TTM Periodical | Issue 007 |May 2020

Page 1

May 2020

www.traveltrademaldives.com ttm@traveltrademaldives.com

ISSUE 007 International Travel Trade Periodical of Maldives

AIR TRAVEL POST COVID-19: WHEN CAN MALDIVES AVIATION INDUSTRY BOUNCE BACK?

THAAIF AHMED MOHAMED RASHEED

HEAD OF FINANCE, HERITANCE AARAH

DIRECTOR OF SALES AT ANANTARA DHIGU RESORT, ANANTARA VELI RESORT & NALADHU PRIVATE ISLAND MALDIVES

MOHAMED MAHDY

ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT, ADMINISTRATION AT AITKEN SPENCE HOTELS & RESORT MALDIVES

IN THIS ISSUE : Roadshows & Fairs | Statistics | Government | New Properties | People | Aviation | Awards/Listings/Features | Accommodation | Travel Agents | Tourism Marketer’s Section

12 - 14 SEP 2020


02 FOREWORD & TEAM

PUBLISHER’S NOTE Welcome to the May 2020 issue of “TTM

been postponed to later this year. We

completed in a time frame of 18 months

Periodical”. TTM Periodical is a travel

at Orca Media Group are assessing the

with over 2000, 360° VR panoramic tours

trade publication published by Travel

situation and will announce a confirmed

of more than 150 islands. At Orca Media

Trade Maldives (TTM) - Maldives leading

date soon once the lockdown is over and

Group, we are fully equipped to deliver

international travel trade show.

travel ban is lifted.

this project with a well experienced content creation studio (Dynamyst) and

Encouraged by the massive influx of

In addition to this, on efforts to restore

digital marketing agency (Bee Digital) to

holidaymakers, Maldives set an ambitious

hype to the Maldives tourism industry,

compliment TTM team to successfully

target for 2020: receiving 2 million tourists.

Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) is pleased to

accomplish this project.

That was before COVID-19 pandemic

announce the launch maldivesvirtualtour.

brought the world to a standstill.

com in June 2020, a project that will assist

We at TTM are always grateful for the

Maldives tourism industry to reach new

support of our partners and industry

The crisis has wreaked havoc on the global

heights in destination marketing. Many

stakeholders and we hope to get your

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

economy, and Maldives is no exception.

experts believe that virtual reality will

continued support for TTM Maldives

Nashaath

The lucrative tourism industry is hit hard

help the travel and tourism industry in the

2020 and our new venture, the Maldives

DIRECTOR

where finding the path to recovery maybe

aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak.

Virtual Tour project. Together we will fight

OUR TEAM MANAGING DIRECTOR

Akhmeem Abdul Razzaq

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Dr. Hussain Sunny Umar

Ibrahim Areef

DIRECTOR

Mohamed Khoorsheed

MANAGER

Ahmed Nasir Aminath Yusra Ibrahim

a lot harder.

the pandemic and open our shores to the maldivesvirtualtour.com

will

enable

travelers around the world, hopefully

The much anticipated TTM Maldives

travelers across the globe to take a

soon. Till then please keep in good health.

2020, which was originally scheduled to

breathtaking virtual tour of discovery

Stay safe.

be held from 9th to 11th June has now

through Maldives. This project will be

PHOTOGRAPHY DYNAMYST Mazin Jazlaan

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

MARKETING

Ali Sageef Ibrahim Aminath Suha Mohamed Suma Abdul Rahman

Copyright c 2020 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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MEDIA & MARKETING COMPANY +960 7984664 | marketing@orcamedia.group www.orcamedia.group


ROADSHOWS & FAIRS 03

STAY SAFE, #VISITMALDIVESLATER

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations

With rising cases of COVID-19, the

around the globe, everyone has been

travelers has commenced a campaign to

Company (MMPRC) together with other

world, as we know it, has come to a

forced to put their travel plans on hold.

advise the holiday makers to stay home,

industry

standstill.

But who says you can’t plan a trip to the

stay safe during this global crisis and to

bucket list destination for the future?

visit the paradise destination later.

the

partners

destination

has

transformed

communication

from

home,

Everyone’s

practicing

working

social

from

distancing,

#VisitMaldives into #VisitMaldivesLater,

staying indoors, basically, taking their

in response to the moment of uncertainty

lives slow. The biggest drawback? With

MMPRC along with other partners in the

faced right now.

the travel bans and flight cancellations

industry, in efforts to lift up hope for the


04 ROADSHOWS & FAIRS

TTM MALDIVES 2020 TO BE POSTPONED AMID COVID-19 PANDEMIC TTM has announced that the TTM

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has led to

Maldives 2020 will be postponed as per

uncertainty in traveling and taking part in

the industry professional’s opinion.

fairs and roadshows all around the globe.

TTM conducted a survey to get industry

While ITB Berlin and ITB India 2020

opinion whether to postpone the TTM

canceled over COVID-19 fears, the

Maldives 2020 amid the COVID-19

Arabian Travel Market event in Dubai was

pandemic.

also postponed to a later date.

As

per

travel

trade

professionals feedback they prefer to have the TTM Maldives 2020 at a later

TTM is the largest international fair

date.

held in the Maldives and will showcase over 100 resorts/hotels & leading 200

TTM informs that they are assessing the

operators from the Top 30 countries to

situation and will announce a confirmed

the Maldives.

date soon.


STATISTICS 05

MALDIVES GUESTHOUSE INDUSTRY TO LOSE NEARLY USD 30 MILLION IN REVENUE well. As per the records from 2019, the

GAM estimates that it will take a minimum

guesthouse owners spend 26% of their

of 6 months for the guesthouse industry

income on electricity, water, utility bills

to be operational again and this will result

and for the TGST and green tax.

in the industry to loose USD 28.9 million. The survey was conducted to collect

They spend 56% of their income on wages

information on the current occupancy,

for their employees and for community

forecast, cancellation, impacts and how

related expenditures. This shows the

GAM could lobby in the situation.

important role guesthouse industry has on the community and the contribution it

GAM informs that they will prepare a

has on government revenues.

detailed report based on the result of survey and submit to all government

Guesthouse

Association

of

Maldives

The survey results revealed that most

With the travel bans in effect from the

related authorities.

(GAM) has revealed that according to the

guesthouses started the business with

major markets to the country like China,

This report will be used to help the related

survey carried out to identify the impact

loans and they spend a large sum on

Italy and the nationwide shutdown of the

authorities on deciding grants, areas to

of COVID-19, the Maldives guesthouse

land leases and rents. In addition to the

guesthouses, the industry has come to a

support etc.

industry will lose nearly USD 30 million

bills incurred, the owners spend their

halt. However, the guesthouses are still

in revenue.

income to pay the employees salaries as

incurring all these costs.

COVID-19 IMPACT TO BE THE WORST IN HISTORY OF MALDIVES TOURISM - AHMED NAZEER Maldives Association of Tourism Industry

Maldives together with the Ministry of

(MATI) Secretary General Ahmed Nazeer

Tourism and the Maldives Association of

has described the COVID-19 impact on

Tourism Industry (MATI) announced the

the Maldives tourism industry to be the

short-term financing solution to support

worst in the industry history.

the tourism sector.

Speaking at a function regarding the

The financing solution allows operational

BML’s short term financing facilities,

resorts and guesthouses to finance up

Nazeer highlighted the importance of

to US$2 million to manage their working

such a financing schemes to the industry

capital requirements, with a repayment

in a crisis like this.

period of 3 years.

“I started in the tourism industry in 1984.

Bank of Maldives CEO and MD, Tim

The COVID-19 pandemic is the worst

Sawyer stated “Although any impact will

impact the industry has faced to date”

depend on the extent and duration of

Nazeer added.

the outbreak, our tourism industry and local businesses are already facing an

The virus declared as a pandemic by WHO

unprecedented set of challenges. As the

is affecting travel industry throughout the

national bank, it is our responsibility to

globe and for a country highly dependent

support these businesses through this

on tourism, it is expected to affect the

period. Together with our partners, the

worst. Rumors about resorts laying off

short-term financing solution announced

scheme is not just for MATI members, it

To apply for the facility, customers

staff numbers and sending employees on

today will help manage working capital

is an opportunity for all establishments

can get in touch with their Relationship

no-pay leaves are currently circulating.

requirements, to cushion the impact.”

operating in the industry,” said Nazeer.

Manager, visit the nearest branch or call

During

the

uncertainty

facing

the Bank’s Contact Centre at 3330200 for

the

outbreak

“About a month ago, BML made a

Nazeer stated that the scheme would

globally, and to mitigate the risks to

proposal to MATI on how the bank

alleviate some of the pressure faced to

the country’s largest industry, Bank of

can assist the members. This financing

the cashflow of the establishments.

coronavirus

(COVID-19)

further details.


06 GOVERNMENT

EUROPEAN UNION PROVIDES EUR 2 MILLION GRANT TO MALDIVES TOURISM SECTOR

The

Government

the

Maldives’

EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the

Europe, the European Union is supporting

between the Maldives and the EU,

and

effective

Maldives, H.E Denis Chaibi, said “In these

efforts around the world to tackle the

especially

reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak is

unprecedented times, the EU-Maldives

outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic

times as now. I thank the EU for this

welcomed by the European Union and

collaborative approach is needed more

and mitigate the effects of the crisis.

timely assistance, which would help the

its Member States. This collaborative

than ever: it is only together that we can

This is about improving the preparedness

Maldives in strengthening its health sector

approach, which allowed for the swift and

address this global challenge, which was

and response to the outbreak, and

and assist in the economic recovery

orderly repatriation of European tourists,

unimaginable only a couple of months

about funding research to support the

efforts, in particular, in the tourism

has been appreciated by all.

ago. European solidarity are not empty

development of coronavirus vaccines and

related sectors. We also hope to receive

words: it means working jointly so that the

medication to help those affected.

greater participation from the EU for the

decisive,

of

transparent

during

such

extraordinary

To support the Maldives, the European

health and tourism sectors in the Maldives

Union will provide EUR 1 million to the

can benefit from European funding, and

Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E Abdulla

Covid-19 does not distinguish between

health sector and EUR 2 million to the

that Europeans will be able to come back

Shahid, said “EU’s offer of support is a

borders and it is only through joint efforts,

tourism industry, including the smaller

faster to the Maldives.” In addition to the

clear demonstration of the reinvigorated

we can overcome this pandemic.”

operators and their employees. The

coordination of certain flights back to

bonds of friendship and cooperation

MALDIVES EXTENDS STATE OF PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY The government has announced that they

institutions have been closed for another

have decided to extend the state of public

week as well. This extension was declared

health emergency till 30th April. The state

as the risk of the virus spreading in the

of public health was first declared on 12th

Maldives is still very high and the Director

March by the Director General of Public

General of Public Health had advised

Health.

taking the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the public.

A travel ban has been imposed by the government on March 14th under the

Maldives has reported 19 positive cases

state of a public health emergency. The

of the virus so far with 13 recoveries and

government offices and all educational

no fatalities.

country’s socio-economic recovery plans.


GOVERNMENT 07

TOURIST TESTED NEGATIVE LEAVES MALDIVES WITH GUARANTEED RETURN IN 2021 A

tourist

who

tested

COVID-19

has

left

negative Maldives

for

our fairy-tale took an unfortunate turn

with

that we didn’t expect. But our story will

guaranteed return in year 2021.

continue in 2021, together we will write a new chapter in the #SunnySideOfLife

\The Italian tourist, who developed

with the melody of palms and the songs

symptoms of the flu was also the

of the sea to keep us company. Wishes

youngest to be quarantined at the

from Maldives to Italy�

Vilivaru quarantined facility. Her parents described what they had to go through as

Maldives tourism industry is significantly

an unexpected and unfortunate incident.

affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government has taken border control

Tourism Minister Ali Waheed bid farewell

measures by temporarily suspending

to the family and gifted the family with

all tourist arrivals from China, Italy,

an all inclusive holiday to the family

Bangladesh, Iran, parts of South Korea,

in Maldives for year 2021.A sail boat

Spain, and certain regions of Germany

souvenir was gifted as a representation

and France.

of the offer which read, “The pages of

MALDIVES TEMPORARILY SHUTS DOWN ALL GUESTHOUSES Maldives

implements

a

temporarily

nationwide shutdown of guesthouses for

Maldives has over 600 guesthouses operating nationwide.

14 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking at a press conference, Tourism

Guesthouse

Minister Ali Waheed announced that no

(GAM) has started a survey to observe

tourist will be allowed to check-in to any

the

guesthouse or city hotel in the country

guesthouse industry. This survey is said

from 17th March 6pm, local time.

to include current occupancy, forecast,

Health Protection Agency (HPA) has

impact

Association of

of

COVID-19

Maldives on

the

cancellation, impacts and how GAM

Maldives has decreased tremendously.

the Maldives. The government has been

could lobby in this situation.

This

taking several precautionary measures,

previously announced a temporary ban

has

a

major

impact

on

the

guesthouses.

on tourists checking into hotels and

With the travel bans in effect from China,

guesthouses within the greater Male’

Italy, Bangladesh, Iran, parts of South

COVID-19 has been declared as a

(Male’, Villimale’, Hulhumale) area for 14

Korea, Spain, and certain regions of

pandemic by WHO, and there have

days.

Germany and France, tourist arrivals to

been 13 positive cases of COVID-19 in

against the disease including temporarily closing of schools and colleges.

video news network of maldives


08 GOVERNMENT

UNWTO APPOINTS MINISTER ALI WAHEED AS MEMBER OF GLOBAL TOURISM CRISIS COMMUNITY World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

meeting on 19th March, bringing together

has appointed its South Asia Regional

key UN agencies, the chairs of its Executive

Committee Chair and Tourism Minister

Council and Regional Commissions, and

of Maldives, Ali Waheed as a member in

private sector leaders.

the Global Tourism Crisis Community. Minister Ali Waheed said, “Maldives will

Tourism is the economic sector that

beat Covid-19 with the support from the

has been hardest hit by COVID-19 and

rest of the world and we will welcome you

all participants accepted an invitation

all in a not so far away future.”

from the UNWTO Secretary-General to become part of a Global Tourism Crisis

“We encourage the private sector, the

Committee, formed as UNWTO prepares

international

to launch a global guide for recovery.

community

and

fellow

citizens of the world to help each other, work together in solidarity and stay

The UNWTO-led Committee will hold

positive at these challenging times to

regular

defeat the virus”, he further added.

the need for coordinated and efficient

virtual

meetings,

reflecting

action by the private and public sectors, The

World

Tourism

Organization

(UNWTO) hosted a high-level virtual

governments,

international

financing

institutions, and the United Nations.

ECONOMIC RELIEF PACKAGE TO GRANT EACH RESORT MVR 7.7 MILLION AS LOAN Ministry of Finance has announced that

decrease in interest rates within this

each resort will be given MVR 7.7 million

period.

loan as per the economic relief package

Moratorium

of

student

loan

introduced by the government to mitigate

repayments for the National Student

the economic downfall with regard to

Loan

COVID-19 pandemic.

Assistance that allows deferment of

Scheme

and

Educational

monthly repayments for 6 months The government has implemented 7 key stimulus packages to combat the

from March 2020. •

3 months allowance to those who

economic impact of COVID-19 crisis.

loose their jobs due to COVID-19

This includes:

crisis.

• • • •

Loans as working capital to help the

Among this, the loans set to give as

businesses and resorts.

working capital to help businesses will be

Exemption of 40% from the electricity

given through Bank of Maldives and SME

bill for months April and May.

Development Finance Corporation.

Exemption of 30% from the water bill for months April and May.

Finance

that

The Ministry stated that this will be given

However, those companies or resorts

Moratorium of loan repayments from

this loan will have a 6% interest rate

by checking the percentage of local shares

that have taken any action against the

Bank of Maldives (BML) and Housing

with a grace period of 6 months. Also,

in the ownership and that priority will be

employees due to the pandemic will not

Development Finance Corporation

businesses do not need to pay back the

given to those resorts who maintain 45%

be eligible for this loan.

that allows deferment of monthly

interest and principal amount in this

local employees or higher.

repayments for 6 months.

period. Businesses can repay the loan in

Moratorium

installments within a period of 3 years.

of

loan

repayments

Ministry

has

revealed

The government has opened applications Furthermore,

the

government

will

take into consideration; the resort or

from SME Development Finance Corporation that allows deferment

Resorts will be given loan through Bank

company’s availability of non-performing

of monthly repayments for 6 months

of Maldives and each resort will can take

assets, 2019 profits, and 3 years cash

from March 2020 along with 4%

maximum MVR 7.71 million.

flow projection (if it is positive).

for loans under the relief plan from 8th March onwards.


GOVERNMENT 09

BANK OF MALDIVES TO OFFER SHORT TERM FINANCING TO RESORTS AND GUESTHOUSES During

the

the

local businesses are already facing an

outbreak

unprecedented set of challenges. As the

globally, and to mitigate the risks to

national bank, it is our responsibility to

the country’s largest industry, Bank of

support these businesses through this

Maldives together with the Ministry of

period. Together with our partners, the

Tourism and the Maldives Association of

short-term financing solution announced

Tourism Industry (MATI) has announced a

today will help manage working capital

short-term financing solution to support

requirements, to cushion the impact.”

coronavirus

uncertainty (COVID-19)

facing

the tourism sector. To apply for the facility, customers The financing solution allows operational

can get in touch with their Relationship

resorts and guesthouses to finance up

Manager, visit the nearest branch or call

to US$2 million to manage their working

the Bank’s Contact Centre at 3330200 for

capital requirements, with a repayment

further details.

period of 3 years. The Bank earlier this week announced its Bank of Maldives CEO and MD, Tim

new unsecured Working Capital financing

Sawyer stated “Although any impact will

to support short-term funding needs to

depend on the extent and duration of

Small-to-Medium businesses.

the outbreak, our tourism industry and


10 GOVERNMENT

NEARLY 1,000 TOURISTS MAROONED IN MALDIVES AMID COVID-19 - TOURISM MINISTER Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed has

Islands are at an average USD 3,000 a

announced that there are nearly 1,000

day,” the Minister said.

tourists marooned across 27 resorts in Maldives due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the high end luxury resort rates have

As per the statistics collected by the

fallen, before the COVID-19 pandemic

Ministry by 5th April 2020, there are 938

the five star resorts in Maldives costed

tourists in Maldives.

an average between USD 1,500 and 3,00 daily. The exclusive private islands were

These include 200 tourists who are unable

priced above USD 10,000 a day.

to leave because of the travel restrictions. Tourism Ministry is looking after these

The Maldives government has taken

tourists.

a number of precautionary measures against the rapidly escalating state of

However, the remaining holidaymakers

the global COVID-19 pandemic including

are are high end (super-rich) clients who

the suspension of on arrival visa for

intend to stay in the destination to escape

tourists. With this decision, the tourism

lockdowns back home.

industry has come to a halt resulting in temporary suspensions at several resorts

“The current resorts rates are between

in Maldives.

USD 300 and USD 900 daily. Private

GOVERNMENT SOFTENS TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR RESORTS, SAFARIS no employees show any symptoms of COVID-19 within that period. However, the

resort

management

is

required

to provide evidence of the 14-day

cases, negative or otherwise. •

Resorts and safaris placed under monitoring with suspected cases tested negative.

quarantine period to HPA before allowing staff to leave.

Employees from resorts and safaris bearing a confirmed infection will be

The policy also allows the staff of resorts

required to undergo a 14-day quarantine

and safaris which had been placed under

period in addition to conducting tests

monitoring to leave after the 14-day

before being granted authorization to

quarantine period, if the samples taken

leave.

from the resort or safari tested negative for COVID-19. However, no staff will

Employees at resorts or vessels that fall

be allowed to leave while any individual

under the two remaining categories may

at the resort or safari is presenting any

disembark from the island or vessel

symptoms.

following completion of the mandatory 14-day quarantine, post-departure of

Health Protection Agency (HPA) has

as resorts and vessels approach the end

The policy on entry and exit from

amended the policy on entry and exit from

of their 14-day quarantine period.

resorts places resorts under three main categories:

resorts and safaris, lifting the requirement to seek an exit application from all

The new policy published by HPA

individual staff before allowing them to

states travelling between resorts and

exit the resort or safari. The employees

other islands can be opened 14 days

can now leave the tourist establishment

after the departure of the last tourist if

their final guest. This week, Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed has revealed that there are

• •

Resorts and safaris with confirmed

nearly 1,000 tourists stranded across 27

cases of COVID-19.

resorts in Maldives due to the COVID-19

Resorts and safaris with no suspected

pandemic.


GOVERNMENT

VISA EXEMPTION FOR MALDIVIANS TRAVELLING TO MOROCCO Maldivian nationals travelling to the

longer period or to work or to attend

Kingdom of Morocco will be exempted

an educational institution or conduct

from visa, effective from 13 March 2020.

business in the Kingdom of Morocco, will

The visa exemption allows Maldivians

need to obtain an appropriate visa prior

holding valid Diplomatic, Official and

to travel.

Ordinary passports to enter and stay in the Kingdom of Morocco for a maximum

The Government of Maldives considers

period of thirty (30) days from the day of

the visa exemption to Morocco for

their entry.

Maldivians as a gesture of close and cordial

relations

between

the

two

In accordance with the visa exemption

countries and a testament to the high

Agreement signed between the two

regard accorded to the Maldives by the

countries

Kingdom of Morocco.

on

15

November

2019,

Maldivians intending to stay for a

MALDIVES TEMPORARILY BANS ALL FOREIGN PASSENGER VESSELS In order to contain the COVID-19

COVID-19

pandemic.

These

include

outbreak, Maldives has banned the entry

a temporarily nationwide shutdown of

of all foreign passenger vessels to the

guesthouses.

country. This ban will be effective from 20th March, 12:00am.

Maldives has previously taken border control

measures

by

temporarily

This will prohibit the entry and docking

suspending all tourist arrivals from UK,

of all passenger vessel anywhere in the

Malaysia, China, Italy, Bangladesh, Iran,

Maldives.

parts of South Korea, Spain, and certain regions of Germany and France.

The government has taken a number of precautionary measures against the rapidly escalating state of the global

11


12

GOVERNMENT

MALDIVES TEMPORARILY SUSPENDS ON-ARRIVAL VISA FOR TOURISTS Maldives will be temporarily suspending

at which the disease is spreading. The

on arrival visa for all tourists from 27th

government of Maldives has taken a

March 2020. Addressing the nation, the

number of measures to contain the

President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed

disease and to mitigate the negative

Solih announced that this decision has

impact the virus has caused. These

been taken as a precautionary measure to

include a temporarily ban on foreign

curb the spreading of COVID-19 outbreak

passenger vessels and the nationwide

in the country.

shutdown of guesthouses.

In light of COVID-19 outbreak, countries

Maldives has previously taken border

all over the world are putting travel bans

control

and issuing travel advisories. The World

suspending all tourist arrivals from UK,

Health Organization declared COVID-19

Malaysia, China, Italy, Bangladesh, Iran,

a pandemic, with one of the organization’s

parts of South Korea, Spain, and certain

leaders citing the severity and the speed

regions of Germany and France.

measures

by

temporarily

BANK OF MALDIVES TO OFFER SHORT TERM FINANCING TO RESORTS AND GUESTHOUSES During

the

the

local businesses are already facing an

outbreak

unprecedented set of challenges. As the

globally, and to mitigate the risks to

national bank, it is our responsibility to

the country’s largest industry, Bank of

support these businesses through this

Maldives together with the Ministry of

period. Together with our partners, the

Tourism and the Maldives Association of

short-term financing solution announced

Tourism Industry (MATI) has announced a

today will help manage working capital

short-term financing solution to support

requirements, to cushion the impact.”

coronavirus

uncertainty (COVID-19)

facing

the tourism sector. To apply for the facility, customers The financing solution allows operational

can get in touch with their Relationship

resorts and guesthouses to finance up

Manager, visit the nearest branch or call

to US$2 million to manage their working

the Bank’s Contact Centre at 3330200 for

capital requirements, with a repayment

further details.

period of 3 years. The Bank earlier this week announced its Bank of Maldives CEO and MD, Tim

new unsecured Working Capital financing

Sawyer stated “Although any impact will

to support short-term funding needs to

depend on the extent and duration of

Small-to-Medium businesses.

the outbreak, our tourism industry and

GET ALL YOUR SPORTS & RECREATION REQUIREMENTS farish@soneesports.com.mv | T +960 333 5995 | +960 798 3352


NEW PROPERTIES

13

KAGI MALDIVES SPA ISLAND TO OPEN IN SEPTEMBER 2020 Leading local hospitality group Crown &

60-minute speedboat ride from Velana

wellness hub, complete with an open-air,

pool villa or an ocean pool villa, all of

Champa Resorts is to launch the five-star

International Airport. Kagi Maldives is

teardrop-shaped floating yoga pavilion at

which will be distinguished by their unique

Kagi Maldives Spa Island in the Maldives’

said to offer a soulful island experience

its centre. It will also house a state-of-

locations and will house a private pool,

North Male Atoll in September 2020. The

where equilibrium can be found in its

the-art gym, two restaurants, three bars,

a sun deck and an expansive indoor-

boutique 50-villa property will provide

iconic over water spa or in the underwater

a dive centre and a house reef.

outdoor bathroom.

travelers with a 360 degree wellness

paradise. At the heart of the island will

Guests will be able to choose from three

experience, just a 15-minute seaplane or

sit Kagi’s 1500-square-meter spa and

room types, a beach pool villa, lagoon


14

PEOPLE

MOHAMED MAHDY ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT, ADMINISTRATION AT AITKEN SPENCE HOTELS & RESORT MALDIVES

He regards his father as his mentor

ladder, step by step. The tourism industry

in not only his personal life but in his

is a great sector to get into and a great

professional life as well. “My father was

opportunity to expand one’s wings if you

an influential figure when it came to my

are to excel not only in your personal but

successes in life and is a great inspiration

also your professional lives. This industry

towards my professional progress. He

no doubt gave me many wings which

was also strongly behind my adherence

I chose to fly with. It is an industry for

to discipline and embracing strong work

anyone with the courage, attitude and

ethics, so I own a lot to him for remaining

determination needed to reach the top.

behind me every step of the way,” he

However, at a young age, do not focus

added. Mahdy shared his insight with

too much on the position you hold or the

regard to how he foresees the tourism

amount of money you make. Look toward

industry in the Maldives.

a place that will give you opportunities to develop yourself. In my case, I was lucky

When compared with the past and the

to be a part of Aitken Spence Hotels at

present. He stated, “Maldives was a

the early stages where the pathway was

unique and expensive destination during

created for me and I embraced it to the

the very beginning and our supply to

full. And here I am today. I started as a

discerning tourists was at a very low figure,

Trainee Cook with this organization and

where resorts were concerned. There

today, I am a Director at one of the largest

were very few places of accommodation

foreign resort operators in the Maldives.”

and a huge demand existed. Tourists were

Mahdy concluded by saying that he hopes

interested in the island’s natural beauty

to continue to acquire more knowledge

and what we had to offer as an island

and improve himself even more whilst

and we eventually became an expensive

continuing

to

help

the

organization

Mohamed Mahdy, who hails from Meynaa

became Assistant Manager at Bathala

destination. As a matter of fact, today

achieve its short-term objectives and

School in the Maldives and has been with

Island Resort.

there are many tourism establishments

long-term goals and assist in taking the

popping up like mushrooms and the

company to even greater heights. “I am still a learner myself,” he says. “I will go

Aitken Spence Resorts since its inception in 1993. He currently holds the post of

Later he moved to the corporate office

aspect

Assistant Vice President – Administration

in Male’ to work with the Rannalhi

threatened as a result of it.”

at Aitken Spence Hotels & Resort Maldives

Project Team. He also held a position

representing brands of Heritance &

with the Pre-opening Team of Rannalhi

According to Mahdy, his insight towards

for youth where I can share my knowledge

Adaaran Resorts. Mahdy is from Meynaa

as Personnel & Front Office Executive,

understanding

of

and knowhow. I wish to accomplish all

family, which had been named after

and subsequently was assigned the

embracing

sustainability

this and more during this lifetime,” he

Meynaa kaleyfaanu who is also his great

responsibilities of an Operations Analyst

focused on a number of factors.

grandfather and he happened to be one

for Rannalhi & Bathala. Later again he

disclosed that taking into account the

of the most prominent figures in the

moved to corporate office and worked

size of the island nation and the carrying

Mahdy is a past pupil of Meynaa School/N.

country during his era. Meynaa School,

with the project team of Meedhupparu

capacity is something we all need to

Holhudhoo and also attended the Male’

which recently celebrated 75 successful

and after the project he moved to

think about. He added, “Maldives has a

English School and English Preparatory

years of education in the Maldives is also

Meedhupparu in the pre-opening team

sensitive culture and we need to embrace

& Secondary School. After completing

named after Meynaa Kaleyfaanu. The

as Personnel & Front Office Executive for

tourism

not

his Ordinary Level exams, Mahdy joined

school is located at Noonu Holhudhoo.

Meedhupparu. Later he was assigned the

harm our beliefs and rituals in any way.

the School of Hotel & Catering Services,

duties of Assistant Manager for Rannalhi,

I also believe in creating an atmosphere

which today goes as the Faculty of

Mahdy began his career in the hospitality

Operations Manager – Corporate Office,

of tourism that would cater to a niche

Hospitality & Tourism Studies. Here, he

industry in 1991, following his completion

Deputy General Manager & General

rather than opening up to everyone.

completed the one-year General Hotel

of a one-year General Hotel Service

Manager Administration and he played a

When it comes to resort operations and

Services Course where he received the

Course. Right after, he joined Bathala

key role in both Vadoo and Hudhuranfushi

developments,

would

‘Best Runner Up’ and ‘Best Student in

Island Resort as Kitchen Trainee. “This

projects.

always pose as a direct effect to our

Food Production – Practical & Theory’

ecosystem and immediate environment,

awards, before embarking on to an

being my first job, my job description

of

sustainability

is

getting

all the way and hope to achieve a PhD in this field whilst also work as a Lecturer

the

values

significance of

developments

these

that

will

entities

He

acknowledged.

entailed cleaning the kitchen, washing

Clearly, over the course of his career,

so will tend to anyway become affected

illustrious career in the hospitality sector.

pots and pans, peeling potatoes and

his growth is highly commendable and

to some level, so we wouldn’t be able to

He also holds a National Diploma in

onions and cleaning vegetables to name

especially notable, when one gets to know

entirely make it as eco-friendly. So, we

Hotel Catering & Institutional Operations

a few,” he says. Two years later, he joined

how much his loyalty to the company

need to safeguard our islands, its coral

awarded by BCFTCS UK. He also holds

Aitken Spence and has been growing with

remains to this day, having grown in

reefs and the pristine marine life.”

a Bachelor of Philosophy and Master of

the company ever since. His experiences

parallel with the organization itself. When

in the sector, after humble beginnings as

asked on what factors he believes has

Taking into consideration the importance

by the University of Birmingham UK, in

a Kitchen Trainee, later included being in

made him into what he is today, Mahdy

of encouraging young minds to join this

affiliation with the Faculty of Hospitality &

the role of Cook, followed by Accounts

disclosed, “I strongly believe that loyalty,

sector, Mahdy gave youth a piece of

Tourism Studies. He also holds a Masters

Clerk and Receptionist. He expanded

honesty, integrity, commitment, and my

advice. He said, “Start from scratch,

of

his horizons even further and into the

passion for hard work with patience are

where you can grasp the position you

by the Open University of Malaysia, in

management world first by elevating into

the key values that have made me into

hold to the max and the task in hand

affiliation with the Villa College.

a Management Trainee and eventually

who I am today.”

and work on climbing the tourism career

Arts in Hospitality Management awarded

Business

Administration

awarded


PEOPLE 15 3. What are some of your Senior Reservations Officer and Assistant successes? like Receptionist, Reservations Officer,

THAAIF AHMED DIRECTOR OF SALES AT ANANTARA DHIGU RESORT, ANANTARA VELI RESORT & NALADHU PRIVATE ISLAND MALDIVES

Reservations Manager. In 2007, I got

I have experienced a lot of success stories

the opportunity to join Minor Hotels at

in the last 15 years, but one of the biggest

Anantara Maldives. I have been with the

highlights would be setting-up the Central

group for over 12 years and I have grown

Reservations Office for Minor Hotels in

from a Reservations Agent, Reservations

Maldives. I had a challenging task to bring

Supervisor and Reservations Manager.

6 luxury hotels reservation systems under

In 2012, I joined Six Senses Laamu as a

one umbrella. I overcame the operational,

Reservations, Revenue & E-Commerce

technical and system challenges, by

Manager, before re-joining Minor Hotels

working very closely with the hotels and

in 2013, wherein I was given an exciting

understanding their requirements and

opportunity

Central

collaborating with vendors to ensure it

Reservations Office for all Minor hotels

met the team’s requirements. The solution

in the Maldives. I then transitioned to

was successfully implemented, and it is

Cluster

Area

the only Reservations Office in Maldives

Reservations Manager, Area Director of

which is open 24Hrs. I would like to thank

Reservations and eventually to my current

the great team who was behind me on this

role of Director of Sales.

success and I would never achieve that

to

set-up

Reservations

the

Manager,

without their great work and dedication.. It has been a very exciting, inspiring

4. What is your advice for young learned with passion, determination and adults who wish to pursue a career perseverance one can overcome any in this industry? and

challenging

journey,

wherein

I

difficulty. I owe a lot of my professional

Having

growth to the support and empowerment

and determination to succeed is of

bestowed to me by Minor Hotels, which

critical importance. There are lots of

consistently empowered and supported

opportunities within the industry, but

the

right

attitude,

mindset

Meet Thaaif Ahmed, from Addu City,

worked in the industry and spoke very

me in my decisions, recognized and

one needs to be open to embrace and

Hithadhoo who is currently working

fondly of it. It was therefore my dream

appreciated my work and provided me

accept opportunities, even when they

as Director of Sales at Anantara Dhigu

to join the industry. My dream came true

with multiple growth opportunities.

might present themselves as challenges.

Resort, Anantara Veli Resort & Naladhu

when I joined the industry in 2005 right

It’s very important one always look at the

Private Island Maldives. Our team at

after my school. Over the last 15 years,

bigger picture and is passionate about

2. What are some of the Travel Trade Maldives decided to gain I have achieved significant personal and challenges you have faced? some insight into his inspiring story.

1. How did you get started?

professional development and embraced

Joining the industry fresh out of school

several challenges.

with no prior experience was a major

their work in order to achieve professional development.

challenge and there were many more

I was always fascinated with the hospitality

I started my career at Vilu Reef Resort

over the years, but with hard work and

industry, as many of my family members

as an office boy, progressing to positions

dedication I overcame them.

At our resorts in Maldives, you can embark on adventure, both under and above water, cosy up in a romantic embrace, discover local culture, savour delectable cuisine or relax by the sea. Welcome to an escape of absolute bliss.

F

6th Floor, H. Thuniya, Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Male’ 20026, Republic of Maldives T: +96 06 640 375-7 E : res.central@adaaran.com.mv www.adaaran.com


16 PEOPLE resorts in the Maldives), he regards this

However, you need to have the patience

accomplishment as his greatest personal

to grow and acquire the relevant skills

achievement.

and knowledge as well as be patient when trying to seek career positions and titles.

When asked about the factors that ensured

As the old school rhyme says, ‘slow and

his longevity in this industry, he put it all

steady wins the race.’ ”

down to the qualities of loyalty, integrity, commitment and patience. Elaborating

Rasheed has gained a great many life

further, Rasheed stated, “I handle one

experiences and has evolved and grown

of the most important and crucial areas

with the Company. As a tip for those who

of the resort’s operations where I have

aspire to embrace a career in hospitality,

to manage and control the operational

Rasheed emphasizes on the importance

angle and work to meet the demands

of being disciplined and adhering to an

of divisional heads, General Managers,

ethical work approach. By leading with

Sector Heads and the aspirations of the

value, one can no doubt win in his or her

Board of Directors and Owners. Being

quest, he assures.

loyal to my workplace and working with

HEAD OF FINANCE, HERITANCE AARAH Mohamed Rasheed, happens to be the

Spence PLC penetrated the Maldivian

first hotelier to have established himself

waters in 1999 with the first of its now

in the Meedhoo Island in the Raa Atoll.

famed ‘Adaaran’ brand of Resorts. As

Today, Rasheed serves as the Head of

chance would have it, Rasheed grabbed

Finance for Heritance Aarah and he has

the opportunity when an opening was

come a long way.

advertised, and he became the first employee to be hired by the hotel chain from the Maldives!

the older son of Moosa Ibrahim, who was a senior magistrate of Meedhoo Island

His

in his day. Educated at the Raa Atoll

rewarded with career opportunities to

Education Centre located in his home

grow and learn, and he in his own pace

island, his commitment to learn and

grew to be an accomplished Bookkeeper

better his opportunities were rewarded

for the resort by 2005. In 2008, he was

early on in his life, as he became one

promoted as Accounts Executive, from

of the first to graduate with O/L results,

which he climbed the corporate ladder

from his island home in 1998.

as Assistant Accountant and Accountant

passion

and

When asked about any particular mentors

my work life is based; and I truly believe

who were instrumental to his growth both,

these qualities have helped me become

personally and professionally, he stated,

the person I am today.”

“I simply cannot highlight one particular person because I have been groomed and

MOHAMED RASHEED

Hailing from Raa Meedhoo, Rasheed is

integrity is the main principle on which

enthusiasm

were

subsequently. With this taste of success, he joined the hospitality industry in 1999 as a Trainee

He has garnered experience with over

Accounts Clerk at Adaaran Club Rannalhi,

two decades of service with and for

blazing a trail for many a youth to follow

Aitken Spence Resorts in the Maldives. In

in his footsteps in the coming years.

those years, he served under three sector

From Meedhoo Island, he was the first to

heads and fifteen General Managers and

venture into this burgeoning industry.

was part of two pre-openings of hotels under the Hotel Company.

Some would call it fate, some pure luck – whatever it may be, Rasheed’s encounter

Having come this far in his career with

with Aitken Spence Hotels was a timely

only his O/L results, he acknowledged

one. While the young boy with big dreams

his success to the opportunities created

in his eyes looked towards new ventures

by the Company. Now, the Head of

and becoming a trendsetter for those back

Finance of the first luxury property in

home, Aitken Spence Hotels, part of the

his own home atoll (Heritance Aarah –

Sri Lankan blue chip conglomerate Aitken

first of the company’s premier brand of

He added that he has witnessed the

mentored by many and I’m so happy to

ups and downs in the careers of many

have selected Aitken Spence Hotels as

a hotelier during his 21 years in the

my career partner. From the COO, to the

industry, and the keys to creating and

MD to the Finance Heads – my path was

living a successful work strategy is through

enriched by their valuable guidance and

loyalty and integrity. “When it comes to

advice. In my personal life, I wish to thank

resorts and property management, we

my father who has always been behind me

handle the assets of shareholders and we

every step of the way and pushed me to

therefore, need to uphold a responsibility

keep going towards achieving my goals.”

to the public as well since we are a public listed company. The clarity of work is a

Adaaran Resorts and Heritance Hotels

responsibility which falls on the finance

and Resorts are part of Aitken Spence

hoteliers’ shoulder. So, while it is a

Hotels, the hospitality arm of leading Sri

challenging role, it is also a professionally

Lankan blue-chip conglomerate, Aitken

rewarding one.”

Spence PLC. The Aitken Spence Hotels portfolio consists of 22 hotels, with ten

When describing his stance on the

hotels in Sri Lanka, seven in Maldives,

commitment

that

four in Oman and one in India. Adaaran

commitment is an important quality

Resorts, which commenced its operations

that should be adopted by everyone, in

in the Maldives in 1993, has an inventory

whatever one does in life. He emphasizes

of 750 rooms. The Company launched its

on the need of doing what one loves

latest property in 2019 with the opening of

and loving what one does. He describes

Heritance Aarah, a premier all-inclusive

himself as someone who is “in it for the

resort in the Raa Atoll.

factor,

he

added

long haul” as his relationship with the company started 21 years back! He is, therefore, committed to the company’s work culture and the company has in turn provided him with the right platform to establish for himself, a fulfilling work environment along with the ability to realize his career goals and grow as an individual. He also added: “Patience is a trait which I believe new hoteliers need to embrace early and nurture continuously. As I look back and compare with the industry’s present conditions, young hoteliers have many opportunities in store for them.


PEOPLE

17

AVANI FARES MALDIVES APPOINTS MARLON ABEYAKOON AS GENERAL MANAGER Thailand-based

hotel

chain

Avani

Avani’s new debut is bringing relaxed

Hotels & Resorts has appointed Marlon

contemporary charm to one of the world’s

Abeyakoon as its new General Manager

dreamiest island destinations. Avani Fares

for debut property in Maldives.

Maldives Resort, Avani’s first property in the Maldives, is set to open in a natural

Marlon has spent almost two decades

playground of soft white sandy beach and

in hospitality with multiple international

every colour of blue imaginable. Go bold

hotel brands in UAE, UK, Sri Lanka, the

with island vibes combined and a fresh

Maldives and Fiji. He started his career

approach to adventure, comfort and

with One&Only in Dubai in 1999 before

leisure.

moving to the UK with glh Hotels and Hilton in 2013 at DoubleTree London as

Scheduled to debut in 2021, the 200-

Hotel Manager.

key Avani+ Fares Maldives Resort is located in the Maldives’ Baa Atoll which

A move to Sri Lanka in 2018 with Reethi

is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that is

Beach Resort as General Manager before

home to unique species of marine, fauna,

his final stop, before joining Avani+, in Fiji

and flora. Marlon Abeyakoon has been

as General Manager with the Sheraton

appointed as General Manager for the

Fiji Resort.

property.

LILY HOTELS PVT LTD APPOINTS IMROZ UDDIN AS GROUP DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING Lily Hotels Pvt Ltd. - Maldives has

luxury

selling,

cultivating

corporate

announced the appointment of Imroz

account relationships and enhancing

Uddin as Group Director Sales and

guest experience.

Marketing to oversee the Maldives – Based Leading Hospitality company’s

Prior to joining Lily Hotels, Imroz held the

their commercial division. In his new

position of Group Director of Sales and

role, Imroz will lead and formulate the

Marketing at MerPerle Hotels & Resorts,

group’s sales and marketing strategies

based in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. During

to maximize profitable revenue globally

the company’s high growth period, he

across

&

established a high performing sales

Communications, Partnership & Loyalty,

culture and oversaw the group’s sales

Digital Marketing, Revenue Management

and marketing function for the existing

and Distribution.

portfolio of 5 properties and 1,500 keys

Group

Sales,

Branding

inventory and new hotels across Vietnam. Educated in Las Vegas, U.S.A and

“We are delighted to welcome Imroz as

Hotel

from

the newest addition to our Executive

the Community College of Southern

Committee of the Lily Hotels family. In

said Mr. Michael Wieser, Chief Executive

confident I will be able to propel the

Nevada, Imroz continues to build an

today’s highly competitive environment,

Officer, Lily Hotels Pvt Ltd.

brand to even more successes and build

impressive career with luxury brands

we believe that Imroz will be an inspiring

including

property-

and results-oriented leader for our group’s

“I look forward to collaborating with my

our guests and stakeholders,” said Imroz

level roles with Marriott International,

sales and marketing function backed by

new team and leading them to a game-

in accepting his new role.

Kempinski, Starwood Hotels and Resorts

our culture’s leadership philosophy, the

changing mind set whilst navigating Lily

& CapitaLand in across 3 different

Red Ring, to live bold and stay sharp.

Beach Maldives Resort and Hideaway

At leisure, Imroz enjoys an early morning

continents Middle East & Africa, Asia

We look forward to more growth and

Beach Resort & Spa to achieve strong,

run, and spending value time with family

Pacific & Europe, where his stints involved

development for our brands with Imroz

profitable benchmarks for the industry

on the weekends. He is also a passionate

leading international delegations, Leisure

at the helm of sales and marketing,”

and disrupting the industry norm. I am

on Gym – workout and a devoted father.

Management

corporate

graduate

and

on Lily Hotels’ vision to create value for


18 PEOPLE

LEGENDARY HOTELIER SOL KERZNER PASSES AWAY transform the tourism industries not only

lake, two Gary Player golf courses, and

of his home country but of Mauritius, The

an entertainment center with an indoor

Maldives, The Bahamas, Dubai and other

6,000-seat arena, which played host to

important international destinations.

a world-class roster of artists including Queen, Frank Sinatra, Liza Minelli, Shirley

Solomon (Sol) Kerzner, one of the world’s

The son of Russian immigrants, Kerzner

most innovative hoteliers, founder of

was born in Johannesburg, South Africa,

the Southern Sun hotel group, Sun

in 1935. The youngest of four and the

International and Kerzner International,

only son, Sol was a working class boy

has died of cancer surrounded by his

from a rough neighbourhood but he

family at the Kerzner family home,

would grow up to become one of the

Leeukoppie Estate, in Cape Town, South

most influential entrepreneurs in South

Africa. Always a maverick, Kerzner was

Africa. Having founded the country’s two

a titan of the hotel and resort industry

largest hotel groups — Southern Sun and

who redefined the scale and scope of

Sun International — Kerzner would go

integrated destination resorts worldwide.

on to achieve international prominence

He was 84.

with groundbreaking resorts that helped

Kerzner’s career in hospitality began

Bassey, as well as huge world title fights,

in 1962 when he decided to leave the

and many other spectacular events. Once

accounting profession and purchased

again, Kerzner defied the naysayers to

The Astra, a small inn in Durban, South

train a best of breed workforce and to

Africa.

transformed

operate Sun City on a totally non-racial

this rundown establishment into one

basis. Even the most cynical of visiting

of the most popular hotels in the area,

overseas journalists had to concede

a success that whetted Sol’s insatiable

defeat in trying to find racism behind the

appetite for innovation and demonstrated

operation of the vast resort.

Kerzner

quickly

a trademark ingenuity that would define his 60-year career.

Sol is survived by his children Andrea, Beverley, Brandon and Chantal and ten

Kerzner’s controversial

most

monumental

achievement

was

and

grandchildren. His eldest son, Howard

the

‘Butch’ Kerzner died in 2006.

creation of Sun City. Here, in an area north of Johannesburg where there were no

Sol Kerzner will be buried at a small,

roads and no infrastructure, Sol imagined

private funeral with only immediate

and delivered the most ambitious resort

family in attendance.

project in all of Africa. Commencing work in 1975, over the next ten years, Kerzner built four hotels, a man-made

RITZ-CARLTON MALDIVES APPOINTS DEANNE GARLING AS DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

where she oversaw the opening of this

has appointed Deanne Garling as its

resort. During her spare time Deanne

new Director of Human Resources.

enjoys scuba diving, tennis, yoga, reading

Deanne, a human resources professional

and traveling.

with over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry has commenced her

Located on the North Atoll of Maldives,

new assignment with The Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Islands

Maldives on 16th March 2020.

will be part of a lively integrated Marina Village & Resort Destination with world Deanne

class luxury living & recreation facilities.

holds a Diploma in Human Resources

The resort is made up of 4 islands with

Management and Business and began

100 island and overwater villas. There are

her hospitality career in Australia with

5 food and beverage options distributed

various hotels including Radisson on

among the islands. Other than the all-day

Flagstaff Gardens, Melbourne and Stella

dining, guests can enjoy Italian, Chinese

Hospitality Group.

and Japanese teppanyaki specialties.

Originally

from

Australia,

Uniquely design facilities include an Deanne brings with her a wealth of local

experiential Kids Club, Recreation Club

Maldives experience having worked at

and Spa. The Fari Islands is 50 mins away

Gili Lankanfushi for nine years prior to

from Male by speedboat and 10 mins by

most recent role as Director of Human

seaplane.

Resources at Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi


PEOPLE 19

RITZ-CARLTON MALDIVES APPOINTS MAFALDA COSTA TAVARES AS DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

Mafalda has also worked at Four Seasons

has appointed Mafalda Costa Tavares

Hotel Ritz Lisbon, The Conrad Brussels

as Director of Sales and Marketing. With

Hotel and Hyatt Regency, Dubai.

over 13 years’ experience with The RitzCarlton, Mafalda’s first assignment in the

Mafalda’s career achievements include,

company was at The Ritz-Carlton Penha

‘Employee of the Year 2009’ at Penha

Longa Hotel and Golf Resort in Portugal.

Longa

Resort,

She started as guest service officer with

EMEA

Catering

the opening of the Club Lounge and soon

2012’, ‘Leader of the Quarter 2016’

moved to Sales and Marketing.

at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

‘The

Ritz-Carlton

Achievement

Award

and ‘Marriott International President’s During the 7 years’ journey at Penha

Circle Award 2018’ at Phulay Bay, a

Longa, she was responsible for weddings

Ritz-Carlton Reserve. She is known for

and social events, developed the travel

deeply engaging with both colleagues and

industry

customers, passionate about her job and

department,

launched

the

Outside Catering department as Director

very committed to exceeding results.

of Catering and lastly progressed as Director of Group Sales.

Mafalda graduated with B.B.A. Honors

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Islands

experiential Kids Club, Recreation Club

degree in Hospitality Management at Les

will be part of a lively integrated Marina

and Spa. The Fari Islands is 50 mins away

In 2014, Mafalda joined the pre-opening

Roches Hotel Management School and is

Village & Resort Destination with world

from Male by speedboat and 10 mins by

team of Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

a Portuguese native. In her leisure time,

class luxury living & recreation facilities.

seaplane.

in Ubud, Bali as Director of Sales, and

she enjoys playing piano, cooking and

The resort is made up of 4 islands with

contributed to its successful launch and

keeping a healthy lifestyle.

100 island and overwater villas. There are

positioning. In 2017, Mafalda once again

5 food and beverage options distributed

embraced a new opportunity, as Director

The resort released a statement saying

among the islands. Other than the all-day

of Sales and Marketing at Phulay Bay, a

Mafalda and her husband Bruno are

dining, guests can enjoy Italian, Chinese

Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Krabi, Thailand.

excited about their move to the Maldives.

and Japanese teppanyaki specialties.

Prior to her commitment to the company,

Located on the North Atoll of Maldives,

Uniquely design facilities include an

DEAR TOURISM INDUSTRY COLLEAGUES, WE ARE PROUD OF YOU! The rapid spread of COVID-19 around the

representatives are present to welcome

globe has thrown the international travel

the the tourists to the sunny side of life.

industry into chaos. The government of

The people handling transfers including

Maldives has taken several preventive

the boat crew, boat captains, flight

measures against the spread of the

attendants are taking care of the guests,

pandemic. Maldives has declared a public

making sure they are welcomed at the

health emergency for for a period of 30

paradise destination.

days from 12th March 2020. The Director General of Public Health, on Saturday

Resort butlers, housekeeping, chefs,

(14th March) has issued an order to halt

waiters and everyone in the industry

the travel of any persons to and from

are going out of their way to serve the

resorts to any residential island within the

tourists to make sure that they have the

Maldives.

best of what Maldives can offer for the holiday makers. Dear Tourism Industry

Despite all this, the tourism industry personnel

are

pulling

it

welcoming

the

guests.

The

together airport

Colleagues, we are proud of you!


20 PEOPLE

NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF TAKES MALDIVES GASTRONOMY TO NEW LEVELS AT AMILLA FUSHI

Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences has

at a Michelin restaurant in Brazil. In 2018,

joined Amilla last year, was the Maldives’

preferences such as keto, low-lectin and

welcomed back to the Maldives Executive

Mickaël reached the regional final of the

longest-serving

at

paleo,” explains Mickaël. Mickaël also

Chef Mickaël Farina; one of the most

San Pellegrino Young Chef contest in

Universal’s Kurumba resort while Mickaël

has ambitions for ‘Feeling Koi’, Amilla’s

talented and energetic young chefs in the

Singapore, and has recently cooked for

was leading the kitchen at Kandolhu in

award-winning

region.

a UNESCO gastronomy charity in Japan

the adjacent atoll at the same time. “The

“We’re unveiling ‘Izakaya’, which is mixed

and worked on multiple ‘four hands

day I was informed about the opening for

type of cuisine that’s usually served in

Since the age of 11, Mickaël, (who hails

dinners’ at some of the top restaurants in

an Executive Chef at Amilla Maldives,

bars accompanied by drinks, rather like

from Provence, France), knew he was

Paris, New Delhi and Colombo.

my heart skipped a beat,” says Mickaël.

Spanish tapas. I’d like ‘Feeling Koi’ to

“I knew it was the job I wanted, and I’m

become known as an ‘Island Isakaya’.

going to become a chef – and even which

General

Manager

signature

restaurant.

culinary school he wanted to go to.

Mickaël, soon to be 30, says: “I started

thrilled that I got it. I guess I wasn’t done

Following training at the Relais & Châteaux

working on a restaurant project back in

with the Maldives…Amilla is definitely

“With our new menu, the idea is to pay

Michelin-star restaurant in Montargis,

my home country last year but quickly

the next big career step I was looking

tribute to Japanese cuisine, but also use

France, he felt the call of international

realised that I belong at a five-star hotel.

for. “Amilla has an amazing set-up and

local products to create some inspirational

adventures. Mickaël become one of the

So after a few months, I started to look

team. It’s a real pleasure to join Jason

new flavours. You’ll be able to recognise

youngest Sous Chef in Sydney at just 20,

for my next challenge”.

and Victoria Kruse here. I’m excited to be

small influences from other countries,

at Amilla for the long-term; building upon

such as the Maldives and France”. The

worked under two Michelin-star French chefs in Perth and became Head Chef by

Coming from a multi-cultural family, he

my culinary reputation and elevating the

Island Izakaya menu will be separated

23 at The Landing restaurant in Wanaka,

always felt at home overseas (Michaël’s

kitchen to even higher levels, step by

into different categories (sakana, sashimi,

New Zealand.

father is Sardinian, his grandmother grew

step. It is going to take time to fulfil all

kushikatsu, konro, yakitori and desserts)

up in Catalan, his great-grandfather was

my goals, I now have enough Maldives

and there will be drinks pairings available

Relishing an even bigger challenge,

Vietnamese and great-grandmother was

experience to know this, but it’s an

for each dish. “We’ll encourage guests

Mickaël then departed for first time to the

a French colonial living in Algeria). “After

extremely exciting prospect. We are

to share dishes, in order to respect the

Maldives to become resort Sous Chef at

various interviews in Turkey, Morocco,

building

already-proven

essence of Izakaya” says Mickaël. It looks

COMO Cocoa Island Maldives (where he

Bali, Thailand and the Seychelles - as

concepts such as sushi and teppanyaki but

like Mickaël and Amilla’s new executive

helped the resort achieve a rating as 6th

well as some trials at a Mauritius Sofitel

we’re also planning on introducing some

team is injecting all kinds of thrilling new

best hotel in the world on TripAdvisor). At

and even for Google in Paris (amongst

new concepts to the Maldives as well”.

concepts and ideas into the avant-garde

25, he transferred to Kandolhu Maldives

other countries), I realized that nothing

Some of the cornerstones of Amilla’s

resort. Expect a host of innovations and

to become Executive Chef, where he led

beats the standards of the hotels in the

new culinary overhaul are the pioneering

world-class concepts to follow over the

a kitchen team of over 40 and created

Maldives, their budgets, team, clientele

Wellness Your Way, Homegrown@Amilla

coming months.

his first Maldives-inspired cookbook/

and top-level set-ups”.

and Homemade@Amilla concepts.

upon

some

photography book, HIHsaaKURUN.

“I’m back in action and embracing my The Maldives was clearly calling Mickaël

“We have big plans for producing

biggest challenge yet” says Mickaël. “My

Mickaël, who describes himself as “born

back. Amilla’s General Manager, Jason

products

homemade

batteries are fully recharged, and I’m

curious”, has visited over 25 resorts in

Kruse, and wife Victoria (the Sustainability

and from our garden) and also for our

looking forward to welcoming back all

the Maldives and more than 50 countries;

Manger), had heard of Mickaël while they

new Wellness Your Way program we’re

our repeat guests as well as new guests

dining at over 100 Michelin restaurants

were all working in previous roles for

developing a lot of plant-based recipes

to share all the new goodies the culinary

as part of his international culinary

the same hotel group - Universal Resorts

and dishes catering to ‘eating lifestyles’ in

team and myself are developing.”.

explorations and taking an apprenticeship

Maldives - a few years ago. Jason, who

our regular menus; for guests with dietary

in-house

(both


PEOPLE

21

BAGLIONI RESORT MALDIVES APPOINTS ZHILAH VEGO AS DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING Baglioni Resort Maldives has appointed

Full Moon Resort and Spa and at Huvafen

Zhilah Vego as its new Director of Sales

Fushi by Per AQUUM.

and Marketing. Prior to her move to Baglioni Resort Maldives, she was most

Baglioni Resort Maldives is located on

recently working as Director of Sales and

the island of Maagau, in the pristine atoll

Marketing at Vakkaru Maldives for over

of Dhaalu, just 40 minutes by seaplane

an year.

from the capital MalĂŠ and consists of 96 villas, surrounded by turquoise waters,

Zhilah has over 15 years of experience

velvety white sand, and tropical nature.

in the hospitality industry. She started

The villas are of different types perfect

her career as an F&B trainee and worked

for every need: from those on the beach

up the leadership ladder. She has also

with a private swimming pool to those on

previously worked with Six Senses Laamu,

stilts with access to the sea up to those

W Retreat and Spa, Sheraton Maldives

dedicated to families.

CONSTANCE MOOFUSHI MALDIVES APPOINTS JOSEPH HENRI ARNULPHY AS GENERAL MANAGER Constance

Hotels

has

January 2015 he joined Constance

announced the appointment of Mr.

Hotels & Resorts at the age of 26, where

Joseph

General

he was Resort Manager of Constance

Manager of Constance Moofushi in the

Tsarabanjina, Madagascar, for 3 years.

Maldives.

He then went to Constance Moofushi

Henri

&

Arnulphy

Resorts as

where he has been Resident Manager Henri has 13 years of professional

for the last year. Henri took up his new

background in the hospitality industry

responsibilities on the 14th of March

with previous experiences and knowledge

2020 in a very challenging time for the

gained in Mauritius at the beginning of

travel and tourism sector, as the world is

his career, followed by Australia, China,

facing the COVID-19 crisis.

UAE, and on board a luxury yacht. In


22 AVIATION

AIR TRAVEL POST COVID-19: WHEN CAN MALDIVES AVIATION INDUSTRY BOUNCE BACK? The devastation that COVID-19 has

A

revealed

carriers for domestic flights to commence

are very much correlated. Local airline

caused on countless industries is still

that though tourist visas are ceased

on 4th May. Their national carrier

managers have revealed that it all

becoming clear. The travel businesses

indefinitely, Maldives should conduct

has announced plans to commence

depends on the authorities as to which

are one of the hardest hits. An estimated

some more outgoing international flights

international flying from June 1 in a

market the destination wants to focus.

96% of the worldwide destinations has

for the expats who are stranded in

phased manner to selected destinations.

been told to stay at home, and avoid

Maldives as well. The confirmation of

The aviation professionals say flights to

“If things do not take a significant turn,

unnecessary trips. That means almost

community spread in the capital city Male’

India and Russia could therefore begin

Maldives aviation can expect to slowly

nobody is flying.

will come worrisome to those expats as it

between months Aug – Sept.

restart in August. This will begin with

local

airline

manager

South East Asian countries with carriers

is a small place and the city is very much Maldives ceased on arrival visa to all

congested.

tourists from 27th March 2020 as a

Other European markets along with

like Sri Lankan Airlines, Chinese carriers,

America are still under lockdown so flights

Cathay Pacific and for Bangkok flights.

the

The national airline Maldivian has been

to countries like Italy, Germany and USA

Based on the other factors, the remaining

spreading of COVID-19 outbreak in the

conducting repatriation flights to bring

is predicted to commence between Dec to

USA and European markets as they are still

country. Previously, the government took

home the stranded Maldivians abroad

Jan. To UK, it will probably be after Feb

hit hard by this pandemic, Maldives can

border control measures including for

due to the pandemic. The airline has

2021 while flights to France and Australia

focus on those markets by December,” an

key markets such as China, Italy, certain

also conducted repatriation flights from

could be in months after October.

international airline manager in Maldives

regions of Germany and France.

Maldives to South Africa, Mauritius

precautionary

measure

to

curb

Airports will need to adapt health The tourism industry has come to a conduct a flight on 21st April to Doha, measures

revealed.

and Thailand. Qatar airways is said to

It is certain that the airline industry

halt with the travel ban imposed by the

which could be the latest international

government. This has ceased international

outgoing passenger flight for few months

To help regain travelers’ trust after the

by

flights

to come.

pandemic abates, the air travel industry

International Air Transport Association

will need to implement new health

(IATA) has revealed that airline passenger

regulations, especially in airports.

revenues are set to plunge by 55%, or

that

ultimately

reduced

the

domestic flights and suspended the aviation industry operations in Maldives.

While local airline professionals predict

throughout the globe is critically affected the

COVID-19

pandemic.

The

US$314 billion in 2020.

aviation to restart in Asian region during Let’s look into how long will it take for

months after August, aviation in Europe

The Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed

Maldives aviation industry to restart.

and globally is expected to reboot after

has announced that Maldives will be

Maldives airline industry will also take

February 2021. Looking into the aviation

promoted as a COVID-19 free nation to

months to weather this storm. However,

predicted timeline for the top 10 markets,

implement ‘Safe Tourism’. This could be

with support by the government and

the earliest possible market to start

a good start for the tourist destination.

the efforts by the airlines operating in

Cancellation of travel restrictions and border closures, especially internationally:

Maldives, the industry has the possibility

flights to can be for China as being the

Airline industry has taken a major hit

epicenter of the pandemic, they are now

Authorities will need to further ensure

to fully bounce back to how it was

because of the travel restrictions and

able to rebounce back. Chinese market

this by depicting strong safety measures

sometime after February 2021. In many

border

airlines

professionals have even revealed revenge

starting

instances,

operate in Maldives right now are the

spending on luxury goods at China which

screening posts. As airport serves as the

adjusted their restrictive measures as the

cargo flights used to transport goods and

in turn is predicted to subsequently

first greeting place to the destination, this

situation has evolved and Maldives could

much needed medical equipment to the

increase the spending on traveling as

will give the travelers reassurance.

follow.

country.

well. Maldives can therefore consider

closures.

Only

few

form

airports

with

health

opening borders to China around August.

Focus on the markets

due to the first confirmed case from the

India, which will be lifting the lockdowns

For a small island nation like Maldives,

capital Male’ city on 15th April.

on 3rd May, have already allowed their

tourism industry and airline industry

All domestic flights have come to halt

destinations

have

already


AVIATION 23

VELANA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WITNESSES OVER 60% DECREASE IN FLIGHT LANDINGS Maldives

Limited

Various travel restrictions put into place

Velana

by countries due to the COVID-19

International Airport has witnessed over

pandemic has put the airline industry

60% decrease in the number of flight

in havoc throughout the globe. This has

landings.

resulted in temporary suspensions of

(MACL)

Airport has

Company

revealed

that

flights by a number of airlines. On 22nd March, the airport welcomed 16 out of the 43 international flights

Maldives has previously taken border

scheduled. However, the total number

control

of domestic flights within Maldives on

suspending all tourist arrivals from UK,

Sunday stood at 25. As part of the on

Malaysia, China, Italy, Bangladesh, Iran,

going efforts to combat the spread of

parts of South Korea, Spain, and certain

COVID-19, MACL has also started a

regions of Germany and France.

measures

by

temporarily

program to disinfect roads and open areas of Velana International Airport.

SRILANKAN AIRLINES TEMPORARILY SUSPENDS FLIGHTS BETWEEN COLOMBO AND MALDIVES

Due to COVID-19 Colombo airport

President

closure, Srilankan Airlines has temporarily

ordered the closure of the Bandaranaike

suspended all its flights operating to/from

International Airport in Katunayake for

Male’ and Gan. This suspension will be

two weeks with effect from 18th March to

effective from 19th to 25th March 2020.

contain the spread COVID-19.

Passengers who are booked to travel

During this restricted period the following

during this period are advised contact

will be permitted:

the following numbers: +960 3333668 /

1. Aircraft Departures with passengers

Gotabaya

Rajapaksa

has

+960 7797673 / +960 7936778 / +960

originating from Colombo and transit

7926778

passengers 2. Emergency Diversions to BIA

According to Sri Lanka Health Authorities announcement, all international Airports

3. Freighter operations and humanitarian flights to BIA

in Sri Lanka are closed for operation

4. Technical landings at BIA

of

5. Inbound ferry flights (without

inward

international

commercial

passenger flights (i.e arrivals) with effect

passengers) at BIA

from 0400hrs on 19 March 2020 (local time in Sri Lanka) until 2359hrs on 25

The travel bans put into place by several

March 2020 (local time in Sri Lanka).

governments

due

to

the

COVID-19

pandemic are affecting a number of While the closure is said to be reviewed by the Sri Lanka Authorities, Sri Lankan

airlines significantly throughout the globe.


24 AVIATION

SINGAPORE AIRLINES GROUNDS MOST OF ITS FLEET AMID TRAVEL RESTRICTION Singapore Airlines Ltd will cut capacity

the SIA Group has faced,” it said in a

by 96 per cent and ground almost all of

statement. The company has drawn on

its fleet, the carrier says, in response to

its credit lines in the last few days to meet

COVID-19 travel restrictions it called the

immediate cash flow requirements and

“greatest challenge” it had ever faced.

is in talks with financial institutions over

The move comes as global travel hub

future funding needs, it added.

Singapore closed borders to travelers and transiting passengers in a bid to stem

Low-cost carrier Scoot will also suspend

spread of the virus.

most of its network, leading to the grounding of 47 of its fleet of 49 aircraft,

Shares of the airline, majority owned by

the airline said. “It is unclear when the

Singapore state investor Temasek, were

SIA Group can begin to resume normal

down nearly 9 per cent on March 23rd,

services, given the uncertainty as to

outstripping a drop of 8 per cent in the

when the stringent border controls will be

benchmark, its biggest fall since October

lifted,” the airline said.

2008. The cuts are in line with those made by The airline industry worldwide is seeking

rival Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, which

state bail-outs to absorb the shock from

slashed passenger capacity by 96 per

the pandemic, as widespread travel curbs

cent in April and May. Singapore Airlines

have forced many to ground fleets and

said it was looking to shore up liquidity

seek external financial funding, either

2019. The company has engaged the

order thousands of workers on unpaid

and reduce expenses, by asking aircraft

from banks or major shareholders. The

unions in talks on further cost-cutting

leave to keep afloat.

makers to defer deliveries and adopting

airline will focus on protecting jobs, Chief

measures.

“This will result in the grounding of around

salary cuts for management, among

Executive Goh Choon Phong said. The

138 SIA and SilkAir aircraft, out of a total

other steps. Last week, OCBC credit

group had more than 26,500 employees

fleet of 147, amid the greatest challenge

analysts said the airline would need to

in the financial year that ended in March

MANTA AIR TO CONTINUE SEAPLANE OPERATIONS FOR LOCAL TRANSFERS DESPITE SCALING DOWN Manta Air confirms to continue its flights

until the current situation in the Maldives

for the local community with its Seaplane

improves. All its customers who wish to

service, effective from 01 April 2020 to

travel during this period may book tickets

both Dhaalu and Baa Atoll.

via www.mantaair.mv/book or through their reservations team.

Manta Air has decided to continue daily flights using its seaplanes to maintain

In addition to this, Manta Air said they

regular domestic transfer connectivity

will continue to support the on-demand

in these atolls and also for emergency

charter flight requirements for both

flights due to the continued requests from

ATR and twin-otters if there is a specific

the local community.

requirement from its partners at any time during this period.

Given the drastic decline in travel resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic

The

and foreseeable financial impact, the

suspension of all flights to Kooddoo

airline has also made the

decision to

(GKK) airport effective from 29 March

temporarily suspend its fixed scheduled

2020 and flights to Dharavandhoo (DRV)

ATR services to Dhaalu Airport and

and Dhaalu (DDD) airport were reduced

Dharavandhoo Airport from 01 April 2020

from 16th March.

airline

previously

announced


AVIATION 25

INDIA BANS ENTRY OF ALL INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL PASSENGER FLIGHTS India’s government has announced that

Meanwhile, the Association of Asia

it will ban all scheduled international

Pacific Airlines (AAPA) said Asian airlines

commercial

from

are facing revenue shortfalls of over 60

landing in the country from March 22

billion dollars this year as a result of

for one week to contain the spread of

sharp falls in demand which have already

COVID-19.

forced the grounding of over half the

passenger

flights

fleet. By the same token, it said, many “No scheduled international commercial

of the one million workers are unable to

passenger flights shall be allowed to land

work because of drastic reductions in

in India from March 22 for one week,”

operations due to COVID-19 pandemic.

said the government in a statement.

According to the Ministry of Health

This comes after the International Air

and Family Welfare, the total number

Transport Association (IATA) said the

of positive cases of COVID-19 in India

global air transport industry could see

stands at 167 (including 25 foreigners),

113 billion dollars of revenue losses for

4 deaths (1 each) in Delhi, Karnataka,

the passenger business in 2020 as novel

Punjab and Maharashtra.

coronavirus snowballs into a public health emergency.

MANTA AIR ANNOUNCES TEMPORARY ROUTE SUSPENSION AND SCHEDULE CHANGES Manta Air has reduced its operations in

to temporarily halt its operations to

different locations across the country and

Koodhoo airport.

has halted its operations to G.A. Koodhoo airport.

The airline reports that after careful consideration of the situation and given

In a recent statement released by the

the foreseeable financial impact, all

local airline, they have announced that

flights to Kooddoo (GKK) airport will be

they have brought temporary changes

temporarily suspended effective from 29

to its flight schedules due to changes in

March 2020 while flights to Dharavandhoo

the demand for its operations amid the

(DRV) and Dhaalu (DDD) airport will be

spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the

reduced with immediate effect.

Maldives. They further highlighted that demand for domestic travel has fallen

The latest information regarding the local

significantly leading to the cancellation

airline’s operations will be available from

of many flights, thus they have decided

their website.


26 AVIATION

COVID-19 COULD BANKRUPT MOST AIRLINES WORLDWIDE BY MAY - AVIATION GROUP

The COVID-19 pandemic could lead most

is to be avoided.” Many airlines have

President Trump peremptorily announced

Ireland and most European countries.

airlines across the world to bankruptcy

probably been driven into technical

the effective cancellation of airline access

CAPA urged national governments to

by May, industry body CAPA (Centre for

bankruptcy already, CAPA said, adding

to most Europeans, he didn’t even advise

create a framework for managing fallout

Aviation) warns.

that cash reserves are running low and

his European government counterparts

from the COVID-19 pandemic now,

forward bookings are “far outweighed”

in advance, let alone consult with them.

rather than waiting to create a basis to

and

by mass cancellations made each time

Other governments have performed little

work from. “Inevitably, once we exit

recommendations issued by countries

a new government’s recommendation

better,” CAPA said. Trump made the

this tunnel — as we will — the world will

pose great economic challenges for

discourages flying.

announcement about the 30-day travel

be a different place; aviation will be no

ban from Europe for foreign nationals

exception,” CAPA said. Failure to do so,

during an Oval Office address last week.

CAPA said, will result in an “unstructured

CAPA

said

travel

restrictions

airlines, and the group urged national governments to coordinate with each

National governments are also sending

other to mitigate the risks. “By the end of

“mixed and frequently quite different”

May-2020, most airlines in the world will

messages, with each nation adopting

Amid the outbreak, the U.S. Centers for

“will reek of nationalism” leaving the

be bankrupt,” CAPA said in a statement.

a solution that appears best for itself

Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

airlines that are best-supported by their

“Coordinated government and industry

without consulting neighbors or trading

recommends travelers limit nonessential

governments.

action is needed — now — if catastrophe

partners, CAPA said. “When, for example

travel to China, Iran, the United Kingdom,

and nationalistic outcome” that will


AVIATION 27

TURKISH AIRLINES CANCELS FLIGHTS TO 9 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES

Turkish Airlines has announced that it has

The airline shared that passengers who

suspended routes to nine destinations

have tickets booked to these destinations

across Europe due to COVID-19. Flights

between March 14th April 17th will be

to Germany, France, Spain, Norway,

able to make reservation changes free

Denmark,

of charge if the new flight takes place by

Belgium,

Austria,

Sweden

and Netherlands will be halted until

May 31st.

April 17th. The carrier announced that these measures have been put in place

Additionally, refunds will be issued for

as part of the impact that the spread of

any unused tickets. For any partially

COVID-19 is having.

used tickets, where the trip has not been completed, passengers will be

Turkish Airlines displayed the following

provided with route changes where

statement on its website: “Our flights

possible. Alternatively, they will receive

with Germany, France, Spain, Norway,

refunds for the unused part of the ticket.

Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Austria and

Furthermore, passengers with canceled

Holland as departure point are suspended

flights can change their tickets for free via

(until) April 17, 2020. You can obtain the

the company’s website, app, sales offices

most up-to-date information regarding

and call centers. They can also consult

your flights from our flight status page

the agency from which they purchased

using your flight number or route.”

the ticket.

SRI LANKA TEMPORARILY SUSPENDS ON-ARRIVAL VISA FOR MALDIVIANS Under

the

new

measures

being

The

country

had

implemented

implemented by Sri Lankan government,

restrictions on the visa policy previously,

effective 15th March 2020, 23:30 hours

from which Maldivians were exempted

Sri Lanka has temporarily suspended visa

from. However, the policy has now been

on arrival for Maldivians. This will not

switched to include Maldivians as well.

apply for the Maldivians traveling with

The Maldivian embassy in the country

official or diplomatic visa and Sri Lankan

has requested locals to register at the

resident visa.

embassy as soon as possible.

QATAR AIRWAYS ANNOUNCES CAPACITY INCREASES London Heathrow and Perth. In addition,

last seven days while 72 per cent of

it’s adding charter service to Europe from

passengers carried on 24 March were

the U.S. and Asia.

nationals flying to their country of origin.

Unlike other airlines, Qatar still serves

“Working with embassies around the

75 destinations, including to the U.S.,

world, the airline has operated one-off

though the airline acknowledges that this

services from destinations such as Phnom

could quickly change as some countries

Penh, Denpasar, Manila and Kuala Lumpur

adopt tighter restrictions. “Figures for the

to Europe. More than 5,000 passengers

last seven days show load factors of over

were flown home by these services over

80 percent for flights to the UK, France

the last week, a number that is expected

While most domestic and international

again, after also announcing some cuts in

and Germany, with a fall to 36 percent for

to more than triple over the next week.

airlines are cutting thousands of flights

the last few days, by adding 10,000 extra

outbound services from those countries,

Qatar Airways is currently operating

from their schedules due to the fallout of

seats back to its network. It’s doing so by

illustrating the demand for homeward

flights to 75 destinations, though this

the COVID-19 pandemic, Qatar Airways

adding extra flights to Paris, Perth and

travel,” a Qatar Airways spokesperson

number may reduce as nations introduce

is taking another route. The airline is

Dublin from its hub in Doha, and by using

said. “Qatar Airways has flown more

tighter restrictions.”

actually stepping up some of its flying

its A380 fleet for flights to Frankfurt,

than 100,000 passengers home in the


28 AVIATION

AIR INDIA CANCELS FLIGHTS BETWEEN MALE’ - BANGALORE, REDUCE FREQUENCY TO TRIVANDRUM Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Air India

every Tuesday and Saturday. Air India has

has canceled its Bangalore operation to

announced several cost-cutting measures

Male’ and reduced Trivandrum frequency

to ensure it remains afloat, as countries

to weekly 2 flights to Male’. This will be

close

effective from 20th March to 30th April

travelers and people cancel travel plans

2020. According to this new schedule,

due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

their

borders

to

international

flights to Trivandrum will be operating

FLYME TO TEMPORARILY CEASE OPERATIONS

Villa Air Flyme has announced that they

The airline stated that in this situation the

will temporarily cease its commercial

safety of their staff and passengers are

flight operations from 29th March.

more important and meantime they will work on further expanding their business.

Flyme reports that due to the suspension

Flyme highlighted that they have surprises

of the on arrival visa for tourists imposed

lined up for passengers scheduled for

by the government to contain the spread

later this year.

of COVID-19 in the country, the number of passengers has decreased.

The airline is operated by Villa Air, a subsidiary company of Villa Group and

So the airline has decided to temporarily

began operations on 1 October 2011,

suspend its commercial flight operations

operating between Velana International

effective 29th March.

Airport, Villa International Airport and Dharavandhoo Domestic Airport serving

However, Flyme stated that the staff

both local and foreign traffic within

and crew will remain in standby to

Maldives.

accommodate and operate flights upon requests.

ITALY TAKES FULL OWNERSHIP OF NATIONAL AIRLINE ALITALIA Italy just took full ownership of its national

from Delta Air Lines in the US to the

airline Alitalia to save it from collapse

Lufthansa Group in Germany expressed

amid the COVID-19 crisis.

interest, with more unlikely buyers also jumping into the mix including UK low-

Despite years of investment from majors

cost carrier EasyJet and a state-owned

airlines such as Air France-KLM and

railway group.

Etihad Airways, the Italian government announced

the

re-nationalization

as

With no private competitor after the

part of an economic stimulus following a

fall of Air Italy in February, the burden

years-long attempt to find a buyer for the

once again falls on the iconic carrier to

struggling airline tasked with connecting

reconnect Italy with the world, especially

Italy with the world. The move came as

once the country escapes the gripes of

potential suitors for the airline ranging

the novel COVID-19.


AVIATION 29

CATHAY PACIFIC TO REDUCE PASSENGER CAPACITY BY 96% IN APRIL AND MAY

Cathay

Pacific

and

Cathay

Dragon

skeleton passenger flight schedule in

to 12 destinations – London (Heathrow),

said: “As Hong Kong’s home airlines,

will reduce capacity by 96% across its

April and May, though the freighter

Los Angeles, Vancouver, Tokyo (Narita),

it is important that we continue to

passenger network in April and May in

capacity remains intact. The ability to

Taipei, New Delhi, Bangkok, Jakarta,

provide important passenger and cargo

light of the severe drop in demand due

maintain even this skeleton schedule

Manila, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore and

connections to and from the Hong Kong

to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and

will depend on whether more travel

Sydney. Cathay Dragon will operate three

hub. We will therefore endeavor to

multiple government travel restrictions

restrictions are imposed by governments

flights per week to three destinations in

maintain a minimal number of flights to

that form part of the global health

around the world which will further

Beijing, Shanghai (Pudong), and Kuala

and from key destinations in our network

response plan. As previously announced,

dampen

Cathay

Lumpur. Ronald Lam, chief customer

to ensure these vital arteries remain

the airlines intend to operate a bare

Pacific will operate three flights per week

and commercial officer of Cathay Pacific

open.”

passenger

demand.

discover turkey FLY WITH TURKISHAIRLINES

EXPEDITE MALDIVES | PHONE NO: 3009595 | VIBER: 7229595 | EMAIL: SALES@EXPEDITEMALDIVES.COM


30 AWARDS/ LISTINGS / FEATURES

AMILLA MALDIVES RESORT AND RESIDENCES NAMED WORLD’S BEST HONEYMOON HOTEL which is one of the many areas where we

them. Will it be a one-of-a-kind wedding

truly excel. Not to mention the stunning

ceremony in an intimate yet avant-garde

scenery, stylish luxury accommodation,

location - Amilla’s Beach Bubble? This

world-class spa and five-star gastronomy.

venue is set on the beach and transforms

“Amilla is one of the most beautiful

into a transparent wedding chapel with

islands in the world – it’s the ultimate

360-degree views of the island’s stunning

tropical

and

natural beauty. Or maybe they will

we’re delighted to receive international

choose to celebrate their nuptials at an

recognition for it”.

Amilla Residence - the ultimate in privacy

honeymoon

location

-

and discretion. This stylish and spacious Amilla is an island paradise where the

beach house is perfect for celebrations

purest crystalline waters lap sandy shores

of any scale; there’s plenty of room for

as soft as icing sugar. A lush Maldivian

larger wedding parties and high-flyers

retreat cloaked behind a canopy of

can be assured of the utmost privacy.

breadfruit, pandan and coconut trees, and encircled by the magnificent Baa Atoll

As for our honeymoon accommodation,

UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. This

couples take their pick according to their

is an ecosystem so beautiful and precious

vibe: Living out Tarzan and Jane fantasies

it was granted international recognition.

in one of our luxurious Treehouse Villas

The jewel in the crown of this protected

complete with a glass pool, hidden high

reserve:

For many years Amilla Maldives Resort

Amilla’s

&

up in the verdant jungle canopy. Getting

and Residences has been the place for

Kruse, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled

Residences. In the shade of the hibiscus

lost in an endless panorama of blue from

honeymooners in the know, but now

to receive the Best Honeymoon Hotel

blooms and frangipanis, honeymooners

the sundeck of one of our gleaming white

the romantic resort has been crowned

award at the Wedding Travel Awards.

can discover a multitude of quiet spots

Lagoon Water Villas. Or being gently

the world’s Best Honeymoon Hotel,

Our team works extremely hard to create

to linger together before celebrating

lulled to sleep by the sound of the Indian

the secret’s out. The prestigious award

bespoke honeymoon experiences that

their nuptials in an unforgettable tropical

Ocean caressing the shore from one of

was presented by Russia’s ‘Wedding

our guests will never forget. For us, it’s

wedding ceremony.

our dreamy Beach Villas. We design

Magazine’ at its annual Wedding Travel

important to give each guest a highly

Awards Moscow, which took place at the

personalised experience and to exceed

The billowing white canopy of our wedding

down to the smallest personalized detail.

Four Seasons Hotel Moscow on February

their expectations.

altar is set upon the glistening white

The lush island of Amilla Fushi provides

General

Manager,

Jason

28. Amilla’s Director of International

Amilla

Maldives

Resort

the perfect Maldives honeymoons, right

sands. Couples can toast their union with

the canvas for us to paint our guests’

Sales, Nasrulla Adam, and Sales Manager,

“We know honeymooners and couples

chilled champagne at our Sunset Bar as

dreams upon.

Alia Korshykova, accepted the trophy on

marrying on our island want everything

the sky turns golden then retreat to their

behalf of Amilla Maldives Resort at the

to be perfect but don’t want to have to

private cocoon, where a bath brimming

glittering awards ceremony.

worry about organising all the details,

with tropical flowers has been drawn for


ACCOMMODATION

31

VILLA RESORTS TEMPORARILY SHUT DOWN, EXCEPT FOR PARADISE ISLAND RESORT Maldivian resort chain, Villa Hotels and

will not accept any new bookings, except

Resorts has announced that all their

for Paradise, and plans on transferring

resorts will be temporarily shut down,

its existing bookings at other resorts to

except for Paradise Island Resort and

Paradise in the coming days.

Spa. It is reported that the group had to resort Villa Hotels & Resorts is one of the leading

to this decision due to the COVID-19

resort chains in the Maldives managing

pandemic. With the travel ban imposed

five exclusive island resorts which are:

by the government on major markets,

Paradise Island Resort

Maldives tourism industry is significantly

Sun Island Resort

affected.

Royal Island Resort

Holiday Island Resort

The Government has taken border control

Fun Island Resort

measures by temporarily suspending all tourist arrivals from China, Italy,

Villa group informs that they will close

Bangladesh, Iran, parts of South Korea,

down its other resorts following the

Spain, and certain regions of Germany

departure of its existing guests. They

and France.

natural

in the catch of fish in recent years. If

A PROMISE FOR SUSTAINABLE FISHING AT SIX SENSES LAAMU Laamaseelu Masveriya means ‘Exemplary

can continue to provide memorable

Fishermen’ in the local language of

experiences on healthy reefs for guests,

Dhivehi, and that is exactly who came

while making the credible claim that the

together earlier this month to sign a reef

fish on all menus is caught sustainably.

fishery code of conduct, the first of its

The fishermen receive benefits such as

kind in the Maldives. A group of nine

discounts on fishing gear and equipment

fishermen in Laamu Atoll signed up to the

from the resort on a points-based

sustainable fishing code of conduct at Six

rewards system, while also guaranteeing

Senses Laamu, setting a milestone for

their future livelihoods by safeguarding

sustainable fisheries management in the

reef fish populations.

country.

environment

through

BLUE’s

Charles Clover, Executive Director of Blue

Laamaseelu

will

we fish responsibly then we can help to

The ’Laamaseelu Masveriya’ Program was

Marine Foundation, said, “If we fish in a

inspire other resorts in the Maldives to

sustain the fisheries for generations to

developed by Blue Marine Foundation,

clever way in the Maldives, it is possible to

implement similar measures and increase

come.”

an

Maldives

create reef fisheries that work sustainably

the resiliency of our reefs for the future.”

Underwater Initiative (MUI) based at

for both resorts and fishermen. There

A report assessing the state of Maldivian

Reef fish play a critical role in coral reef

Six Senses Laamu. The code of conduct

is still a long way to go in safeguarding

reef fisheries in 2014 found that the

resilience, which is the ability of coral

sets rules that the fishermen and the

Maldivian fish populations for everyone,

annual catch of reef fish was 29,145

reefs to regenerate after natural and

resort follow to ensure that the entire

but this novel model is an important first

metric tons, just a few tons below the

human-induced

process, from fishing to purchasing, is

step. BLUE hopes that other resorts will

country’s maximum sustainable yield

as coral bleaching2. By signing up to

done

follow to become leaders in fisheries

of 30,000 metric tonnes1. As tourism

the code of conduct and sustainably

management in the Maldives.”

continues to grow and the demand for

managing these reef fish populations,

reef fish follows, the annual catch of reef

Six Senses Laamu and the fishermen of

Megan O’Beirne, Sustainability Manager

fish has likely surpassed this ecologically

Laamu Atoll are taking an important step

at Six Senses Laamu, added, “We hope

safe limit. Saud, one of the local fishermen

towards creating climate resilient reefs in

The code of conduct benefits both the

that the benefits we have seen for the

who signed up to the code of conduct,

the Maldives.

resort and the local fishermen. The resort

resort, the local economy, and the

commented, ¬“I have noticed a decrease

NGO

partner

sustainably.

part

of

Examples

include

avoiding fishing in spawning grounds and releasing all nationally protected species, parrotfish, and juvenile fish.

Masveriya

Program

disturbances,

such


32 ACCOMMODATION I was welcomed to the spacious lobby

Standard Maldives is not just retro and

with open windows. The lobby had huge

energetic, but makes sure that the guests

bean-bag like teal color comfy sofa chairs

eat healthy. The menu at the Todis bar

but what stroked me most was the teal

is a collection of fresh oysters, fried

curtains that looked like a lagoon. It took

chicken sandwiches, and dry aged beef

me a minute to identify the hidden local

burgers and fries to name a few. Todis

language written all over the curtains.

bar certainly is the spot for an indulgent and playful afternoon.

I was then welcomed with – no, not a welcome drink, but with fun popsicles.

Sunset views were best at the Beru Bar

I got the lime flavor which was so

which also houses one of the biggest disco

refreshing. Savored every drop of it! I

ball I have seen in Maldives – that too on

got to stay in a Ocean Beach Villa with a

a glass surface just above the turquoise

private pool towards the beach side. The

waters.

room interior was simple but the neon

TURN YOUR WORLD UPSIDE DOWN AT THE STANDARD, MALDIVES

pink strap around the bedside and the

I got to enjoy a wonderful stay which

pink floaties hanging on the wall gave a

began with refreshing sunrise yoga on

pop of color. Everything was simply white

the spa deck, some good breakfast and

from the snorkeling gear on the wall to

swimming that was followed by some

the cool ukulele at the side table.

relaxing spa time which helped me cool off.

Walking it to the bathroom made me feel like I needed to get my dancing shoes on

Need sometime off the busy hectic

immediately. The all white and spacious

schedule? Then get your swimming

If you want to leave all your worries

platform will surely make you want to

bathroom had a disco ball hanging from

caps on and head off to The Standard,

behind, have some fun and if you’re into

start snorkeling right then and there.

the ceiling. The bathroom dancer in me

Maldives!

art and music, The Standard, Maldives

Music hits you hard before you even land

knew that it was where I needed to be.

is the place to be. When you get off

on the island. The hip chill vibe you get

Even the bath tub was no ordinary one.

the seaplane at the floating jetty, your

even before you step foot on the island

It was a round and huge white tub where

breath is taken away by the beauty of

will surely make your troubles go away

I can relax with some music under the

the water. Little fishes around the floating

and smile.

disco!

Don’t defer that dream vacation. Just go.

HERITANCE AARAH: A SPLURGE WORTHY ALL-INCLUSIVE MALDIVIAN ESCAPE Staying in an overwater ocean villa

gourmet cuisines offered at a stretch of

or beach villa is definitely considered

not just one, but six restaurants (five of

a highlight for resort vacations. With

which are included in the all inclusive

first class services and exquisite dining

package). Ralu and Ranba opened from

options, everything in an all inclusive

7am to 10pm offers the option to dine

luxury offering, Heritance Aarah offers a

in buffet or enjoy simple snacks like

truly Maldivian escape, in style!

sandwiches and burgers to various Italian dishes.

One of the best luxury resorts in the Maldives, the resort consists of wooden

Dinner is best served at either Ginifati;

water villas. With simple yet sophisticated

for seafood lovers, Ambula; to enjoy

interiors, the villas come with a neutral

some contemporary spices and flavors

palette of whites and creams which blend

from Sri Lankan cuisine, or at the Hathaa

well with the tropical destination.

restaurant for a distinctive culinary

taste authentic Middle Eastern and

opportunity to go under the sea to have

journey of either to the streets of

international cuisine throughout the day

their breath taken away by colorful coral

The rooms are designed in a way where

Bangkok, Maldives, Tokyo, Istanbul or

from 7am to 10pm.

and marine life, ride the waves or to bring

guests will get to enjoy the natural

Mumbai city.

out the daring side and go fly boarding Remote and isolated from the busy

surrounding beauty whether it is the view

like a superman above water.

of clear turquoise waters or the amazing

Baani

truly

everyday life, the island is also home to

sunsets by the sea. One highlight of

Mediterranean feel in a café culture

one of the best snorkeling and diving sites

Life is too short not to splurge, so why not

Heritance Aarah is the availability of

style. Guests get the opportunity to

in the archipelago. Guests are offered the

do it at Heritance Aarah?

restaurant

offers

a


ACCOMMODATION 33

HELP SAVE TOURISM; DON’T CANCEL, CHANGE TRAVEL DATES

The shutdown of airlines, border control

UK, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Iran, parts of

measures and travel bans put into place

South Korea, Spain, and certain regions

have led the travel industry throughout

of Germany and France in efforts to

the globe in havoc.

contain the spread of the virus.

The worst hit countries include China and

This have led to thousands of cancellations

Italy, the top markets for the Maldives

in the industry. Travel trade community

tourism industry. This has brought about

is now pleading the holidaymakers not to

the worst impact in the history of Maldives

cancel but to change the dates.

tourism. Maldives, Throughout

the

nation,

over

an

island

nation

highly

600

dependent on tourism needs the support

guesthouses are shutdown temporarily

from its visitors throughout the globe to

and safaris have also been banned due to

combat the loss industry is facing.

the ongoing pandemic. So please do not cancel, change the dates The

government

of

Maldives

have

imposed travel bans from China, Italy,

and come see the paradise destination later! #StaySafeTravelLater

TOURIST PRAISE MALDIVES FOR MEASURES TAKEN AGAINST COVID-19 A tourist has praised the measures

and tourism industry website and they

taken by Maldives amid the COVID-19

have been putting up updates every 10

pandemic.

hours. I like the fact that they have been detailing what the updates can tell which

In a video gone viral on social media, AJ

basically gives me comfort to listen as

Evan who visited Maldives with his son on

they know what they are doing. The

a spring break said that he has not seen

government is working like a well-oiled

any other country prepared for COVID-19

machine”, he added.

as much as the Maldives. He highlighted that the one reason why he He said that he booked the trip to

made the trip was because he was well

Maldives few months ago and COVID-19

informed, and marked that tourists will

happened. He needed information on

appreciate that.

whether to come to Maldives, what’s going on in Maldives, how Maldives

The

government was handling it.

originated in Wuhan, China has swept into

COVID-19

viral

disease

which

at least 114 countries and killed more than “I have been tracking the COVID-19 in

4,000 people is now officially a pandemic,

Maldives through health ministry website

the World Health Organization.

Hawks Hotels advert.pdf 1 2/16/2020 12:29:52 PM

A tropical escape on Kamadhoo island, Baa Atoll

Tropical Biosphere M u n i c h

K a m a d h o o

A luxury hotel close to Velana International Airport and right in front of Hulhumale beach

Hawks Hotels

Tropical Biosphere M u n i c h

K a m a d h o o

For reservations: Mr. Hugo Mendis

E: info@airportbeach.mv

P: +960 7950494


34 ACCOMMODATION

LILY BEACH INTRODUCES NEW VILLA OPTIONS

Lily Beach Resort Maldives have have

For a beach house concept, the spacious

introduced new villa options including

Beach Residence (225M2) includes a

Beach Suites, Beach Suites with Pool and

large bedroom with ensuite bathroom,

a Beach Residence. The resort’s existing

a dining/living room, and a private deck

villa categories include Beach Villa,

with a large swimming pool.

Lagoon Villa, Deluxe Water Villa and Sunset Water Suite.

Located

on

a

private

island

of

Huvahendhoo in South Ari Atoll, Lily Lily Beach informs that these new villas

Beach Resort and Spa is recognized as

all offer luxurious contemporary design

the leading 5-star All-Inclusive resort in

blended with natural materials, artistic

the Maldives and Asia featuring its unique

elements and Maldivian decor. Nestled

and elevated concept of “Affordable

among the lush tropical vegetation, they

Luxury”. With its extensive Platinum

also all provide a private sundeck with a

Plan, the resort continues to reinvent

direct access to the beach.

culinary offerings to stay abreast of trends in dining experiences, beverages

The Beach Suites are a great choice

and presentation. Additionally, the island

for both couples and families, with

enjoys a renowned character for its

interconnected rooms for larger families

pristine beaches, lush tropical vegetation

or families with children. If guests are

and the unspoilt house-reef just few

looking for a romantic getaway, the Beach

meters away from the shore.

Suites with Pool are ideal for couples as they offer a large deck with a swimming pool or a jacuzzi to chill out!

AMILLA MALDIVES LAUNCHES COVID-19 LOCKDOWN WORKOUTS

After Amilla Maldives had to temporarily

Ocean. The guys will guide viewers

pause operations until July due to

through

the Covid-19 pandemic, the Islanders

burpees, russian twists and more.

dynamic

stretching,

lunges,

decided they wanted to find ways to continue to share their beautiful island

It’s known that exercise can help reduce

with the world. So they put their heads

anxiety, strengthen your body and immune

together to come up with various ways

system and improve your mood due to

of doing it, and these exercise videos

the release of the feel-good chemical,

are one of the first of a collection of

endorphin, and the reduction of the

virtual Maldives experiences that will

stress hormone, cortisol. Amilla Maldives

be launched by Amilla over the coming

Resort offers a holistic approach with it’s

months. It’s hoped they’ll offer a bit of

unique Wellness Your Way concept which

escapism and spread some happiness

includes

and positivity to viewers.

fresh from the Mystique Garden, special

organic

homegrown

cuisine

dietary and eating lifestyle cuisine, Amilla is the first resort in the Maldives to

probiotics, yoga, personal training, pro

launch guided online workouts. They will

tennis coaching and massage therapies,

be led by the resort’s resident personal

to name but a few.

trainers and each one will be filmed in

During

these

difficult

times,

a different exotic location around the

Since many people around the world

island. Amilla’s exercise videos can be

are currently experiencing anxiety and

streamed directly from paradise via the

have restricted options for working out,

resort’s YouTube channel and IGTV

Amilla’s vast range of wellness expertise

(Instagram’s longform video channel).

could come in handy in helping people

Amilla

to help people around the world under

The first one will be launched today and

out during these challenging times.

Fushi Maldives Resort and Residences

Covid-19 quarantine restrictions to stay

more will follow each week. So each time

Over the following weeks, Amilla will

has decided to spread a little cheer to

healthy, enhance their mood and give

they log on, people can virtually visit a

showcase guided workouts from the

everyone cooped up at home with the

them a sneak peek of one of the world’s

new location at the resort and practice

chic Water Villas, spacious Residences,

launch of a free series of home exercise

most beautiful private island resorts.

new exercise routines.

contemporary Javvu Gym and more.

videos.

Whether they are previous Amilla guests

Visit Amilla’s YouTube Channel and IGTV

or simply dreaming about travelling to the

The

The aim of creating these weekly guided

Maldives later, Amilla’s workout videos

Shameem and Shamaam, kicks off beside

workout videos - filmed in a variety of

are a virtual ticket to paradise via your

Amilla’s gorgeous freshwater main pool

stunning locations around the island - is

laptop or mobile device.

overlooking dreamy scenes of the Indian

first

video,

led

by

Islanders,

any time to catch up on the latest Amilla home workout.


ACCOMMODATION 35

AMILLA FUSHI MALDIVES RESORT AND RESIDENCES TEMPORARILY PAUSES OPERATIONS Amilla

Fushi

Residences

Maldives is

Resort

temporarily

and

enhanced its sustainability ethos to

ceasing

create an unparalleled conscious luxury

operations – but is preparing to come

experience.

back with a bang on July 1st, 2020!

Your Way – the Maldives’ first truly

They

comprehensive

include

and

fully

Wellness integrated

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the

‘eating lifestyles’ menus, catering to

Maldives restricted entry to visitors

the demands of today’s luxury resort

from several countries to the tropical

guests with delicious customizable keto,

archipelago,

countries

paleo, vegan, probiotic dishes. Jason

advised their citizens not to travel. This

is also overseeing the development

resulted in a large drop in the number of

and celebration of the resort’s proud

arrivals to the Maldives and Amilla Fushi.

Maldivian heritage, recognition of its

As such, the Amilla Islanders has decided

enviable position in the biodiverse Baa

to make the difficult decision to pause

Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve

with landscaping to enhance the naturally

spaces to play, eat, drink and relax in our

operations – but decided to seize the

and enrichment of its highly-personalized,

lush island. However, the Amilla Islanders

4-8 bedroom Residences.

opportunity to shake things up and come

charismatic service.

are keeping the biggest changes under

while

many

back with some thrilling new changes in a few months.

The Islanders would like to thank Amilla’s

wraps for the time being. The temporary suspension will allow

guests,

industry

partners,

suppliers

the Islanders to work on even bigger

In the meantime, any guests currently

and everyone else they are involved

The avant-garde resort has garnered a

and better innovations over the next

staying on the island or coming to stay at a

with from the bottom of their hearts for

reputation over the years for rolling out

few

ground-breaking

maintenance

months.

Other

than

essential

Residence will continue to be treated with

their continued support during these

chic,

Amilla’s signature charismatic service

unprecedented times. They are also

the past six months, under the helm of

minimalist Villas and Residences to

and adjusted hospitality which includes

extremely grateful for the support of their

new General Manager, Jason Kruse,

polish Amilla’s renowned sparkle, they’ll

selected excursions and spa treatments

owners and their willingness to embrace

and

Victoria

be further developing the enticing F&B

for the duration of their stay at their

the thrilling new plans for the future.

Kruse, Amilla has pioneered a plethora

offerings under the leadership of Chef

Island Home. Please contact us directly if

Watch this space for the new Amilla

of ground-breaking new concepts and

Mickaël Farina creating a fresh new look

you like to escape in style with plenty of

brand!

Sustainability

innovations.

Manager,

During

works

on

the

VARU BY ATMOSPHERE SUPPORTS THE GOVERNMENT OF MALDIVES WITH COVID-19 VARU

by

Atmosphere,

the

recently

Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts will be

opened fifth resort of Atmosphere Hotels

contributing

to

the

Government

of

& Resorts, will be used as a location to

Maldives by offering one of the five

station government teams and increase

operating resorts to the Ministry of

nationwide efforts against COVID-19

Tourism. The company wishes to continue

from 23rd March.

to practice their philosophy of ‘The Joy of Giving’ by giving back to the Maldivian

Health and security measures have

community and play their part in helping

been increased by The Maldives Health

to overcome this difficult time.

Protection

agency

to

combat

and

minimize the spread of Novel Coronavirus

All

(COVID-19) within the country.

Atmosphere from now and until further

guests

travelling

to

VARU

by

notice will be relocated to one of the Strict measures have been implemented

Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts sister

for both the travel sector and the local

properties.

population along with new initiatives coming from the Maldives Ministry of Tourism.


36 ACCOMMODATION

VELAA PRIVATE ISLAND LAUNCHES EMPLOYEE RELIEF SCHEME IN THE FACE OF COVID-19 CRISIS

Velaa Private Island has launched a

Employees still involved in the day-to-

special employee relief scheme to help

day operations of the resort will receive

its employees in face of the COVID-19

full basic salary and service charge in

pandemic.

the range of $300-500 depending on the salary. Eligible employees will also

“As we work together to manage through

continue to receive the long service

this

allowance.

challenging

time

with

looming

economic uncertainty, it is reasonable and prudent to assume that this pandemic

All contract staff will be paid their

will affect the Velaa family members in

monthly pay as usual. Velaa also assures

numerous ways. However, unlike other

the third-party and outsourced staff that

corporates in Maldives, Velaa will not

their contracts will not be terminated

let its colleagues down, and in order to

unreasonably.

provide more support for our colleagues in during these tough times, our owner

Velaa Private Island has also been

has committed to a Colleagues Relief

recognized as one of the highest service

Scheme (CRS),” a memo sent to their

charge paying resorts in the Maldives.

employees read. Nested in the collection of islands that The memo further highlighted that the

form the Noonu Atoll, a 45-minute

management understood the difficult

seaplane flight north of Malé, Velaa

situation

their

Private Island is a “beyond luxury”

loved ones are in. Velaa’s Colleagues

hideaway. The resort is comprised of 18

Relief Scheme provides full basic salary

overwater villas, 25 beach villas, houses

plus a fixed allowance of $100-200 for

and 4 four-bedroom residences. Each

employees currently out of the island.

dwelling is serviced by a personal butler,

Eligible employees will continue to receive

ready to accommodate any desire that

a long service allowance, whilst a special

guests might have in mind.

their

colleagues

and

leave category will be assigned to them.

CROWN AND CHAMPA RESORTS TEMPORARILY SUSPENDS OPERATIONS OF ALL ITS PROPERTIES Crown

and

has

in the Republic of the Maldives, owned

be

and operated by various Maldivian and

temporarily suspending operations of

foreign partners. CCR was established in

all its properties from 15th April to 30th

2000 and their current resorts are:

announced

Champa that

the

Resorts group

will

June 2020. •

Hurawalhi Island Resort & Spa

Hurawalhi Maldives, Kudadoo Maldives

employees have been guided by a vision

A statement released by the group said,

Komandoo Island Resort & Spa

Private Island by Hurawalhi, Innahura

and with shared values. We wish to

“Our deepest sympathies go to everyone

Kudadoo Island Resort & Spa

Maldives Resort, Komandoo Maldives

thank you for your continued support,

affected by the ongoing situation. There

Kuredu Island Resort & Spa

and Kuredu Resort Maldives will be

understanding during these difficult times.

is no overstating the far-reaching effects

Meeru Island Resort & Spa

suspending operations from April 15 to

It is with this trust that our collection will

that this crisis has on individuals,

Veligandu Island Resort & Spa

June 30.

continue to serve guest for the next forty

families, businesses and countries. We

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

wish to thank everyone who promptly and

Innahura Maldives Resort

The group had previously announced the

effectively responded to the situation,

Champa Central Hotel

launch of its five-star Kagi Maldives Spa

and who are continuing to do so as the situation evolves.”

Veligandu

Island

Resort

&

Spa,

years and beyond,” the announcement read.

Island in the Maldives’ North Male Atoll

COVID-19 pandemic has also led to the

in September 2020.

temporary suspension of properties of

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, and

two other leading hotel groups in the

Crown & Champa Resorts, “CCR” is a

Meeru Island Resort & Spa will be closed

“Over the last forty years, our resort

Maldives; Universal Resorts and Villa

trading name for a group of resort hotels

from April 1 to June 30.

collection, its owners, partners and

Hotels.


ACCOMMODATION 37

SEASIDE FINOLHU KICK STARTS EXCITING TRANSFORMATION PROJECT Maldives’ luxury island resort, Seaside

with our vision to be a design-driven resort

resort’s new concept, “Our new design

In line with the resort upgrades, Finolhu

Finolhu, today announced its temporary

that appeals to international high-end

direction focuses on the lens of the

will also introduce the new names and

closure to bring forward its anticipated

affluent travellers. We’re excited to see

“Kaleidoscope”; the changing colours,

concepts for its four restaurants and spa.

transformation project starting from 25

the anticipated innovative developments

patterns

representing

Operated by the German luxury hotel

March 2020. The resort is set to complete

during the first half of the year.”

moments of discovery, wonder and

chain, Seaside Collection, the resort’s

delight”. Throughout the resort, vibrant

new developments in design, architecture

Finolhu recently earned it place as the

pops of colour are incorporated and

and branding are set to align with the

first and only resort in the Maldives

distinct areas are assigned to a unique

Seaside Collections’ brand introducing

This keenly anticipated transformation

to

colour spectrum.

Finolhu as a new market leader in the

will cover guest villas, restaurants, public

prestigious international portfolio. The

areas and a state-of-the-art indoor

transformation is a key milestone for

Further

golf studio. Aiming to modernise the

the resort as it successfully meets the

improvements, Muza Lab’s co-founder

Further

property and its facilities, Finolhu will

Design Hotels’ criteria of embodying

Inge Moore explained: “This playful

transformation

be developing a distinctive barefoot chic

quality, style, and holistic hospitality

alternation

Seaside Finolhu’s official Facebook page

atmosphere that combines Maldivian-

concepts. With award-winning London-

and colours is what guests will now

(facebook.com/FinolhuMaldives).

inspired

based design studio Muza Lab in charge

experience when they visit Finolhu.

resort also encourages its valued guests

of the resort’s redesign, Finolhu’s new

They will be surprised and will marvel

to continue sharing their memorable

look will embody a mesmerising mélange

at what they see. Artisans from all over

#SeasideFinolhu stories on social media.

Marc Reader, Seaside Finolhu’s General

of colours and symmetrical patterns that

the world have created special works

Translated as “sandbank”, Finolhu is one

Manager

and

complement the luxury island resort’s

for the resort. Artistic tiles from Turkey,

of the finest island resorts located in the

cordiality as hosts is to bring the finest

pristine natural beauty in a stunning

chandeliers and wickerwork from South

UNESCO-protected Baa Atoll, comprising

guest experience. We see the importance

representation of joy, wonder and a

Africa and wooden craftwork from Java

of 125 stylish beach and overwater

of offering spaces that make people

feeling of escaping time.

transform the villas, bars & restaurants,

villas, four beachside restaurants, fully-

the fitness room and, last but not least,

equipped spa and wellness facilities, and

the Oceaneers kids club into an exotic

the first Beach Bubble in the Maldives.

its major upgrade and welcome its guests in July 2020.

touches

with

ultra-luxury

modernity.

says:

“Our

passion

be

included

in

Design

Hotels’

feel elegant and cherished, along with providing exceptional hospitality. This

Muza

transformation project is perfectly in line

Hutchins shared their vision of the

Lab’s

co-founder

Nathan

and

textures

Maldives. elaborating

playground.”

of

the

patterns,

planned

geometry

updates will

on be

the

resort’s

posted

on The


38 ACCOMMODATION

SIX SENSES LAAMU TAKES ITS JUNIOR MARINE BIOLOGY PROGRAM ONLINE hashtags. These masterpieces by the

water snorkel. His curiosity inspired the

students will also be published on Six

team to create the program for all like-

Senses media channels and highlighted in

minded marine enthusiasts. Sessions are

the weekly videos.

led by one of 10 biologists, each of whom specializes in different aspects of marine

Over the next 10 weeks, students can

science

learn about manta rays, corals, turtles

as part of their work with the Maldives

and reef fish. Students can explore

Underwater Initiative (MUI). Over the past

seagrass and mangroves and how they are

year, Six Senses Laamu has run hundreds

vital habitats for a diversity of marine life.

of hours of private sessions and certified

Broader topics cover science research,

dozens of junior marine biologists.

and

science

communication

sustainability and how to share passion for science.

MUI is an initiative by Six Senses Laamu in partnership with three NGOs: Blue

Starting Monday April 13, Six Senses

he resort announced in a statement, “We

Although the structure, by necessity, is

Marine Foundation, the Manta Trust and

Laamu is introducing a new type of

are expecting some very special events

slightly different to what children might

the Olive Ridley Project. The mission

home school program where turtles

over the next few weeks on the island,

enjoy on vacation in the Maldives, the

is to lead the tourism industry in the

are teachers and reef fish can be made

including turtle hatching in May, which

objective is the same. It aims to help

Maldives

out of egg cartons and bottle tops! The

we will do our best to bring to you.”

foster an understanding of marine biology

marine conservation focused around

and see first-hand the importance of

the three pillars of research, education

conserving oceans.

and community. One of the team’s

resort is taking their program online with #AtHomeWithSixSenses Junior Marine

“Don’t worry if you’re quarantined in a

Biology Program.

city apartment without views of dolphins

by

undertaking

meaningful

many pioneering projects includes an

from your balcony: all activities take

Six Senses Laamu further added that

underwater

Junior

into account the restrictions we have at

they will also be sharing ways for people

scanner for Laamu’s resident population

Marine Biology Program is a fun 10-week

home during this time. All you will need

to get involved in various conservation

of pregnant manta rays in order to study

course for budding conservationists,

is enthusiasm and a little creativity to

initiatives because every action, no matter

gestation and embryonic development

inspired by the initiative that usually runs

upcycle and rediscover a few unwanted

how small, can have a positive impact.

and guide conservation strategies. MUI

at Six Senses Laamu. Each week, the

items lying around at home to achieve an

resort’s marine biologists on the island

A Grade.”

The Junior Marine Biology program,

for Wildlife and Nature Conservation’

will host short videos and demonstrate

Students will be encouraged to share

which launched a year ago, was initially

Award for its #ProtectMaldivesSeagrass

activities that students can then try at

their “homework” by email to marine-

inspired by a young guest at Six Senses

campaign at the World Travel Market’s

home. The course is open to everyone

laamu@sixsenses.com and on social

Laamu. Unable to join his parents on dive

Responsible Tourism Awards.

and there will be content available and

media using the #AtHomeWithSixSenses

trips, he ventured out with one of the

suitable for all ages.

#GrowWithSixSenses #SixSensesLaamu

resort’s marine biologists on a shallow-

The

#AtHomeWithSixSenses

contactless

ultrasound

was also recently honored with the ‘Best

TEMPORARY SHUTDOWN OF TOURISM INDUSTRY: RESORTS BID FAREWELL TO LAST GUESTS With the travel ban implemented by

Hotels shared a video with caption,

the government, resorts in Maldives are

“Our last guest departure for now. We

temporarily shutting down. Hurawalhi

will be back even stronger; for now, the

Maldives and LUX* South Resort have bid

focus is looking after each other and

farewell to their last remaining guests.

stay focus and cautious on the future. #luxsouthariatoll

Hurawalhi Maldives will be suspending operations till June 30. The resort bid

Tourism industry has come to a halt

farewell to its last guest with their team

because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

jumping into the sea.

Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) Secretary General Ahmed Nazeer

LUX* South Maldives also said farewell to

has described the COVID-19 impact on

their last guests. Afeef Hussain, Regional

the Maldives tourism industry to be the

Director of Training, Development and

worst in the industry history.

Quality Assurance at LUX* Resorts and


ACCOMMODATION 39

COVID-19 CONFINEMENT: TIME FOR MALDIVES TO EXPLORE VIRTUAL TOURS? COVID-19

pandemic

has

grounded

Consequently, travelers are temporarily

it will surely bring some amount of joy to

scenery from places they want to visit and

flights, caused travel bans all over the

stranded at home but not disconnected

the people stuck at home, giving them an

explore the bucket list destinations from

world and brought about lockdowns

from the world thanks to technology. So

escape from the uncertainty everyone is

the comfort of their couch. While experts

which has led everyone to stay confined

why not bring the beach to them? With

facing today. Virtual tours are popular with

are already predicting revenge travel once

at home. Efforts to contain the virus has

no end to the lockdown in sight, Maldives

travelers pretty much anywhere. Tours of

the situation subsides, who knows? The

crippled the tourism industry. Maldives is

can continue to give holidaymakers a

distant lands, from historic museums to

virtual tours of your resort or hotel may

highly dependent on tourism but experts

piece of the paradise destination through

white sandy beaches and crystal clear

lead many an interested traveler to book

are forecasting it will see the biggest

virtual tours. Obviously, it will not be

waters, and beyond. Through them,

Maldives as their next destination once

blow to the industry in its entire history.

anything equivalent to the real thing but

travelers can get to enjoy eye-popping

the pandemic is over!

SHUTDOWN OF TOURISM INDUSTRY: A STEP BACK TO REJUVENATE ENVIRONMENT? President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has

As the Maldives is very much dependent

announced a temporary suspension of

on the environment, we can take this

on arrival visa for tourists. With this

time to rejuvenate our environment. This

decision, the tourism industry has come

would be a good opportunity for our

to a halt. This halt could be the right time

marine life to regrow and our islands to

for us to rejuvenate our environment.

become greener.

Everyday, our coral reefs are exposed

This

to sunscreens and many other chemicals

sustainability of marine life but also will

and oils. The damage this could do to the

help the economy, as when the suspension

environment could be small in the short-

on visa lifts tourists can enjoy a much

term, however, the long-term effects of

healthier and greener environment.

would

not

only

increase

the

this could affect the sustainability of the reefs.

Even though this suspension is expected to cause losses to the industry and

Simultaneously, the travel restrictions

economy, it will give a very much needed

imposed are expected to reduce air

break to our environment.

pollution and will save the sea from getting polluted by oil and gas.


40 ACCOMMODATION

ANGIRI RESORTS GIVES TWO MONTH PAID LEAVE TO EMPLOYEES AMID COVID-19 CRISIS Happy Market has announced that its

resorts with paid leave. This is applicable

resorts operated by Angiri Resorts will

for both local and foreign staff.”

be giving two-month paid leave for all its employees under the brand’s four resorts

The group informs that the paid leave is

in the Maldives.

effective from 4th April for two months and encouraged their staff to spend

The four resorts under the group are

quality time with family at their homes

Thulhagiri Island Resort, Angaga Island

during this difficult time.

Resort & Spa, Dreamland The Unique Sea & Lake Resort & Spa and Safari Island

The government has taken a number

Resort.

of precautionary measures against the rapidly escalating state of the global

Speaking to the local media, an official

COVID-19

from the company said, “This is a difficult

suspension of on arrival visa for tourists.

time for everyone. However we want to

With this decision, the tourism industry

give a paid leave for our staff which is why

has come to a halt.

pandemic

we are temporarily shutting down our four

STANDARD STANDS TOGETHER, LIGHTS UP IN HEART SHAPE TO LIFT SPIRITS AMID COVID-19 CRISIS The global hospitality community has

an engineering marvel of a giant heart

never seen anything like what has occurred

across the façade of their iconic property

over the past week. The mandated shut

walls.

downs and social distancing has forced many to close their doors.

The Standard has also announced The Standard Stands Together Relief Fund,

Workers

in

hotels,

restaurants

and

seeded by the leadership team at The

bars around the world facing the same

Standard who are now opening it to their

circumstances, some 266 million globally.

extended Standard family to help reach

To lift up the spirits of communities that

their goal. 100% of the proceeds will be

have been affected by COVID-19, The

used for the benefit and support of team

Standard hotels that operate in New York,

members who have lost jobs due to the

Miami, Los Angeles, London and the

effect of COVID-19 and are struggling to

Maldives have lit up their neighborhoods

maintain basic human needs including

in New York (The Standard, High Line)

health care, medicine, groceries, diapers,

and London (The Standard, London), with

and shelter.

HRS_19-707_TTM_AD_02_PATHED.pdf

1

15/4/19

14:58

including

the


ACCOMMODATION

41

CROWN & CHAMPA RESORTS CEO THANKS ITS COMMUNITY, ASSURES FAST TRACK RESORT RENOVATIONS Crown & Champa Resorts CEO, Martin

for travel plans disrupted guests and

Vossen in a publicized message, sent

for those who need to rebook for future

heartfelt thanks for the support received

dates, adding that the group’s booking

in these uncertain times and assures

policies are flexible now.

fast track resort renovations during the current suspension of its properties due

“Whilst we cannot predict the time when

to the COVID-19 pandemic.

travelling to the Maldives will be more than a dream; it is with individuals working

He further highlighted to be on the

together and following the guidelines

lookout for exciting new additions, soft

of World Health Organization (WHO),

and interesting structural updates which

directives of the Maldives government

they will be sharing online through their

and Maldives Health Protection Agency

social media channels. He said that this

(HPA), that we are confident we will be

suspension period is providing time off to

ready when you are to welcome you back

their team who greatly deserve the rest

to the Maldives soon,” the message read.

and recuperation.

Crown and Champa Resorts temporarily suspended their operations of all its

Vossen also directed its holidaymakers

properties from 15th April to 30th June

to a guidance and information portal

2020.

WALDORF ASTORIA MALDIVES ITHAAFUSHI REMAINS OPEN, GIVES FULL SALARY TO EMPLOYEES DESPITE CRISIS Waldorf

Astoria

Maldives

Ithaafushi

International Airport via the resort’s

has announced that the resort remains

private yacht. The resort features 122

open to welcome guest once they are

villas, each compromising of a pool and a

ready to travel and gives full salary to its

view of the Indian Ocean. The highlights

employees despite the situation.

of the resort include the two-bedroom overwater villa and three-bedroom beach

The statement by the resort read, “After

villa for those seeking exclusivity and

careful consideration and discussion with

the 11 dining venues and bars including

the resorts’ ownership and with Hilton

Terra, an elevated treetop restaurant,

Brand, the resort will remain operational

and The Ledge by Dave Pynt.

to welcome guest once they are ready to travel. The resort is aiming to work on

Etienne

Dalancon,

a few projects and will remain available

Maldives Ithaafushi General Manager

to welcome back guests as soon as the

said, “During these difficult times, we

directive from the Republic of Maldives

are pleased to inform you that there

government changes and the borders,

will be no salary deduction despite the

ideas for how we can be even better in

global COVID-19 pandemic including the

open up again.”

situation.

providing unforgettable experiences to

suspension of on arrival visa for tourists.

our guests.”

With this decision, the tourism industry

Waldorf

Waldorf

Astoria

Astoria

Maldives

Ithaafushi is committed to respecting its Located at Ithaafushi island, Waldorf

values and will continue to support you,

Astoria is part of the Hilton portfolio.

our community and our guests. This is

The Maldives government has taken

The villa resort spans over three islands

a great time for us to evaluate our work

a number of precautionary measures

and is 30 minutes away from Velana

efficiencies and come up with creative

against the rapidly escalating state of the

has come to a halt.


42 ACCOMMODATION

UNIVERSAL RESORTS TEMPORARILY SHUTS DOWN DUE TO COVID-19 OUTBREAK

Universal Resorts has announced plans to

to assess the situation and return to our

Maldives that has led the development

Maldives, Baros Maldives, Kandolhu

temporarily shutdown all its resorts, due

normal operations at the earliest,” the

of the travel and tourism industry in the

Maldives, Dhigali Maldives, Milaidhoo

to the COVID-19 outbreak. In a statement,

statement read. “Our primary business

Maldives for over 46 years, playing a key

Island Maldives and Faarufushi Maldives.

parent company Universal Enterprises

is hospitality. … We are amongst the

part in the transformation of the country

Villa Hotels, another leading local resort

said all of its resorts will be closed for

Maldivian companies worst hit by the

from an island nation to one of the most

operator in Maldives also suspended the

three months from April. However, the

global economic downturn. However,

sought-after travel destinations in the

operations of three of its four resorts few

group reports that resort employees

we are working to find ways to run our

world. The group now operates one of the

days ago.

will be given paid leave for the three-

operations at some level and ensure

largest resort collections in the country,

month period. “We expect to review this

that no employee is laid off.” Universal

including properties such as Kurumba

decision once every month, with a view

Resorts is a leading resort group in the

Maldives, Velassaru Maldives, Kuramathi


TRAVEL AGENTS 43

TRAVEL GIANT TUI SUSPENDS MAJORITY OF ITS TRAVEL OPERATIONS

we have decided to apply for state aid

‘European aviation faces a precarious

guarantees to support the business until

future and it is clear that coordinated

normal operations are resumed.’ IAG,

government backing will be required to

the owner of BA, said it would cut its

ensure the industry survives and is able

flying capacity by at least three-quarters

to continue to operate when the crisis is

in April and May and its outgoing boss

over,’ Lundgren said in a statement today.

Willie Walsh would defer his retirement.

Speaking today, Transport Secretary

The airline group, however, did not call

Grant Shapps said there are ‘lots of

for government help.

different options’ to help the aviation industry through the coronavirus crisis.

German operator TUI today announced

He told Sky News: ‘We want to make

it would be slashing three-quarters of its

sure that companies and individuals

routes. EasyJet said it could ground the

and organisations who are in a good

majority of its fleet on a rolling basis, and

state – not those that are going to fail

its chief executive Johan Lundgren called

anyway – are able to continue. ‘So, we’ll

for coordinated government backing to

be looking at all of these measures, I’ll

help the aviation industry survive. Both

be discussing it with the Chancellor and

airlines said they had strong balance

the Prime Minister later today, and those

sheets, providing details on their cash

discussions with the sector are ongoing.’

positions and credit facilities. Asked if a bailout of airlines was on the IAG, which also owns Iberia and Aer

table, Mr Shapps said: ‘There are lots

Lingus, said it had total liquidity of 9.3

of different options here – including

billion euros, while EasyJet said it had 1.6

some other things that people have been

billion pounds of cash plus an undrawn

looking for, for example HMRC offer a ‘time to pay’.’

Tour operator TUI today (16th March)

ground the majority of its fleet on rolling

$500 million revolving credit facility.

announced it was suspending most of its

basis.

While IAG’s Walsh has long-opposed any

operations until further notice due to the

government help for aviation businesses,

COVID-19 pandemic as British Airways

The German company said: ‘We are

and said as recently as two weeks ago that

owners said it would slash routes by 75%

taking substantial cost measures to

government’s should not prop up airlines,

while EasyJet announced that it could

mitigate the earnings effect. Moreover,

EasyJet’s Lundgren called for help.

ADDICTED TO MALDIVES LAUNCHES NEW TRAVEL INITIATIVE TO HELP KEEP TRAVELERS’ DREAMS ALIVE In a sector hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis,

survival,” she explained. “As tourism

the team behind luxury travel concierge

operators in the region, we feel it is our

group, Addicted to Maldives, is breathing

duty to do whatever we can to protect the

fresh life into the travel industry with the

future of the island archipelago and the

launch a new passion project – Maldives

livelihood of its inhabitants.”

United – initiated with the dual purpose of stabilizing tourism in the Maldives and

Additionally, the Maldives United team is

reigniting traveler confidence.

aware that the global community needs something to look forward to during

Maldives United co-founder, Di Lechner,

these trying times. “We’re all about giving

said the initiative comprises a group of

people something positive to dream

leading Maldives resort partners united by

about, to rebuild consumer confidence,

their commitment to elevating the world’s

and to allow them to book their piece of

most unique destination. “We have joined

paradise with peace of mind,” Di said.

forces with some of the Maldives’ most

policy that allows travelers to cancel up

have we seen such discounted packages

to seven days prior to travel.

for the Maldives and we’re proud to

loved properties and together our mission

The Maldives United philosophy is:

is to safeguard tourism in the destination

book now and travel later with financial

and remove financial doubt for travelers

security. To date, 17 resort partners have

“Today might not be the right time to

payment and full cancellation until seven

during

uncertainty,”

joined the initiative and they have all

travel, but it is the perfect time to bring

days before departure, travelers can

she said. “Tourism is the single largest

committed to a lengthy travel window –

fantasies of distant shores to life by

leverage these great rates with a 10%

economic industry in the Maldives and

until December 2021 – underpinned by

securing the trip of a lifetime for the

deposit, without worrying about losing

the local communities depend on it for

an extended payment and cancellation

future,” Di commented. “Never before

money.”

this

period

of

say they’re risk free. By extending final


44 TOURISM MARKETER’S SECTION

TOP 10 TIPS DURING COVID-19, FOR RESORT SALES AND MARKETING LEADERS BY ABDULLA NABEEL

The travel industry has seen some of the

now or later. Get yourself enrolled to an

worst business impacts from the outbreak

online course. Go explore and expand

of COVID-19, a global pandemic threat

your mind.

8. Introduce Value-added Advance need for you to keep posting everything you see or hear on your social feeds or Purchase Offers With what’s going around the world no

private groups. Some of them can be

one is looking for a super last minute

fake. Your networks possibly consists of

cheap deal. But if you promote super

partners or customers. There is no point

You all know that locals are panicking more

special offer for Q3 and Q4, with no

to create more fear.

For a country heavily dependent on

than anyone due to the news of Covid-19.

cancellation or deposit conditions, you

tourism, it is important for the resort

You also know majority can’t afford even

might get lucky. Throw in some value-

managers to be prepared to deal with it.

your extra super special discounted local

10. Stay Healthy and Be Ready for adds that won’t be available during the Rebound

Abdulla Nabeel, former Group Director

rates. So why waste money and time. If

normal periods. Like real values, not just

Focus on yourself and your people. Stay

of International Sales & Distribution of

you get a serious request from a local be

free meals or a coconut on arrival.

healthy, eat well, exercise more, increase

TSMIC highlights 10 important tips of

kind enough to offer your most flexible

how hoteliers can deal with the pandemic.

friends and family rate. You might get a

Make an offer so compelling your

comeback. When everything opens up

prayer instead of huge revenue.

customers will straightaway Take Action!

it’s time to get going even harder.

for crisis handling and communications.

5. Don’t market superficial discounts online

As a S&M Leader you should sit on The

There is no point to market 49% and 59%

9. Stop Megaphoning everything you see or read

Crisis Management Committee. Get the

discount offers for booking valid for this

on social media. Everyone knows where

PR or Marcom team to prepare sample

month or next month. No one is looking

to find the right information, so there is no

messages and press releases in the

for cheap deals now. Most importantly

“pre-in-post” stages of crisis. Make sure

don’t market those discounted rates to

your message is in line with Government

Maldivian audience on social media. You

authorities. Keep updating your in-house

are wasting marketing money.

that now has infected more than 116,000 people and killed about 4,000.

1. Be Crisis Ready Get your teams together and be ready

and future guest on what’s going on in

4. Don’t advertise Local Rates

you are taking to contain possible cases.

6. Don’t reduce your rates to a point of no return

Be prepared. You could be Next!

You all know this situation is temporary,

your island and what preventive measures

to the point you can’t lift up when market stabilizes in few months. Be smart with

Remember the saying, when going gets

how you discount. With each offer always

tough, the tough gets going? Likewise

think of ways to fence and control.

your

ad

campaigns

Stop sharing repeated negative messages

and it will bounce back. Don’t discount

2. Don’t stop marketing campaigns or sales calls

accelerate

your vitamins, pray and be ready for the

and

important accounts and update them on

7. Be flexible with cancellation policy

the situation. Personalize your narrative.

Yes, some of you are, flexible with

Focus on future events or special offers

cancellation for wholesale bookings. But

available within or after next three to six

most of you are still displaying 21-30 days

months.

cancellation penalty policies for arrivals

marketing initiatives. Make calls to your

3. Don’t stop training and coaching

in March and April. If a customer or one of your trade partner goes and checks your website for cancellation policy and

When business input is slow, increase

finds that you are inhuman with your

your talent input. Accelerate your training

policies, they won’t call you. Show you

sessions for your staff. Coaching, one-

are flexible everywhere. Go check all

on-one and those frivolous appraisals

your online channels and remove deposit

you have been hiding in your desk. Do all

and cancellation conditions until Q4, all

that now.

dates included.

Or go learn a new skill yourself. You might

No one will buy into your strict policies

have a skill another department can use

during a time of uncertainty.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nabeel

is

a

passionate,

focused

worked in some of the top resorts in the

business development leader with years

Maldives in senior business development

of continued success developing and

roles, often tipped as the best sales and

administering innovative sales strategies

marketing professional in the country.

that sustain growth in revenue. Nabeel has


TOURISM MARKETER’S SECTION 45

TOURISM MARKETERS PREPARES FOR UNCERTAIN TIMES, ENTERS WAIT-AND-SEE MODE In the midst of an unprecedented decade

Rafat Ali CEO and Co-founder of Skift

of tourism growth when hoteliers, tourism-

says that there is no V-shaped recovery

related

destinations

waiting at the end of this, we don’t even

number

of

know what the end is or what it will look

challenges, industry stakeholders around

like. For now, an L-shaped recovery

the world are gearing up to address

awaits, the luxury of elective travel will

anticipated new challenges and share

have to wait years, maybe decade, to

active solutions to help steer a course

come back in pre-covid form, if at all.

through uncharted waters.

He further added, “A huge number of

businesses

successfully

tackled

and a

travel businesses, majority of them small The COVID-19 pandemic has affected

businesses, will be gone. Majority of our

the lives and livelihoods of millions of

livelihoods are stopped, maybe gone.

people, and brought about a huge impact

Events are done, for most of this year.

on the travel, tourism and hospitality

Human habits have changed in an instant,

industry. Some experts reveal that the

business travel will forever be lower than

lower than normal, hundreds of hotels

also introduced take-away or delivery

industry will recover by Q4 2020 while

the peak we had.”

have closed, and some may never re-

options on its platform in places where

open.

people are advised to stay at home.

others say it will recover by early 2021. The only certainty is that the industry will

In an emotional video message to Marriott

Tripadvisor CEO and Co-founder, Steve

recover but whats worrisome is how long

International

Arne

Kaufer says that they are adapting and to

He concluded the message by saying,

it will take for this.

Sorenson characterized the coronavirus

take a fresh look at TripAdvisor’s suite of

“When the time comes, people will dine

crisis as more severe for the hotel chain

paid subscription and media products in

out and travel again. When they do,

Industry leaders around the world are

than the Great Depression and World

order to identify how they can ease the

Tripadvisor will be there to guide them to

sending messages to their employees and

War 2. He added that the chain’s global

financial strain on the most impacted

your door.”

the holiday makers in a bid to raise hope.

business is running about 75 percent

businesses at this time. The group has

employees,

CEO

DIGITAL MARKETING TACTICS HOTELIERS CAN USE DURING COVID-19

of how long this storm will last. However,

content and activities guests can do at

the hoteliers could keep on working

home. Time spent on social media has

towards brand awareness and grab the

significantly increased throughout the

holidaymaker’s attention with tasteful

world so although the property is closed

valuable content. Here are some of the

for business, marketers could keep

digital marketing tactics the hoteliers can

providing the travelers with engaging

use:

content to keep them excited amid the

Search Engine Optimization: The pandemic has left with fewer travel brands investing in marketing, which

depressing times. For instance, can ask them to post their most memorable moment at your destination.

visibility within organic search. This

Customer Relationship Management (CRM):

presents the opportunity to create FAQ

Send an email to people who have

pages where hoteliers could address the

cancelled reservations with an option to

top questions around the property, the

rebook a future stay, and stay connected.

measures taken hotel reopening dates

One way is by creating an email list for

if the hotel has been closed, and other

leisure

top concerns. If the hotel or property

and group travelers who have cancelled

has ceased operations, the marketers

reservations so when the COVID-19

can create enhanced content focused

situation subsides, can send an email

at the hotel’s reopening, as well as rich

prompting these guests to rebook with

brings forward the opportunity for more

travelers,

business

travelers,

The unprecedented COVID-19 crisis

if it for a moment. In light of this, many

destination content, as many people are

added value, perks, or a complimentary

has put traveling at pause. Everyone is

hotels can continue creating valuable

daydreaming about future trips once the

welcome amenity.

social distancing at home but definitely

and entertaining content across channels

pandemic subsides.

not disconnected completely, thanks to

to stay connected with guests. Tourism

technology. People keep searching online

marketers have pause d their campaigns

Social Media:

for ways to escape the uncertainty, even

and entered a wait and see mode, unsure

Stay connected to guests with destination


46 TOURISM MARKETER’S SECTION

HOW MALDIVIAN TOURISM CAN SURVIVE COVID-19 BY SONU SHIVDASANI month, to escape lockdowns back home.

to categorize them: “A” group countries

Although they amount to less than a

could be those, like the Maldives, that

couple of hundred people, these guests

have completely eradicated the virus.

will likely spend around $5 million in

There is no reason not to operate

total, generating some $600,000 in GST

direct, commercial flights between such

for the government. Looking further

destinations. “B” group countries might

ahead, the Maldives will need to start

be those with very few remaining active

reopening commercial air routes. But

cases — the Maldives might allow flights

testing a handful of private jet passengers

to and from such countries, but with

at the airport is one thing, testing

added precautions. Then there are the

hundreds

an

“C” group countries with high numbers of

A350 is quite another. The Maldives will

cases — where the Maldives should keep

probably begin opening direct flights to

in place travel restrictions.

of

people

descending

other coronavirus-free countries. China looks like a good bet, having all but wiped

The Maldives has avoided a coronavirus

out the virus. It also has the advantage

outbreak, although the economic price

of being the Maldives’ biggest tourism

has been severe. In order to avoid

market, with a number of existing direct

the collapse of its tourism industry,

flight routes, operated by Maldivian

however, the country must now plan to

or Chinese carriers, between the two

re-open. If the Government approaches

countries. At the moment, however, all

this challenge with the maturity and

Chinese tourists returning from aboard

competence with which it has handled

The Maldives appears to have dodged

During the pandemic, the Government

a bullet. With just 19 cases of the novel

also found its voice. The daily televised

coronavirus at the time of writing (with

briefings

13 people having already made a full

undersecretary

recovery), the country is in an enviable

Office, have been clear, consistent and

position. As the United States and Europe

comforting. The contrast with President

groan under the strain of major outbreaks,

Trump’s erratic and misleading press

with tens of thousands of deaths, the

conferences couldn’t be starker.

have to spend 14 days in quarantine

the crisis thus far, the Maldives may be

in China - not a particularly attractive

spared much of the economic, as well as

eradicating the virus within a few weeks.

But the question remains: if the Maldives

prospect for would-be tourists. The

the human, pain of this pandemic.

In some respects, the Maldives is lucky.

is soon to be virus free, and contemplating

The archipelago straddles the equator,

reopening its borders, how best to do it?

where temperatures rarely dip below

The last thing the country needs is a flood

the high 20s. We know the virus doesn’t

of infected tourists descending upon

like heat, and it’s notable that the only

Hulhule’, forcing another costly shut

major contagions have occurred in cold

down.

by

Mabrook at

the

Azeez,

an

President’s

Maldives looks forward to completely

countries, during winter. The Maldives’ itself

A good place to start might be with the

towards containment: The Government

super-rich. Beginning the process of

can, and has, rapidly shut down islands

opening up by allowing private jets to

and resorts when a suspected case

land has a number of advantages: there

has emerged. If people test negative,

are few passengers onboard, who can

the island is immediately reopened. If

be immediately isolated in the airport’s

someone tests positive, the entire island

VIP lounge and tested for the virus upon

is placed under quarantine to prevent a

arrival. If they test negative, they can go

spread across the country.

on their way. If they test positive, they

unique

geography

also

lends

can proceed to one of the resorts that But luck has only been the half of it.

have been converted into (arguably the

When

wasted

world’s nicest) quarantine and isolation

precious weeks dithering, questioning the

centres. Key to this will be rapid testing

science, or dismissing the coronavirus as

kits, that can deliver a result in minutes

a hoax, the Solih administration got to

rather than days.

other

world

leaders

work to protect the country: suspending widespread

High end clients spend large sums of

testing (the highest per capita testing

money compared to other tourists,

in South Asia), and eventually closing

so even allowing in a few private jets

the border completely. In a country

generates considerable revenues. Soneva

wholly dependent on foreign tourism,

has received around 20 enquiries from

the Government’s willingness to act

people who would like to travel to the

decisively, in spite of the huge economic

Maldives by private jet. They intend

cost, almost certainly saved lives.

to stay in our resorts for upwards of a

flight

routes,

conducting

Maldivian government will have to work with its Chinese counterpart on a bilateral agreement, that allows Chinese tourists returning home from the Maldives to avoid quarantine. Similar arrangements will have to be made with other countries. It might help

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Sonu Shivdasani is the CEO and Co-Founder of luxury resort chain Soneva


TOURISM MARKETER’S SECTION 47

PREPARING FOR A SLOW MARKET: WOULD YOU CONSIDER AN MVP APPROACH FOR YOUR HOTEL OPERATIONS? BY DANIEL DIOSI During the past few weeks, we have

one to only address a small number of

had many interesting conversations with

product requirements with each product

hotel owners and directors from various

release.

segments who are equally concerned about operating in a slow market after the COVID-19 lockdown is over.

Advantages of the MVP approach for product development •

It

enables

the

maximization

of

such as turndown services

concept enables to add elements to the

Reduce customizability if it costs

experience and operations bit by bit,

money

taking it to directions that are valuable

but

does

not

guarantee

additional revenue

for your guests and profitable for your

Keep only one pool open

company. These new directions of service

Reduce free inclusions

development will likely differ from the initial concept that was in place before

Everyone is asking the same question:

revenue and the minimization of

“How would it be possible to maintain the

operational costs.

Developing from MVP to new full experience

It allows a simple and accurate

Getting back to a minimum viable

Such changes in the product will likely be

evaluation

product stage is not only a crisis-solution

adjustments to cater to today’s Millennial

revenue, and profitability

but also an excellent starting point to re-

and Generation Z who require flexible

It allows one to release iterations

develop the hotel concept, operations,

check-in and check-out times, do not

(that is, changes in MVP) quickly for

and business model to adjust it to

requires human interaction to make

a swift optimization

today’s traveler expectations. It is a great

reservations and amendments and do not

It allows one to provide a near-

opportunity and to learn what parts of

like to be “served” like Generation X - but

complete guest experience

a product experience are valuable for

like to connect with staff at a personal

guests and for the financial bottom-line.

level.

same level of service and experience with

less demand and lowered rates?” To adjust future operations to a slow market,

preparing

for

changes

in

resort management is necessary. For a possible solution, we should look at the

MVP approach, which is a proven and commonly used product management system from the startup world. MVP stands for “minimum viable product.”

of

cost,

overheads,

Real-world examples of MVP actions in hospitality management

the MVP-fication.

Starting from a minimum viable product

Build on what is absolutely required. In The MVP approach is based on the premise

the case of low occupancy, the following

that one could provide sufficient customer

cost-cutting

value by delivering essential features

perfect sense.

that are required for a fully functional

would

make

Consider closing rooms and operate

Consider closing food and beverage

essential services and experiences in

outlets with the lowest turnover

order to minimize operational costs while

profitability

also keeping only the most profitable and

Reduce restaurant menus to fastmoving and popular items

demanded services available. •

Use menu-engineering in order to

The minimum viable product approach

optimize food and raw material

involves prioritizing product requirements

purchasing

to the point that they deliver core

• •

Note that this system requires more rigor than usual in prioritizing requirements, as the nature of frequent iterations allows

Analyze minibar consumption and order fast-moving items only

functionality in order to deal with market problems; the rest is only “nice to have.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

with reduced room capacity

product. In the case of hotel and resort operations, it could mean providing only

initiatives

Eliminate excursions and experiences

Daniel

online

Diosi & Partners is supporting leading

with high standby costs

business transformation and marketing

independent luxury hotels and resorts in

Eliminate non-essential services that

professional with over 10 years of

exotic destinations worldwide.

do not generate revenue directly,

experience. His consulting group, Daniel

Diosi,

MBA,

is

an


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