengers’ attention whilst providing

Addressing concerns that humorous in-foot

than by making it fun. As always, the world

a life jacket, while Cafu helps a younger

a fun, light-hearted video to get the in-

he safety videos may actually be taking a

of Qatar Airways enchants.”

QATAR AIRWAYS INTRODUCES SPECIAL FARES TO BERLIN Qatar Airways has launched a campaign

high demand for upcoming ITB, Qatar

with all-inclusive Economy class regular

Airways urges customers to make the

fare to Berlin at USD 1,025*. The purpose

booking in advance. Customers are advised

of this campaign is to promote Berlin for

to book by 10th December 2019 for travel

the upcoming holiday season and ITB

until 31st March 2020 for this special

Berlin 2020. Qatar Airways is one of the

promotion. For any sales queries, contact

few airlines that have the best connectivity

their team on 3334777 or e-mail them on

to Berlin from the Maldives. Due to the

mlereservations@mv.qatarairways.com


CRUISES 35

CRUISE SHIP MS COSTA VICTORIA ARRIVES IN THE MALDIVES Cruise ship Ms Costa Victoria has arrived

November 2013 which saw modernization

in the Maldives with 1,740 passengers and

to her public rooms and staterooms to

780 crew members.

more “Italian” design.

Costa Victoria is a Victoria-class cruise ship

The cruise arrived in the Maldives from

owned and operated by Costa Crociere.

1st November 2019 and will depart on 3rd

She debuted in 1996 and was refurbished

November 2019. The handling agent for

in 2004. She was designed to reflect

the cruise is AMSCO. MS Costa Victoria’s

the spirit of Italy. Features include the

last port before heading to the Maldives

panoramic Concorde Plaza, an indoor pool,

was Oman (Salalah) and the next port will

the ultramodern Pompei Spa, and the seven

be Colombo, Srilanka.

deck Planetarium Atrium. In 2004 the ship underwent an extensive rebuild which

During the visit, the passengers will visit

included balconies being added to 246

Male’ city along with other islands and

cabins. Costa Victoria underwent a refit in

resorts in the Maldives.

MALDIVES WELCOMES CRUISE SHIP AIDAVITA Cruise ship AIDAvita has arrived in the

The cruise arrived in the Maldives today

Maldives today with 1,174 passengers and

(7th November 2019) and will depart on

406 crew members.

8th November 2019. During the visit, the passengers will visit Male’ city along with

AIDAvita is the second ship in AIDA Cruises’

other nearby islands and resorts in the

fleet. AIDAvita was built in 2002 by the

Maldives.

German shipyard Aker MTW in Wismar. She is identical to AIDAaura. AIDA Cruises is an American/British-owned German cruise line based in Rostock, Germany.

MALDIVES WELCOMES MS MSC ORCHESTRA - THE LARGEST CRUISE SHIP TO ARRIVE IN THE MALDIVES The Maldives has welcomed MS MSC

3,200 passengers. Her crew complement is

Orchestra, the largest cruise to arrive in

approximately 990.

the Maldives to date with 2,476 passengers and 957 crew members. The cruise arrived

MSC Cruises is a global cruise line registered

on 3rd November 0600hrs and will depart

in Switzerland and based in Geneva. MSC

from Male’ by evening 1800hrs.

Cruises is the world’s largest privately held cruise company, employing about 23,500

MS MSC Orchestra is a cruise ship that was

people worldwide and having offices in 45

built in 2007 for MSC Cruises. She is the

countries as of 2017.

second ship of the Musica class. She could at the time accommodate 2,550 passengers

The handling agent for MS MSC Orchestra

in 1,275 cabins. Most inside cabins were

is Antrac. During the visit, the passengers

later refitted with two bunk beds and

will visit sites in Male’ city along with other

therefore she can now accommodate

nearby islands and resorts in the Maldives.


36 CRUISES

CRUISE SHIP AIDABELLA ARRIVES IN THE MALDIVES Cruise ship AIDAbella has arrived in the

The ship has 1,025 passenger cabins. There

Maldives with 2,071 passengers and 619

is a nude sunbathing area towards the rear

crew members.

of the ship. Amidships is a circular, glasswalled, and roofed Theatrium in the center

AIDAbella is a cruise ship operated by AIDA

of the ship.

Cruises. Built at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, she is a sister ship

The cruise arrived in the Maldives today

to AIDAdiva and AIDAluna. The ship has a

(11th November 2019) and will depart on

passenger capacity of over 2,050. The name

12th November 2019. The handling agent

AIDAbella was chosen after a competition

for AIDAbella is AMSCO.

to name the new ship. The name was meant to signify how beautiful the ship is.

COSTA VICTORIA ARRIVES IN THE MALDIVES FOR ITS SEASONS’ CRUISING ON INDIAN OCEAN On its seasons’ cruising on Indian waters,

Maldives, Mumbai to Maldives and Maldives

Costa Victoria has arrived in Male’ giving

to Mumbai.

the opportunity for its guests to relax on the white beaches of the Maldives before

The itinerary includes a two-day call to

sailing back to Mumbai.

enjoy the white beaches and coral reef of the Maldives and then the vessel moves

Costa Victoria offers 964 cabins that are

to Sri Lanka and includes a visit to the

accommodating 1,780 guests, looked after

Pinnawela elephant orphanage, one of the

by a crew of 791 on this voyage. It arrived

island’s major attractions.

in the Maldives on 15th November and will depart on 17th November 2019.

Then it is on to the Indian leg, with a stop in Goa, known for its beaches and

MALDIVES WELCOMES NORWEGIAN JADE – THE LARGEST CRUISE SHIP TO ARRIVE IN THE MALDIVES The Maldives has welcomed Norwegian

class ships, together with Norwegian Gem,

Jade, one of the largest cruise ships to

Norwegian Jewel, and Norwegian Pearl. The

arrive in the Maldives since the arrival of

cruiseliner is 294 meters in length and has

Costa cruise ships. The cruise arrived with

14 decks. It has nine restaurants, pools and

2,252 passengers and 1,019 crew members

a jogging track.

on 6th December 0600hrs and will depart from Male’ by evening 1800hrs.

Maldives Association of Yacht Agents (MAYA) announced that large cruise liners

Launched in 2006, Norwegian Jade is the

are expected to dock in the Maldives every

2nd of Norwegian Cruise Lines Jewel-

week during the cruise line season.

Costa Cruises is the only international

architecture, and finally Mumbai, where the

cruise company offering regular cruises

vessel overnights to allow guests to fully

from Mumbai to Kochi, Kochi to the

savour the capital of Maharashtra state.


TRAVEL TECH 37

MALDIVES IMMIGRATION BEGINS USING A MOBILE BORDER CONTROL DEVICE IN SEAPORT CLEARANCES Maldives Immigration has announced that

system to capture vital information of

they have begun to use a mobile border

travelers and allows them to identify and,

control device in seaport clearances to

if necessary detain individuals of interest.

further strengthen its capability to secure

Establishment of Country-wide Network

the border. Immigration will now be

and retrieval of desired information using

using the ‘Personal Identification Secure

the fastest communication channels by

Comparison

System

authorized persons only. PISCES project

about

will enable the linking of all ports of

(PISCES),

and

to

seek

Evaluation information

people who cross the border. The system

exit/entry

under

real-time

networking

is developed by a US Company, Booz Allen

environments and provide smooth working

Hamilton Holding Corporation. PISCES

coordination and standardization among

Project provides immigration officials and

different law enforcement agencies in the

law enforcement agencies with a tracking

area of immigration control.

BML & AMERICAN EXPRESS LAUNCH ‘EXPERIENCE MALDIVES’ DESTINATION CAMPAIGN (MMPRC) was launched by the Minister

campaign creates this year as well. We are

of National Planning and Infrastructure,

grateful for the strong support extended by

Mohamed Aslam at a special ceremony

MATI, MMPRC and all other stakeholders”.

held at Kurumba Maldives this evening. As

Commenting on the partnership Divya Jain,

part of this exclusive partnership, American

Vice President and Business Head, Global

Express Cardmembers can avail special

Network Services, South Asia, American

privileges, and discount offers at a number

Express said “We are pleased to partner

of resorts, guesthouses and merchants

with Bank of Maldives, Maldives Association

across the country who are participating in

of

this campaign.

Marketing & Public Relations Corporation

Tourism

Industry

and

Maldives

for the ‘Experience Maldives’ campaign.

Bank of Maldives and American Express

unique, authentic experiences for American

have partnered for a second time to

Express Cardmembers across the globe.

proceed

The

with

campaign

the

global

‘Experience

destination

Maldives’.

‘Experience

Maldives’

campaign,

This

endorsed by the Maldives Association of

campaign aims to promote the Maldives as

Tourism Industry (MATI) and Maldives

an international tourist destination offering

Marketing and Public Relations Company

WESTERN UNION MOBILE APP FOR ONLINE TRANSFERS Villa Travels has introduced the Western

long time and they can simply send the slip

Union new mobile application for online

through Viber. Farhath Abdul Latheef, the

money

money

Manager of Villa Travels said, “This app will

transfer application is free and can now be

facilitate the people working in resorts and

downloaded from the App Store and Google

distant islands for online transfers. They

Play. Customers can download and register

can do it from wherever they are without

through the online portal and send money

having the need to travel to Male’ to make

without having to wait in the queue for a

the transfer with the touch of a button.”

transfers.

This

online

Commenting on the campaign, BML CEO

The Maldives has always been one of the

and Managing Director Tim Sawyer said

most popular destinations for tourists from

“We are delighted to partner with American

across the world and we are committed to

Express for the second time to promote the

promoting and helping local businesses in

Maldives to Cardmembers across the globe.

the market growth through our partnership.

‘Experience Maldives’ has been a successful

With this campaign, we will continue to

campaign that contributed to growing

work towards providing newer and holistic

numbers in tourist arrivals to the Maldives

experiences to our customers.”

and we are excited to see the impact the


38 AWARDS/LISTINGS

SIX SENSES LAAMU & BLUE MARINE FOUNDATION WINS GOLD AT WTM’S RESPONSIBLE TOURISM AWARDS Six Senses Laamu and Blue Marine

the campaign was officially endorsed by the

Foundation have won the Gold Award

Maldives Ministry of Tourism, illustrating

for Wildlife and Nature Conservation at

that seagrass and tourism can indeed

World Travel Market’s Responsible Tourism

coexist. Diverse marine life, such as turtles,

Awards.

#ProtectMaldivesSeagrass

sharks, rays, and even seahorses can be

campaign was jointly initiated by Maldives

found in the seagrass meadows surrounding

Underwater Initiative and Maldives Resilient

Six Senses Laamu.

The

Reefs, with the aim of changing perspectives of seagrass in the Maldives tourism industry.

Six Senses Laamu is the first resort opened in the Laamu Atoll, deep in the Indian

The campaign resulted in one-quarter

Ocean. The resort is a combination of on-

of resorts in the Maldives pledging to

land and over-water villas constructed of

protect over 655,000 m2 of seagrass, the

sustainable materials and set around the

equivalent of 90 football fields. In addition,

palm-fringed paradise.

FAIRMONT MALDIVES SIRRU FEN FUSHI WINS BIG AT HAUTE GRANDEUR GLOBAL AWARDS 2019 Fairmont

Maldives

Sirru

Fen

Fushi,

outstanding hotels/spas that are committed

the resort won Best Island Resort, Best

to offering their guests a “wow” experience.

Destination Hotel, Best Honeymoon Hotel,

The Awards facilitate networking and at the

and Best Lifestyle Hotel while its Willow

same time inspire and improve both the

Stream Spa was named the Best Destination

hotel and spa industries.

Spa, Best Luxury Spa, and Best Resort Spa, in the highly coveted Haute Grandeur

Opened in 2018, Fairmont Maldives Sirru

Global Awards 2019. Haute Grandeur,

Fen Fushi is the only resort on the pristine

the

initiative

Shaviyani atoll with 112 luxury villas each

recognizing excellence within the hotel,

with their own private pool. The resort can

spa and restaurant industries representing

be reached in 50 minutes by domestic flight

60 countries worldwide. Haute Grandeur

from Velana International Airport followed

Global Hotel & Spa Awards is dedicated to

by a speedboat from Hanimaadhoo Airport

support and encourage excellence amongst

to the resort. Alternatively, guests can book

hotels & spas worldwide whilst aiming

a 50-minute scenic seaplane flight directly

to strengthen the market share of those

to the resort.

world’s

leading

Awards


AWARDS/ LISTINGS 39

CROWN & CHAMPA RESORTS NOMINATED IN 63 CATEGORIES IN THE MALDIVES TRAVEL AWARDS 2019 Crown & Champa Resorts has been

foreign partners, whose common interest

nominated in 63 categories in the Maldives

is to work together to achieve better

Travel Awards 2019.

business performance. These common interests include but are not limited

A statement released by the group stated,

to new development, design, concept,

“We are honored that Crown & Champa

construction, marketing & sales, operations,

Resorts have a total of 63 nominations in

finance, purchasing, and human resources

the 2019 Maldives Travel Awards. This is

development. CCR was established in 2000.

a testament to our continuous efforts in

CCR’s current resorts are:

exceeding guest expectations and providing

Hurawalhi Island Resort & Spa

exceptional hospitality. Thank you to our

Komandoo Island Resort & Spa

customers and partners for making such

Kudadoo Island Resort & Spa

recognition possible.”

Kuredu Island Resort & Spa

Meeru Island Resort & Spa

Crown & Champa Resorts, “CCR” is a

Veligandu Island Resort & Spa

trading name for a group of resort hotels

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

in the Republic of the Maldives, owned

Champa Central Hotel

and operated by various Maldivian and

MULTI-AWARD-WINNING DUSIT THANI MALDIVES ADDS FIVE MORE PRESTIGIOUS ACCOLADES TO ITS NAME Dusit Thani Maldives, a luxury Thai-

global hotel industry, the Haute Grandeur

inspired resort on Mudhdhoo Island in

Global Awards is designed to celebrate

Baa Atoll, was recently named the winner

the very best in hotel experiences across

of four prestigious categories of the Haute

seven continents, 172 countries and 90

Grandeur Global Awards 2019, held in

categories. Winners are selected annually

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, followed swiftly

based on quality feedback from guests,

by a regional win in the World Luxury Hotel

rather than the number of votes by a panel

Awards, held in Rovaniemi, Finland.

of judges or the general public.

At a glittering awards ceremony attended

Also

by representatives from many of the

Luxury Hotel Awards is a renowned global

world’s leading hotel companies, the

organization that provides recognition to

award-winning resort was declared Haute

luxury hotels for its world-class facilities and

Grandeur Global’s Best Beach Resort in

excellent services. Awards are presented to

the Indian Ocean, Best All-Inclusive Family

luxury hotels in over 50 different categories

Hotel on a Global Level, Best All-Inclusive

on a country, regional and global basis.

Resort on a Global Level, and Best Wedding

Public votes select all winners.

organized

annually,

the

World

Retreat on a Global Level. The success was shortly followed by

“We are deeply honored to have been

another impressive win – this time in the

recognized for these awards and I would like

World Luxury Hotel Awards 2019, where

to thank the whole team for their amazing

the resort was named the regional winner

contribution towards our success,” said Mr.

of the Luxury Beach Hotel category.

Thomas Weber, General Manager, Dusit Thani Maldives. “To be recognized as the

Established in 2014 as an independent

best hotel in so many categories reflects our

and unbiased initiative to honor the very

commitment to service excellence across

highest achievements from across the

the board. We now look forward to doing

everything we can to retain these titles

with three restaurants, two bars, and

while striving to become even better.”

Dusit’s signature Devarana Spa. The resort is surrounded by a rich house reef, white

Located just 35 minutes by seaplane

sandy beaches, and a turquoise lagoon.

from capital city Malé, and 10 minutes by

A well-equipped Kids Club adds to the

speedboat from Dharavandhoo Domestic

resort’s family-friendly appeal.

Airport in Baa Atoll, Dusit Thani Maldives comprises 94 villas and residences, along


40 AWARDS/ LISTINGS

MALDIVES AMONG THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’S LIST OF BEST TRIPS TO TAKE IN 2020 National Geographic has revealed its list of

as ‘forward-thinking islands on the front

sustainability

the

protect the Maldives’ fragile coral reefs,

the top 25 must-see travel destinations for

lines of climate change’.

effort to be carbon neutral by 2020—

which support a high diversity of coral,

are a matter of survival. According to

fish, and bird species, as well as sea turtles, whale sharks, and other marine life”.

2020 and the Maldives has made the list.

initiatives—such

as

This list features places from all over the

Marie-Amélie Carpio, senior editor of

the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate

world, and it’s part of the publication’s effort

Nat Geo Travel France stated, “The first

Change, much of the Maldives—which is the

to advocate for more sustainable tourism.

nation to champion the need to address

lowest-lying country on the planet (average

Divided into four categories, the list offers

Their picks take into account a number of

climate change in the United Nations

elevation: five feet) and whose territory is

suggestions for travelers with a focus on

factors, including cultural engagement,

General Assembly, in 1987, the Maldives

about 99 percent water—could disappear

culture, city life, nature, or adventure. The

diversity,

and

is an environmental protection trailblazer.

in decades due to rising sea levels caused

must-see sites were picked in collaboration

community benefit. National Geographic

For the idyllic, 1,200-island archipelago

by global warming. The 540-square-mile

with 17 of National Geographic Traveler’s

Traveler describes the Maldives archipelago

in the Indian Ocean, forward-thinking

UNESCO Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve helps

editorial teams across the world.

value,

affordability,

MALDIVES WINS WORLD’S LEADING BEACH DESTINATION 2019 AT WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS The Maldives has won the ‘World’s Leading

The Maldives won a total of 7 awards at this

Beach Destination 2019’ at the World Travel

year’s World Travel Awards including the

Awards held at Royal Opera House Muscat

awards won by the resorts. They include:

in Oman on 28th November 2019. The

Maldives also bagged the ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Destination 2019’, ‘Indian

World Leading Airport Resort: Hulhule Island Hotel (HIH)

Ocean’s Leading Dive Destination 2019’

World Leading Honeymoon Resort: JA Manafaru

and ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon

Leading Island Villa: W Maldives

Destination 2019’.

Leading Luxury Island Resort: St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

The Maldives competed with 15 destinations

Leading Island Hotel, Restaurant: Ithaa

around the world including destinations

Undersea Restaurant, Conrad Maldives

from Thailand, Mexico, and the United

Rangali Resort

States to win the ‘World’s Leading Beach

Destination 2019’ at World Travel Awards. World Travel Awards serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry.

World Leading Water Villa Resort: Sun Aqua Vilureef

World’s Most Romantic Resort: Baros Maldives


AWARDS/ LISTINGS

41

FUVAHMULAH ATOLL TOPS ‘BEST PLACES TO DIVE WITH SHARKS IN ASIA’ Fuvahmulah atoll has been named the ‘Best

sharks, thresher sharks, silvertip sharks,

Place to Dive with Sharks in Asia’ by ZuBlu

oceanic

diving.

barracudas, yellowfin tuna, bonitos, sailfish,

manta

rays,

big

schools

of

and even Mola mola and pilot whales. With over 20 known dive sites to explore and more being discovered every year,

Whilst the sharks are in no way aggressive,

Fuvahmulah’s

dive

it is recommended to take experienced

scene, unique location, and isolation

dive guides to ensure all necessary safety

make it one of the best destinations for

precautions are taken.

relatively

unknown

exploratory dives in the Maldives. The best suggested time to visit Fuvahmulah Nicknamed

the

Maldivian

Galapagos,

atoll to dive with sharks is from December

Fuvahmulah Atoll is crowned Asia’s hottest

to March. However, with the atoll’s

shark diving locations to dive with tiger

proximity to the equator, the monsoons are

sharks,

thresher

less pronounced compared to further north

sharks and more. Fuvahmulah’s relatively

in the Maldives and the weather is pretty

unknown dive scene, unique location, and

stable all year round. The dry north-east

isolation make it an ideal destination for

monsoon usually runs from December to

exhilarating diving in the Maldives. The

March with the wet south-west monsoon

atoll’s famous tiger sharks can be seen

from May to November.

hammerhead

sharks,

every day, but its also home to hammerhead

CROWN & CHAMPA RESORT’S LARS PETRE FEATURED BY FORBES AS ‘THE MAN WHO MADE THE MALDIVES A LUXURY DESTINATION’ Lars Petre, one of Crown & Champa Resorts

and six diving centers across the tropical

partner has been featured by Forbes as

archipelago.

‘The Man Who Made The Maldives A Luxury Destination’.

Being an industry pioneer in the Maldives, he talks about his challenges in opening

Petre talks about how he first came to

the Kuredu resort and gives an insight into

the Maldives and how he opened his first

the industry addressing the climate-related

resort, Kuredu, with Maldivian partners

issues and the changes in the market.

in December 1988. Over the past three decades, his company Crown & Champa Resorts has grown to own or manage 10 resorts, a dozen locations of Duniye Spa


42 ACCOMMODATION

ENJOY BAREFOOT LUXURY AT JUMEIRAH VITTAVELI THIS FESTIVE SEASON The Maldivian retreat will celebrate the

to New Year’s Day at Samsara restaurant

festive season with unique experiences,

where a decadent limited-edition menu will

live performances and culinary excellence

be served to celebrate on both days.

curated for the whole family. The culinary team will be offering up fresh Those looking to escape to tropical shores

oysters, lobster, tiger prawns as well as

this festive season will not only enjoy the

suckling pig and a range of other delicacies.

sand beneath their feet at the luxury

At the stroke of midnight, the island’s

Jumeirah Vittaveli resort in the Maldives

lagoon will be lit up by a mesmerizing

but are set to experience unique activities

firework show to ring in the New Year, while

and entertainment in keeping with the most

guests are invited to party beachside, with

wonderful time of the year.

molecular cocktails and champagne. The theme of the NYE celebrations will be the

Situated in the South Male Atoll, the

Great Gatsby with guests invited to dress in

exclusive Maldivian isle with its 90 suites

roaring 20’s style or take advantage of the

and villas will commence the festivities with

in-house tailor to create a Charleston-style

the lighting of its Christmas Tree on 22nd

dress or dapper suit. will

December before its in-house choir takes

showcase

a

progressive

journey

and wellbeing in everyday life including

to the stage on the 24th and 25th for the

Jumeirah

Manager

from exclusive vintage drinks to festive

masterclasses in Breathing, Meditation, and

resort’s annual carol singing tradition. In the

Abhijit Ghosh is already in the festive mood,

nibbles and a lavish dinner buffet for the

Yoga, as well as his signature Saki Massage.

past, Santa has made surprise appearances

stating: “Our team is excited to surprise our

festive galas, planned for Christmas Eve,

For children, the Kuda Koli Kids Club will

on a jet-ski and by catamaran, and it is

guests with this year’s festive celebrations

Christmas Day and Russian Orthodox

host a range of fun-filled festive activities

hoped he will delight kids staying in the

– the Christmas tree will be a highlight

Christmas on 6th January. On other nights,

to make it their most memorable holiday

resort on the 25th December once again.

onto itself, and the Great Gatsby style New

a Louis Roederer crystal champagne dinner

season yet. From Christmas t-shirt painting

Live performances and music will also get

Year’s festivities are the extravagant icing

at Cuvée and an oyster and caviar night

and a festive scavenger hunt to gingerbread

the resort into the swing of the festive

on top! It is a pure joy to see the enthusiasm

at Fenesse await guests who are eager to

house-making, there’s something on every

season with everything from ballet to

of my team in making sure everything is

excite their palate.

day to keep young minds entertained.

acrobatics and even a touch of magic. A

ready for a joyous festive holiday and am

resident five-piece band, saxophone soloist

looking forward to welcoming guests for

For travelers looking to disconnect over the

and DJ will entertain guests from 24th

this magical time of the year.”

holiday season, visiting holistic practitioner

Vittaveli’s

General

Isaac Vidjrakou will be at Talise Spa at

December through to 7th January at venues across the island paradise. The party will

Indeed, a special culinary flair is a must for

Jumeirah Vittaveli with a range of practical

continue from New Year’s Eve through

the festive season, and Jumeirah Vittaveli

techniques to help encourage mindfulness

THE MARINA AT CROSSROADS CONDUCTS EDUCATIONAL VISIT FOR STUDENTS OF MUHYIDDIN SCHOOL The Marina at CROSSROADS has conducted

the visit, students had the opportunity

an educational on 21st November for a

to learn about Maldivian arts and crafts,

group of students from Muhyiddin School

its unique geography, marine life, and

in Villingili.

conservation activities (coral propagation methods) carried out by the centre.

18 students from the school participated in this visit to the Maldives Discovery Centre

Apart from the coral propagation program

and Marine Discovery Centre located at

aimed at saving coral reefs, the Marine

The Marina at CROSSROADS. This was a

Discovery Centre also hosts a laboratory

fruitful and fun-filled visit for the students,

where marine research and longitudinal

conducted to raise awareness about the

studies are conducted.

Maldives’ culture and environment. During


ACCOMMODATION 43

‘OCEAN ENCOUNTERS’ PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION AT SHANGRI-LA’S VILLINGILI RESORT & SPA project to support the regeneration of coral

Nature project, protects the local habitats

reefs in the Indian Ocean.

of

numerous

Shangri-La

properties

throughout the globe. Shangri-La’s Villingili To further enhance the aquatic experience,

Resort & Spa, Maldives’ Reef Care project

visitors to Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard,

focuses on replanting fragmented corals

London and Shangri-La Hotel, Paris can

to regenerate the reefs. The resort has

enjoy ocean-inspired cocktails created

successfully planted over 2,000 healthy

by each hotel’s talented bar teams. At

corals, which are essential for underwater

Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London,

biodiversity.

the team at Gong Bar has created “The Azure” cocktail, priced at £18, is made with

‘The waters surrounding the resorts in

bergamot-infused gin, Blue Curacao, saline

the Maldives and Mauritius are teeming

solution and sea samphire. While Paris’s Le

with life, creating incredible opportunities

Bar Botaniste team have concocted “The

to encounter marine animals; a true

Nautilus”, priced at €27, made with oyster

underwater paradise for divers,” said

leaf–infused gin, dill-infused vodka, Noilly

Lecoeur. “Through sharing my photography

Prat and smoked salt. In Paris, the CHI,

of this underwater world, I am proud to

The Spa therapists have also created the

contribute to Shangri-La’s SANCTUARY

60-minute Indian Ocean inspired treatment

project to raise awareness of the importance

to bring the relaxed atmosphere of the

of biodiversity protection.”

islands to the city’s 16th arrondissement.

Discover the vibrant marine world captured

The “Ocean Encounters” exhibition will run

by

Greg

at Shangri-La Hotel, Paris from 29 October

Lecoeur, at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort

to 22 November 2019 and at Shangri La

& Spa, Maldives and Shangri-La’s Le

Hotel, At The Shard, London from 30

Touessrok Resort & Spa, Mauritius. The

October to 15 November 2019. In Paris,

“Ocean Encounters” exhibition will also be

20 large-scale photographs will be on view

exhibited across the four hotels:

throughout the ground floor public areas of

Shangri-La Hotel, Paris

the palace hotel open for all guests to enjoy.

Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard,

In London, visitors to The Shard will be able

London

to view 15 of Lecoeur’s photographs with

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa,

five exhibited at the ground entrance to the

Maldives

hotel, five in the reception lobby on the 35th

Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort &

floor and five displayed in the Sky Lounge on

Spa, Mauritius

the 34th floor. The underwater photography

• •

award-winning

photographer,

displayed will feature manta rays, colorful Corals reefs, pods of dolphins, tropical

surgeonfish indigenous to the Maldivian

fish, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, and

coral reef, endangered hawksbill turtles,

majestic manta rays will swim through

humpback whales breeding in Mauritian

Shangri-La’s

this

waters, and many other fascinating marine

autumn as part of the “Ocean Encounters”

encounters showcasing the diverse life of

photographic exhibition created by Greg

the Indian Ocean. Following the European

Lecoeur. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

shows, the exhibition will travel home to

commissioned the National Geographic

be exhibited at the group’s Indian Ocean

award-winning photographer to capture

resorts where the images were captured.

the beauty of the underwater worlds of

All photographic prints created by Greg

Shangri-La’s resorts in the Maldives and

Leceour and exhibited across the four

Mauritius. With this exclusive series of

hotels will be available for purchase and

images, the group hopes to inspire visitors

priced from 250 to 850 Euros. Benefitting

to learn more about the Indian Ocean

the region’s marine ecosystem, 100 percent

environment and how to protect this vitally

of the proceeds of each sale will go towards

important ecosystem.

SANCTUARY, Shangri-La’s Care for Nature

European

properties

A percentage of the proceeds from the

A haven for sea life including turtles,

cocktails and spa treatments will also

dolphins and hammerhead sharks, Shangri-

benefit the SANCTUARY fund to protect the

La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives is

Indian Ocean coral reefs.

perfect for both beginner underwater explorers and experienced divers. Travelers

Sharing

the

beauty

of

the

marine

can discover a myriad of life snorkeling

environment and inspiring its protection is

in the house reef or can explore further

a cause close to Lecoeur’s heart and one

afield and further underwater at over 25

nurtured since his childhood in Nice on the

world-class dive locations surrounding the

Mediterranean Sea. Lecoeur has traveled

private island, including the British Loyalty

throughout the globe training his lens on

shipwreck.

the teeming communities of life underwater to share his experiences with the public

During his time in the Indian Ocean, Lecoeur

and raise awareness of the fragility of

also explored the stunning marine life of

our ecosystems and the need to preserve

Mauritius at Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok

biodiversity. His work has won numerous

Resort & Spa. Located on the most secluded

awards, including National Geographic

bay in Mauritius and boasting its own

“Nature Photographer of the Year” in 2016.

private island, the resort offers multiple

“We are thrilled to have had Greg visit

opportunities

our wonderful resorts in the Maldives and

underwater life. Mauritian waters are home

Mauritius and that he had the opportunity

to brightly colored tropical fish, sperm

to explore the thrilling marine life of both

whales, dolphins, and whale sharks. Almost

islands. His extraordinary photographs

completely encircled by a barrier coral

capture the stunning beauty that surrounds

reef, travelers can explore hundreds of

our resorts and we hope this will inspire

diving sites, shipwrecks dating back to the

travelers to discover the natural wonders

18th and 19th centuries, and a dramatic

of the Indian Ocean for themselves,” said

topography including grand caverns, caves,

John Northen, Executive Vice President -

and arches, which, when the light filters

Middle East, India, and the Indian Ocean,

through, offer incredible sights.

Shangri-La Group. Launched in 2010 with the aim of making a concerted effort towards biodiversity conservation SANCTUARY,

and

habitat

Shangri-La’s

protection, Care

for

to

discover

nature

and


44 ACCOMMODATION

SUN ISLAND RESORT CELEBRATES 21ST ANNIVERSARY

Sun Island Resort and Spa, owned and

progress of the company. We started with

operated by leading local hotel group

a few, but now we have grown not only in

Villa Hotels & Resorts celebrated its 21st

numbers but also in talents and creativity.

anniversary on 07th November 2019. The

I would like to dedicate this success to all

General Manager of Sun Island Resort,

staff of Sun Island Resort and Spa who are

Abdulla Fathhey’s anniversary message

the ones turning vision into reality with their

was posted on the resort’s social media

hard work, commitment and loyalty towards

accounts. The message read as follows:

the company throughout the years.”

“We are proud and honored to celebrate

Faththey ended the message by thanking all

the 21st anniversary of Sun Island Resort

their customers who have chosen the resort

and Spa today, the 7th of November

as the holiday destination and by wishing all

2019. On behalf of the Sun Island team, I

a very Happy Anniversary. Sun Island

would like to express my sincere gratitude

offers over 460 guest rooms, including

to our honorable Chairman and our MD for

Standard Beach Bungalows, Superior Beach

creating a wonderful environment where

Bungalows, Beach Pool Villas, Sunset Villas,

there are plenty of opportunities for growth

Water Bungalows and Presidential Suites,

and development.”

making it the largest resort in the Maldives.

He further highlighted, “An achievement

Sun Island has also recently introduced

of 21 years wouldn’t have been possible

brand new Beach Pool Villas, offering

without their vision, guidance and learning

enhanced living and relaxation facilities to

opportunities for our betterment and

guests.

TWIN ISLAND FESTIVE EXPERIENCES AT BANYAN TREE VABBINFARU & ANGSANA IHURU Underwater

adventures,

festive

Guests are encouraged to come as they

performances and Christmas activities

are for New Year’s Eve, even barefoot if

set against a stunning backdrop of the

they prefer but they can dress up and get

Indian Ocean await guests of Banyan Tree

that perfect Instagram-worthy Christmas

Vabbinfaru and Angsana Ihuru this year.

shot on the specially designed Festive Photobooth.

Island Festivities The Festive Celebration will begin with the

New Year’s Eve at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru

Decorating and Lighting of the Christmas

will be for those who seek laid back

Trees on the 22nd of December. Christmas

celebration under the stars. The resident

Eve will be traditional with a small twist as

acoustic

Santa will arrive by boat instead of the sleigh

throughout the evening until the countdown.

on the 24th, followed by lively Christmas

For guests who prefer to dance their night

Carols while guests enjoy cocktails and

away and welcome the New Year under

canapés.

twirling disco lights, they can head over to

On the morning of 25th, Santa and his

band

will

serenade

guests

Angsana Ihuru and show their moves on the

by the time-honored treatments at Banyan

For non-swimmers, swimming lessons or

dance floor during the DJ performance.

Tree Spa. Guests can reconnect to nature

guided snorkeling can be arranged.

by meditations and yoga classes led by

divers will visit the Rannamaari Wreck to check out the resident guitarfish and other

‘Tis the Season for the Kiddies

the resorts’ in-house Yoga instructor. A

Guests can visit the Marine Lab to

marine creatures.

A series of fun activities await for the kids!

romantic cruise on the Indian Ocean during

participate in conservation activities such

The little ones can try kids-yoga on the

the Christmas or New Year’s Eve is also a

as coral planting, citizen science snorkeling,

Fun activities will commence at Banyan

beach, coral planting, or bracelet making

one of a kind Festive Experience.

and Marine Talk.

Tree Beach such as Festive Games, Zumba

from recycled fishing nets. For something a

Session, and Beach Volleyball every day

little more festive, kids can decorate their

A team of experienced dive instructors

For something a little extra, in case the

before the sunset. Live arts with local

own gingerbread man or create Christmas

will offer the most wonderful underwater

North East wind blows a little bit stronger,

market experience and t-shirt painting

cards using recycled paper.

adventures to divers and non-divers alike.

guests can expect a kiteboarding show from

Divers can meet the resident guitarfish,

the resorts’ kite surfers including one of Maldives’ finest, Ahmed Hamdhan (Hambe).

are available for the crafty and the muchanticipated activity ‘Swim Across the

Activity Highlights

batfish and moray eels of the legendary

Channel,’ an 890-meter swim between the

Those who seek tranquility can retreat to

Rannamaari Wreck while beginners can

two islands will also take place.

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and be rejuvenated

explore Angsana Ihuru’s vibrant house reef.


ACCOMMODATION 45

VAKKARU MALDIVES TO HOST ‘A SEASIDE ADVENTURE’ WITH CLARIS THE MOUSE & MEGAN HESS This festive season, Vakkaru Maldives

Ferragamo and more. She has illustrated

welcomes internationally-renowned fashion

live for bespoke fashion shows around

illustrator and author, Megan Hess for the

the world like Viktor & Rolf, Christian

exclusive launch of her third book in The

Dior Couture, and Chopard at the 2019

Claris Collection, Claris: Bonjour Riviera on

Cannes International Film Festival. She

5 and 6 January 2020.

has written and illustrated numerous bestselling books, including Fashion House, The

Surrounded by glistening turquoise waters

Dress and Coco Chanel, New York, Paris,

and luxurious island settings, Vakkaru

Claris: The Chicest Mouse in Paris, Iconic,

Maldives will set the scene for Claris’ new

Elegance and more. Today, Megan Hess

adventure in the French Riviera. Guests

is one of the world’s most sought-after

5 January 2020 - Claris: Bonjour Riviera Book Launch and Poca who pre-book their seats, will be the first in fashion illustrators with a revered client list & Poca Fashion Launch (Limited the world to receive signed copies of Claris: that includes Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Seats) Bonjour Riviera hot off the press, view the

Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman

unveiling of Claris’ new resort collection by

and most recently Sarah Jessica Parker.

luxury fashion house, Poca & Poca, attend an exclusive illustration masterclass conducted

The Claris Collection was officially launched

by Megan Hess and enjoy a bespoke Megan

in 2018 offering readers delightful rhyming

Hess dessert table on Orthodox Christmas

tales about courage, compassion and a

night.

stylish little mouse. From chasing her

Megan Hess’ 2006 illustration of the New

dream of moving to Paris in Claris: The

York Times number one selling book,

Chicest Mouse in Paris, to racing against

Sex and The City by Candace Bushnell

the clock to attend Paris Fashion Week in

catapulted her onto the world stage where

Claris: Fashion Fiasco, follow Claris’ next

she began illustrating portraits for the New

adventure as she stows away on the family

York Times, Italian Vogue, Vanity Fair,

trip to the French Riviera in Claris: Bonjour

TIME magazine and more. Megan’s skills

Riviera. “The Claris Collection is destined

and iconic designs have also been specially

to delight fashion-obsessed readers of all

commissioned by Bergdorf Goodman in

ages. It is about a little mouse who loves

New York, Harrods of London and used in

fashion, has an enormous heart and chases

global campaigns for FENDI, Tiffany & Co,

her dreams with courage and compassion,”

Prada, Cartier, Dior, Valentino, Salvatore

says Megan Hess.

AMILLA FUSHI BANS USE OF PLASTIC STRAWS As part of its commitment to protecting

Amilla Fushi in partnership with Parley has

the marine environment, Amilla Fushi has

also implemented a strategy to no longer

removed all plastic straws from the resort

purchase single-use plastic bottles, rather

and replaced them with paper straws.

converting to reusable glass bottles, as well as limiting plastic usage throughout the

Located in the Baa Atoll UNESCO World

resort. The resort has a water bottling plant

Biosphere

is

on the island to provide guests and Amilla

committed to marine conservation. As such,

Islanders with pure water; negating the

the resort is striving to reduce all single-use

need for plastic bottles.

Reserve,

Amilla

Fushi

plastics (that can end up in the ocean and harm marine-life) and to work in harmony with the natural bounty of the area.

Set

against

the

crystal-clear

Timeless creations that are to be cherished and treasured forever. 6 January 2020 - Megan Hess Fashion Illustration Masterclass (Limited Seats)

waters

Limited to only the first 10 guests who

surrounding Vakkaru Maldives and under

book, this is an exclusive experience where

the shaded coconut trees, guests will be

Megan Hess will be conducting a fashion

treated to a Megan Hess book reading of

illustration masterclass.

Claris: Bonjour Riviera and a conversation with Megan on her inspiration behind

Vakkaru Maldives’ collection of ultra-

Claris as a character and the concept of

immersive and cherished guest experiences

her new book. Alongside the book launch,

is created in partnership with guest

luxury fashion brand Poca & Poca by sister

experiences

and brother duo Karolina and Wiktor

Creative Collaborations. Watch out for more

Gniewek, will unveil their newest Claris

experiences from culinary greats, wellness

fashion collection consisting of six key

mentors and scent experts to fashion

looks – a resort collection in hues of blues

collaborations and exquisite artisanal pop-

and creams inspired by Claris’ upcoming

ups as Vakkaru Maldives aims to inspire

seaside adventure. Crafted by a team of

guests by creating timeless memories and

master tailors in Poland with precision and

effortlessly beautiful moments.

skill, each design is of the highest quality, exemplifying an energetic and youthful spirit.

specialist

The

Magnolia


46 ACCOMMODATION

TODDY INC. OPENS FLAGSHIP OUTLET AT THE MARINA AT CROSSROADS MALDIVES

Local apparel brand, Toddy Inc. has officially

showroom at STO Trade Centre (in Malé).

of its kind introduced in the Maldives.

outlets such as Hums, Toddy, Raidha’s

opened its flagship outlet at The Marina

According to Toddy, prices are the same for

Toddy tees are made to the Global Organic

Maldives and some of the world’s premium

at CROSSROADS Maldives on November

both locals and tourists. One of their aims is

Textile Standard (GOTS) and by a fair trade

shopping outlets featuring extraordinary

16th, 2019 under the slogan “Toddy x

to make Toddy an internationally recognized

certified factories. Besides this, they also

fashion-forward

Party”. Founded in 2009, Toddy Inc. is a

brand and also provide a platform for local

use biodegradable organic cotton paper

beauty products, souvenirs and luxuries,

100% locally owned and operated apparel

artists to showcase their unique talents.

bags and sell environmentally friendly

or want to take yourself on a gastronomical

related company that seeks to tell the

With the opening of this outlet, it is a good

products such as reusable flasks and more.

journey in one of the world-renowned F&B

untold story of Maldives through its unique

opportunity for them as well as local brands

The Marina at CROSSROADS Maldives

outlets such as The Hard Rock Café, Café

t-shirts, souvenirs, and other products.

to enter into the international market. In

is the first of its kind destination in the

del Mar or Ministry of Crab, this is the place

addition to this, Toddy is hoping to launch

Maldives. Conveniently located just 15

to be. Keep an eye out for more events to

its online shop in the near future.

minutes away from Malé City, they offer

come.

The event saw live music by local musicians Shiuz, Nish Nashid, and Symbolic Records.

clothing,

a wonderful range of facilities, services,

There was a special storewide discount

All clothing materials available at Toddy

and entertainment to ensure a remarkable

of 20% on all products including two new

are made with 100% organic and eco-

experience for every visitor. Whether you

additions which will also be available in their

friendly cotton. Notably, this was the first

are in for a shopping spree at trending

RANAURAA’ INN BECOMES THE FIRST GUESTHOUSE TO BAN SINGLE-USE PLASTIC IN DHIFFUSHI Ranauraa’ guesthouse

Inn

has

become

the

to

ban

single-use

first

plastic

Velana International Airport. This is just a 45 minutes scenic ride on a speedboat.

in Dhiffushi. Instead, Ranaura Inn and Ranaura Cafe’ & Resto have started serving

The guesthouse offers a unique experience

purified water in reusable glass bottles to

where guests are made to feel at home with

protect the rich marine life.

spacious air-conditioned rooms, equipped with a flat-screen TV, a work area and free

Ranauraa Inn sits on one of the most pristine

WIFI. All rooms have Safe, Minibar, Tea/

islands of the Maldives and is designed to

Coffee maker, Ironing facilities and Modern

mesmerize and leave you with priceless

Bathroom facilities.

memories to last a lifetime. Surrounded by the crystal clear blue waters of Maldives, this guesthouse is built on the island of Kaafu Dhiffushi – 37.60km away from

accessories,


ACCOMMODATION 47

‘GUESS WHO’S COOKING’, A WHOLE NEW DINING EXPERIENCE BY SONEVA JANI Soneva, the leading eco-luxury resort

Soneva Jani’s specialty chefs, visiting chefs

and Chef Ansari (Indian thali) from Soneva

There will also be the occasional lunch pop-

operator, recently unveiled a new surprise,

from Soneva Fushi, its sister resort in the

Jani; Chef Sobah (Maldivian cuisine) from

up from 12:30-3 pm.

pop-up dining experience, called ‘Guess

Maldives, and Soneva Kiri on Koh Kood

Soneva Fushi; and Chef Benz (Thai cuisine)

Who’s Cooking’, at Soneva Jani.

island in Thailand, as well as international

from Soneva Kiri.

visiting chefs. A rough idea of the menu will

Guests with dietary restrictions, food allergies or those who prefer not to eat

The new dining experience has a secret

be revealed on the day of the experience,

The price per person varies based on the

certain food items should let their Mr./

menu concept, where the diners won’t

but only once diners are seated at the tables

particular menu of the day, starting at

Ms. Friday knows when booking secret/no

know which chef is cooking or what cuisine

on the sand will the chef emerge from the

$175 for Soneva’s chefs and $350 for a

menu dining experiences well in advance.

they will be preparing until just before the

cooking tent to present the menu – outlining

degustation menu by a visiting international

This will ensure that the chef knows what

meal. The kitchen is housed within the

the concept, ingredients and the inspiration

chef. “Guess Who’s Cooking” is only

or what not to cook.

walls of a Bedouin tent, and while there is

for the dishes.

available two to three nights a week, seating

room for dining inside the tent in case of

just 16 diners. Dinner is served from

rain, the main experience is on the beach.

The lineup of Soneva chefs will include Chef

7:30-10:30 pm, while a sunset cocktail

The chefs who will be featured include

Kat (Thai cuisine), Chef Sun (Asian cuisine)

experience is offered from 6:30-7:30 pm.

EXCITING ACTIVITIES PLANNED FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON AT FUSHIFARU From 20th December to 1st January 2019,

The festivities will continue with Boxing

festivities will be in full swing at Fushifaru,

Day Mini Olympics, sunset yoga, mocktail

Maldives. With Christmas and New Year’s

making classes and live music in the

Eve around the corner, Fushifaru is getting

evenings. The main event on New Year’s

ready to create unforgettable memories for

Eve will be the Pre-Dinner Party, Grand

its guests and staff this festive season.

Gala Buffet and the Countdown Party to make sure we say farewell to 2019 the right

Fushifaru is going to celebrate Christmas

way!

in style with a mixture of Maldivian and Western traditions. Christmas activities

Fushifaru is extremely excited to celebrate

will range from decorating the Christmas

this festive season and to start the new

tree, singing Christmas carols and going

year with an abundance of happiness and

on a Christmas treasure hunt, to authentic

success.

Thaana

writing

classes

and

coconut

painting. On Christmas Day, be prepared

For those interested in staying at Fushifaru

for Santa’s arrival, a Christmas feast and

this festive season, reservations can be

snowman making throughout the day along

made by visiting www.fushifaru.com or by

with a champagne party and a family movie

calling +960 662 0202.

under the stars!


48 ACCOMMODATION

‘MALDIVES KIMONO’ OFFICIALLY UNVEILED AT THE FIVE CONTINENT KIMONO COLLECTION SHOW Imagine One World’s Kimono Project has

The “Imagine One World Kimono Project”

unveiled the ‘Maldives Kimono’ at the

is a Japan-headquartered endeavor sharing

Five Continent Kimono Collection Show in

the beauty of the traditional hand-made

Japan. The Kimono was sponsored by Ms.

Japanese kimono. Unique garments for

Akemi Sakai and designed and made by Mr.

each of 206 countries are created to unite

Sekiya Yukihide.

the world in peace and harmony in Tokyo 2020.

The ‘Maldivian Kimono’ showcases the national symbols of the country and what

The Project intends to make one Kimono

the Maldives represents for including the

and its appropriate fitting, the Obi (sash),

national flower; pink rose, the colors of the

for every country in the world, based on its

Maldivian flag, mesmerizing images of the

image for the country.

sea world and the lacquer work which is the most distinctive forms of handicraft.

INDIA TO DEVELOP ‘MALDIVES STYLE’ LUXURY WATER VILLAS Looking to develop high-value tourist

“Bids have been invited for the seven

destinations with the added luxury of

coveted projects, which will be developed on

‘Maldives style’ water villas, Niti Aayog,

a priority basis in public-private partnership

the Indian government’s think-tank, has

mode. The idea is to make India a major

prepared a Rs 1,500 crore water and land

tourist destination,” an official stated.

villa project in the lagoons of Lakshadweep and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

The Aayog has proposed the development of 125 rooms in water villas to be constructed

It is reported that along with the villas,

on Minicoy island, Suheli island and Kadmat

infrastructure

developed,

island of Lakshadweep. It plans to construct

including the building of new airports,

460 rooms inland villas on Long Island, Aves

the introduction of seaplanes to these

Island, Smith Island and Shaheed Dweep

destinations and strengthening helicopter

island in Andaman & Nicobar.

would

be

services as well as floating jetties to ensure smooth accessibility.

NOKU MALDIVES INTRODUCES #SAYYESTOREUSEABLE WITH ECO BAGS As part of its continued efforts towards

the importance of the use of eco-bags

social sustainability and to protect the

throughout Noonu Atoll with this campaign.

environment, Noku Maldives has initiated

As part of its commitment to social

a campaign #sayyestoreuseable with eco-

responsibility, the resort has also carried

bags.

out island cleanups and island fumigation when needed.

Noku Maldives presented the Speaker of the Parliament, former President Mohamed

Noku Maldives is situated in Noonu Atoll,

Nasheed and the Deputy Speaker of the

just 45 minutes by seaplane from Velana

Parliament Eva Abdulla with the very first

International Airport. With 50 modern

design of the reusable eco bags to inaugurate

private villas on Island, the resort offers

the #sayyestoreuseable campaign. The

comfort, space, and tranquility.

resort aims to spread awareness about


ACCOMMODATION 49

JUMEIRAH VITTAVELI INTRODUCES APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME Jumeirah Vittaveli has introduced an

Vittaveli apprenticeship programme is open

apprenticeship

the

for Maldivians who passed O-Level exams

first batch of 14 apprentices inaugurated at

along with an assessment conducted by the

a special ceremony held at the resort eli on

resort.

programme,

with

15th November 2019. The ceremony was officiated by Former Maldives President

On successful completion of the programme,

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

apprentices will be offered employment opportunities at Jumeirah Vittaveli as well

This apprenticeship programme is an eight-

as sister properties across the world. The

month-long programme aiming to train

second batch of the Jumeirah Vittaveli

passionate Maldivian school graduates

Apprenticeship Programme will be open

in various areas of the hospitality sector.

for applications in summer 2020, for entry

During the first two months, the participants

in November 2020. The General Manager

will be trained in all major fields, including

at

culinary, food and beverage, front office and

and Former President Maumoon Abdul

housekeeping. The participants will also be

Gayoom addressed the participants and

given on-the-job training in their chosen

guests at the event.

Jumeirah

Vittaveli Abhijit

Ghosh

area of specialization. The Jumeirah

SONEVA TO WELCOME RENOWNED SCULPTOR SCOTT CHASELING AT ITS ART & GLASS STUDIO Soneva Fushi will welcome cross-medium

of materials. His recent work has drawn

sculptor Scott Chaseling for an exclusive

upon his travels on the Camino de Santiago

artistic residency between December 1 to

and kayaking the River Murray, where

22.

he made sculptures from the detritus he collected along the way. His many accolades

With a collection displayed in some of

include the 2017 Hindmarsh Glass Prize,

the world’s most prestigious institutions,

the 2004 Ranamok Glass Prize, and the

including Japan’s 21st Century Museum of

2002 Bavarian State Prize Gold Medal.

Contemporary Art and Germany’s Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf, Chaseling’s work

Located at Soneva Fushi, Soneva’s world-

examines the notions of mobility, transition,

leading resort in the Baa Atoll, the Soneva

and liminality – the ‘non-place’, positioned

Art and Glass Studio opened in August 2015

at the threshold between things.

and is the Maldives’ first and only hot glass studio. Hosting some of the world’s top

During his Soneva residency, Chaseling

glass artists, guests can watch the experts

will be creating his unique and thought-

in action, commission custom artworks or

provoking works of art from recycled glass

even have a go at learning the age-old art

bottles – with these one-of-a-kind pieces

of glassblowing for themselves to create a

available for guests to purchase.

masterpiece with the experienced glassworking team.

A

multi-award-winning

artist,

Scott

Chaseling’s career spans two decades

An estimated five tonnes of glass waste is

and has been inspired in part by his own

produced in the Baa Atoll alone each month,

nomadic existence – born in Australia,

with resorts typically crushing waste bottles

he has lived and worked as an artist in

and selling this on to recycling companies

Germany, France, Japan, and the US. While

or, worse, dumping the waste directly into

his earlier works focused on this personal

the sea.

narrative, Chaseling’s later collections have examined the environment and the impact


50 ACCOMMODATION

‘BUY A T-SHIRT AND PLANT A PALM TREE’: BEYYAA CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF Local private company, ‘The Beyyaa’ has

former President Mohamed Nasheed and

for every t-shirt purchased. Speaking at

The t-shirts will available for purchase at

launched a campaign together with national

Maldivian’s

Director

the ceremony, former President Nasheed

Maldivian airline lounges in four days for

airline Maldivian to plant a coconut palm

at a special ceremony held at the airlines

emphasized the campaign’s significance

USD 30 (approximately MVR 462.30).

tree for every purchase of a t-shirt under

‘Moonima’ lounge at Velana International

and remarked upon how it can play a huge

the campaign. The campaign titled ‘Beyyaa

Airport (VIA) on Saturday. Under this

role to improve the greenery that is being

T-Shirt

inaugurated

campaign, a palm tree will be planted and

lost to climate change and to man-made

by the Speaker of the Parliament and

nurtured in the Maldives by Beyyaa company

environmental consequences.

Movement’

was

Deputy

Managing

FILITHEYO ISLAND RESORT WELCOMES 1.5 MILLIONTH TOURIST OF 2019 TO THE MALDIVES, MS. MARINA KAZAKOVA Filitheyo Island Resort, managed by AAA

Ahmed Nazeer, Secretary-General of MATI.

Hotels & Resorts has welcomed the 1.5

The venue was decorated for the ceremony

millionth tourist of 2019 to the Maldives, and the couple was awarded congratulatory Ms.Marina Kazakova from Russia.

certificate and special gifts representing traditional Maldivian culture and tourism.

Mrs. Marina Kazakova was commemorated with the stamping of her passport by the

This is the couple’s 7th time to the Maldives

Maldives Immigration officer. Mrs. Marina

and they are staying at Filitheyo Island

Kazakova and her husband were then

Resort, a natural tropical island which

escorted with a traditional Maldivian Bodu

is lush in vegetation and surrounded by

Beru performance to the VIP lounge area.

a stunning house reef. The resort offers

They were welcomed by the honorable

guests what can be only be described as a

Ali Waheed, Minister of Tourism, Mr.

barefoot luxury retreat.

Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director of MMPRC, Mr. Moosa Solih, Acting Managing Director of MACL, and Chief Guest Mr.


TRAVEL AGENTS 51

TRIP.COM GROUP AND TRIPADVISOR ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP China’s largest online travel agency Trip.

In addition, Trip.com Group and TripAdvisor

com Group, formerly known as Ctrip,

have reached a governance agreement, with

announced a strategic partnership with

which the former will have a nomination

US travel and restaurant website company

right for one TripAdvisor Inc board seat.

TripAdvisor to extend the footprints of both

The nomination will be subject to related

companies to more parts of the world.

regulatory bodies’ approval.

Under this partnership, Ctrip Investment

To maintain the board seat, Trip.com Group

Holding Ltd, the subsidiary of Trip.com

will acquire up to 6.95 million shares of the

Group, has entered into a joint venture

Nasdaq-listed TripAdvisor, which are valued

with TripAdvisor’s subsidiary TripAdvisor

at $317.6 million. The acquisition should

Singapore Private Ltd. Trip.com will hold 60

be carried out in open market transactions

percent of the new joint venture, providing

and completed one year upon regulatory

cash and market expertise. TripAdvisor

approvals.

will take the remaining 40 percent, and be responsible for providing a longterm

Stephen

Kaufer,

president

and

chief

exclusive brand and content license and

executive officer of TripAdvisor, said that the

down 7 percent year-on-year, according

to promote Chinese travel destinations to

certain other assets to the joint venture.

latest strategic partnership will help expand

to the statement. As the company’s Chief

more parts of the world.

its global reach. As one of the largest and

Financial Officer Ernst Teunissen explained,

Both companies have agreed to share

fastest-growing travel markets in the world,

hotel click-based auction trends have to

Globalization will be at the heart for the

inventories in travel categories at the

China is also home to an increasing number

some extent dampened its 2019 outlook.

company’s development strategy in the next

joint venture level. TripAdvisor China will

of outbound travelers. In this sense, the

Therefore, they are “prudently reducing and

decade, said Trip.com Group’s co-founder

manage the joint venture’s business on a

partnership with Trip.com Group will help

reallocating expenses” in certain parts of its

Liang Jianzhang at the travel agency’s

global scale.

TripAdvisor to reach its long-term goals in

business “to preserve strong profitability

20th anniversary in late October. Founded

the Chinese market.

while investing in strategic growth areas”.

in 1999, Trip.com has seen its number of

Also announced was the global content

TripAdvisor made its debut in China in 2009

users surge to more than 400 million by

selected

Established in 2000, TripAdvisor provides

and made a new Chinese branding in 2015.

the end of September, among which 100

TripAdvisor content can be distributed on

services to nearly 460 million travelers every

In a news conference at the end of last

million are overseas.

Trip.com Group’s brands, including Trip.

month, according to its third-quarter results

year, TripAdvisor China president Zhu Ming

com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar.

the quarter total revenue was $428 million,

said that it is one of TripAdvisor’s goals

agreement

under

which

ACCOR AND ALIBABA FORM ALLIANCE TO IMPROVE ‘CONSUMER EXPERIENCE’ Accor and Alibaba Group, the world’s

hotels, access catering services, book

largest retail commerce business, have

entertainment and take advantage of other

announced a strategic collaboration to

lifestyle services. Payments can be made

develop a series of digital applications and

using Alipay, a digital payment service

loyalty programs to improve the consumer

operated by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial.

and traveler experience over the next five years.

Accor will also offer Chinese consumers a hassle-free hotel experience through

The strategic collaboration will leverage

its “Haoke” program – geared towards

Alibaba’s nearly 700 million consumers

Chinese travelers. Haoke, which means

across its China retail marketplaces to

“welcome” in Chinese, is a certification

enable more Chinese travelers to enjoy

program that ensures Accor’s hotels are

Accor’s world-class consumer offerings.

ready to welcome Chinese guests by

The collaboration between Accor and

and benefits available to its massive

It will allow for seamless integration of

incorporating Chinese-language, Chinese

Alibaba will be instrumental to the roll-out

consumer base, leveraging its ecosystem,

Accor’s customer journeys within Alibaba’s

dishes on menus, Chinese-speaking staff,

of Accor’s soon-to-be-launched lifestyle

consumer insights, and digital marketing

comprehensive ecosystem. Alibaba’s travel

and other services and payment systems

loyalty program, ALL – Accor Live Limitless.

capabilities, accelerating the roll-out of ALL

arm Fliggy will allow consumers to book

that meet the needs of Chinese travelers.

Alibaba will make the program’s services

in China and around the world.


52 CELEBRITY NEWS

Who: Indian Actor Aayush Sharma

with wife Arpita and son Ahi

Who: Former Italian football

Who: Indian Actress Mandira Bedi

player Gianluca Zambrotta

Where: OZEN by Atmosphere at

Where: Cheval Blanc Randheli

Where: Maldives

When: November

When: November

• •

Maadhoo •

Who: Famous football star Yaya Touré

Who: Indian star Sonu Sood

player Martina Hingis and family

Where: Maldives

Where: Maldives

Where: Taj Exotica Resort & Spa

When: November

When: November

Maldives When: November

Who: UK’s artist Josh Daniel

Where: Angsana Velavaru Maldives

When: November

Who: Indian television actors Karan

Who: Model, Emily Ratajkowski

Mehra & Nisha Rawal

Where: Waldorf Astoria Maldives

Where: Maldives

When: November

Who: Serena Williams & husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian

When: November

Who: Swiss former professional tennis

Where: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

When: November

Who: ‘The Most Interesting Man In the World’, Gianluca Vacchi

Where: Waldorf Astoria Maldives

When: November

Who: World No. 2 tennis player, Novak Djokovic

Ithaafushi

Where: Maldives

When: November

When: November


CELEBRITY NEWS 53

Who: Tennis legend Roger Federer

Where: Cheval Blanc Randheli

When: November

Who: British decathlete Ashley Bryant

Where: Dhigali Maldives

When: November

Who: Czech tennis player Jiří Veselý

Where: Maldives

When: November

Who: Indian actors Vatsal Sheth &

Ishita Dutta

Who: Stranger Things star Millie

Who: Indian model and actress Saiyami Kher

Bobby Brown

Where: Raffles Maldives Meradhoo

Where: Soneva

Where: Reethi Faru Resort

When: November

When: November

When: November

Who: Victoria’s Secret model

Who: Tennis player Karen Khachanov

Who: Egyptian actress & beauty queen

Alessandra Ambrosio

Where: One and Only Reethi Rah

Where: Waldorf Astoria Maldives

When: November

Yasmine Sabri

Maldives

Where: Maldives

When: November

When: November

Who: Portuguese actor Lourenço

Who: Brazilian footballer Kaká

Who: Indian actor Jagapati Babu

Ortigão

Where: The St. Regis Maldives

Where: Maldives

Vommuli Resort

When: December

Where: Maldives

When: December

When: December


54 TTM

TTM HIGHLIGHTS OF 2019


TTM 55


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