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July 2020

www.traveltrademaldives.com ttm@traveltrademaldives.com

ISSUE 008 International Travel Trade Periodical of Maldives

MALDIVES READY TO WELCOME WORLD FROM 15TH JULY

THOMAS BOERINGER

RESORT MANAGER OF NALADHU PRIVATE ISLAND

AHMED NAVEEN

HEAD OF CENTRAL RESERVATIONS AT AITKEN SPENCE HOTELS & RESORTS MALDIVES

RAFFAELE SOLFERINO

GENERAL MANAGER, GRAND PARK KODHIPPARU

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

24 - 26 NOV 2020


02 FOREWORD & TEAM

PUBLISHER’S NOTE Welcome to the July 2020 issue of

our new project, maldivesvirtualtour.com

content creation studio (Dynamyst) and

TTM Periodical. TTM Periodical is a

will officially commence from July 2020.

digital marketing agency (Bee Digital) to

travel trade publication by Travel Trade

OUR TEAM MANAGING DIRECTOR

Akhmeem Abdul Razzaq

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

compliment TTM team to successfully

Maldives (TTM) – the leading travel trade

Breathtaking virtual tours of Maldives,

business resource of Maldives.

Maldives Virtual Tour is carried out in collaboration with Ministry of Tourism

We at TTM are always grateful for the

The world is preparing to reopen borders

and

Public

support of our partners and industry

and restart tourism with the “new

Relations Corporation (MMPRC). This

stakeholders and we hope to get your

normal”, Maldives included. The tourism

project will be completed by the end of

continued support for TTM Maldives

industry of Maldives has been hit hard

2021 with over 2000, 360° VR panoramic

2020 and Maldives Virtual Tour project.

but we now try to revive it by opening the

tours of more than 150 islands.

Together, let’s embrace the “new normal”

Maldives

Marketing

&

borders from July.

and open our shores to travelers around

Dr. Hussain Sunny Umar

Maldives Virtual Tour is a sister brand of

the world. It’s time. Maldives: The Sun Will Shine Again.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

TTM Maldives 2020, which was originally

Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) which are

Nashaath

scheduled to be held from 9th to 11th

under Orca Media Group. At Orca Media

DIRECTOR

June has now been postponed to 24th to

Group, we are fully equipped to deliver

26th November 2020. In addition to this,

this project with a well experienced

Ibrahim Areef

accomplish this project.

DIRECTOR

Mohamed Khoorsheed

MANAGER

Ahmed Nasir Aminath Yusra Ibrahim

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.

WEBSITE

orcamedia.group

PUBLISHED BY

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


ROADSHOWS & FAIRS 03

MALDIVES READY TO WELCOME WORLD FROM 15TH JULY Maldives will restart tourism and reopen

for bookings starting from July 15, 2020.

websites and mobile apps. Tourists who

with symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival

borders for visitors from all nationalities

Guest houses and hotels located on

are visiting the Maldives during Phase 1

will be subjected to a PCR test at the

from 15th July 2020, President Ibrahim

inhabited islands will be open for

of opening shall book their entire stay

traveler’s cost.

Mohamed

bookings starting from August 1, 2020.

in one registered establishment. Stays

Solih

confirmed.

Tourists

travelling to the Maldives will be provided

at multiple resorts and hotels are not

Additionally, local health authorities may

permitted during this period. However,

conduct random testing, at no cost to travelers.

a free 30-day tourist visa on arrival.

Booking Accommodation

Regular official updates on travel to the

However, guest houses and hotels located

exemptions will be made for transit

Maldives are provided on the websites of

on inhabited islands will be allowed to

arrangements.

the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry

accommodate

of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives.

waiting for domestic transfers under

Entry to Maldives

special permits. Transit arrangements

Tourists will not be subject to any

can be made through the primary facility

quarantine measures upon arrival to the

where the stay is booked.

Maldives.

A

confirmed

establishment

booking

in

registered

a

tourist

with

the

transiting

passengers

Ministry of Tourism, prior to travelling

A health declaration card will be required as part of the on-arrival procedure.

Departure from Maldives Testing services are available in Maldives

to the Maldives is mandatory. Tourist

Tourists are advised to directly check

Tourists will not be required to submit

for tourists who require COVID-19 test

resorts, liveaboard vessels and hotels

offers and operational status with the

any medical test results for entry to the

results to return to their countries of

located on uninhabited islands are open

preferred tourist establishments on their

Maldives. However, travellers presenting

origin or another destination.

Orca Media Group has announced that

trade shows. The registered exhibitors of

the TTM Maldives 2020 will be held from

TTM will also get a lot of added benefits

25th to 26th November. TTM Maldives

including the usage of “Connect� software

2020 was originally scheduled to be held

to pre-arrange up to 50 meetings as well

from 9th to 11th June. However organizers

as complimentary coffee, tea, water,

postponed the event due to the COVID-19

soft drinks at the event. Furthermore,

pandemic. Travel Trade Maldives (TTM)

they will also receive an invitation to the

is the leading international travel trade

official TTM Closing Gala Event.

TTM MALDIVES 2020 TO BE HELD ON NOVEMBER

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

This year, TTM Travel Summit will be

operators from the top 30 countries to the

held on November 24th while the TTM

Maldives. This will be the fourth edition

Maldives will be held from 25th to 26th

of TTM Maldives.

November. The deadline to register has also been extended to 30th September

The exhibitors will get access to the

2020 (Wednesday). TTM informs that

invitation-only TTM Travel Summit and

a late registration fee will be charged

presence in the official magazine of TTM,

after the aforementioned date. For

published in English and freely distributed

further information please email ttm@

at the event & other international travel

traveltrademaldives.com


04 ROADSHOWS & FAIRS

TTM 2020 OPENS FREE VISITOR REGISTRATION FOR MALDIVIAN OPERATORS BY 30TH SEPTEMBER 2020 Maldives leading travel trade show, TTM

travel summit. Furthermore, they will

Maldives has announced that they will

also receive an invitation to the official

be providing free visitor registration for

TTM Awards & Gala Event.

Maldivian tour operators for their fourth edition by 30th September 2020.

TTM Maldives 2020 has limited availability with visitors being strictly limited to 200

TTM Maldives 2020 will be exhibiting

visitors. TTM 2020, is now set to be held

over 150 properties from the Maldives

from the 25th to 26th November 2020

including top resorts, hotels, airlines and

and has been rumored to be a mile better

other key stakeholders of the industry.

than the previous three, both of which

The registered visitors of TTM gets a lot

was a huge success.

of added benefits including the usage of “Connect� software to pre-arrange up to

For

visitor

registrations:

https://

50 meetings as well as invitation for TTM

traveltrademaldives.com/register/

MALDIVES SUCCESSFULLY CONCLUDES FACEBOOK LIVE EVENT “MALDIVES, THE SUN WILL SHINE AGAIN�

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations

their stories to life through song, music

Corporation (MMPRC) has successfully

and shared sentiments. Throughout the 4

concluded the Facebook Live Event

hours, interesting polls were conducted

“Maldives, The Sun WIll Shine Again�

and there were continuous interactions

on 8th June 2020. Due to the COVID-19

with viewers to keep them enticed and

pandemic,

Maldives

to

engaged. Many of them expressed their

implement

stringent

and

love for Maldives and their anticipation

temporary travel restrictions. However,

to return once the borders reopen. The

the country is now preparing to welcome

most thrilling part of this event was the

back tourists and jumpstart the tourism

Lucky Draw Raffle which took place

industry again with the reopening of its

simultaneously.

borders in July 2020. This event was held

participated to win a FREE HOLIDAY in

in order to convey hope and ensure that

Maldives. 30 resorts and guest houses

this message reaches across the globe.

contributed to this.

While the entire campaign gained a

The success of this event is also owed

staggering amount of 1.2 million people,

to the help, support and contribution by

the live event itself was watched by

the Ministry of Tourism, Public Service

over

different

Media (PSM), Mondhu Productions and

parts of the world, as they joined in on

Orca Media. This is one of the numerous

a beautiful virtual journey to rediscover

initiatives taken by MMPRC to kickstart

Maldives. The event featured messages,

tourism in the Maldives, as it reopens

photographs and videos from well-

its borders. MMPRC will be carrying

wishers, key opinion leaders, social

out such virtual events and other digital

media influencers, tour operators and

marketing and promotional activities in

other personnel involved in the tourism

the future, to ensure Maldives is the most

sector of Maldives. In addition, local

sought after destination in the world.

85,000

viewers

was

forced

measures

from

musicians and other local talent brought

video news network of maldives   

Over

10,000

people


ROADSHOWS & FAIRS 05

MALDIVES PARTICIPATES AT ATM VIRTUAL NEW SOLUTIONS IN A NEW WORLD due to the current situation. The event

MMPRC hopes to increase the number

will focus on emerging travel trends and

of tourist arrivals from the Middle

challenges faced by the tourism industry

East through such events and other

amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

various

It will also serve as a networking platform

on this region. The tourist arrivals from

for travel professionals. Maldives will be

the Middle East to the Maldives were

joining together with exhibitors, buyers,

recorded as 60,003 in 2019, with a 15.1%

and visitors from across the globe.

increase compared to 2018. This year

marketing

activities

focused

in January saw an increase of 73.7% in During these three days MMPRC and

tourist arrivals compared to the same

participants from the tourism industry will

period last year despite the outbreak.

meet up with several travel professionals and attend live webinars given by industry

MMPRC is maintaining its efforts in the

experts. With the borders reopening to

digital promotion of Maldives as one of

tourists soon, Maldives is working on

the most preferred island destinations in

ways to sustain tourism effectively with

the world. The focus remains on the road

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations

in the Arabian Travel Market (ATM)

safety precautions in place. The event

to recovery, with the aim of providing a

Corporation (MMPRC), together with

Virtual Event from 1st June to 3rd June,

will provide extremely beneficial insights

broader scope for the rest of the world to

partners

2020.

which could be incorporated into future

connect with the destination.

becomes a part of an exciting solution to

ATM Virtual is hosted by the organizers of

promotional strategies in the tourism

adapt to the “new world” by participating

ATM 2020 which was postponed to 2021

industry.

from

the

tourism

industry

BRING MALDIVES INTO YOUR HOME BACKGROUNDS/ WALLPAPERS Maldives Marketing and Public Relations

as they allow you to virtually meet with

Corporation (MMPRC) has released a

others when in-person conversations

collection of Zoom backgrounds, mobile

aren’t possible. For Zoom video calls,

and desktop wallpapers allowing you

MMPRC

the chance to reminisce memories of the

backgrounds of the turquoise waters and

paradise destination.

white sandy beaches.

As you wait eagerly for your return to the

The collection of “Maldives in your

sun, sand and sea, why not experience a

pocket”

bit of Maldives from home? Try a Zoom

window to the sunny side” desktop

video call from a virtual beach, have

wallpapers have 5 different snaps for

Maldives in your pocket and a window

each. In addition to this, MMPRC has also

to the sunny side! Video conferencing

released the Resort Hotel Guide 2020 and

services are becoming hugely popular,

the Destination Guide 2020.

has

mobile

released

3

wallpapers

stunning

and

“A


06 GOVERNMENT

TOURISM MINISTER CALLS ON COMMONWEALTH TO RECOMMENCE INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL Maldives Tourism Minister, Ali Waheed

zero tourist arrival since March 2020.

has urged commonwealth countries to re-

To

support

open their borders for safe international

to

flatten

travel.

establishments with nearly 3000 beds are

the the

governments curve,

26

effort tourism

being used for quarantine and isolation During the virtual seminar with senior

purposes.

officials from commonwealth countries on “COVID-19’s Impact on Tourism,

https://twitter.com/MoTmv/

Debt, and Disaster Risk Management”,

status/1265636553818288128?s=20

Minister Ali Waheed said that Maldives has experienced the worst economic

Moreover, the Minister also highlighted

downfall in recent history. The country is

the governments green and inclusive

estimated to have negative 26% economic

policy for recovery and “guidelines for

growth in this year due to COVID-19

restarting Maldives Tourism” from July

pandemic.

2020. Minister requested support from the Commonwealth nations in combating

The Minister noted that the country is

the challenges for safe international travel

heavily dependent on the tourism and

and to restart the economic activities in

for the first time in 47 years of tourism

the countries.

in Maldives, the country is experiencing


GOVERNMENT 07

MALDIVES PROPOSES GUIDELINES TO COMMENCE SAFE TOURISM

Covers) shall be maintained by the

In addition to this, it is compulsory for

resort.

tourists to undergo a PCR Test upon

Resort shall have a resident doctor

arrival which costs USD 100 per test.

and a nurse (certified by the relevant licensing bodies).

Timeline for Reopening

Guest receiving and transportation All airports will have to have disinfection

Tourism Ministry has proposed a phased

procedures in place for body, luggage and

reopening timeline to recuperate the

travel documents of visitors. The staff

tourism sector.

should have mandatory protective gear such as facemasks and gloves and should

Private jets and super yachts will be

maintain 1 meter between the tourist and

allowed from June 1st, 2020. Charter

staff. While transportation, speedboats

flights and private jets will be charged a

and aircrafts carrying tourists to resorts

landing fee of USD 50,000 while super

and liveaboards from the airport will have

yachts will be charged an entry fee of USD

to keep every alternate seat vacant.

10,000. This will be followed by access to charter flights and commercial airlines a

On arrival at the tourist facility, guests

month later from July 1st 2020.

should be directly escorted to their rooms without waiting for check-in procedures

Guesthouses and hotels will be permitted

at the reception. Guests will be provided

to commenced their operations from

with an online check-in form to be

August 1st, 2020, while no plan is yet

completed in their rooms. Guests will not

Resorts shall allocate facilities for

in motion to allow cruise ships to the

be able to leave their rooms until they get

industry, Tourism Ministry has proposed

quarantining staff equivalent to 10%

country.

the results of their on-arrival PCR test

guidelines to commence safe tourism.

of staff population

On a bid to revive the hard-hit tourism

The Ministry informs that this guideline

draft is open for feedback.

Guest service staff shall be trained in the use of PPE.

Entry to Maldives While a prior confirmed booking in a

done at the airport. During this period, meals will be served directly to guest rooms.

Staff should be trained on social

tourist facility with a Safe Tourism License

distancing procedures.

is compulsory, entry into Maldives require

After test results are received, guests can

Staff should be trained on disinfection

a special tourist visa of USD 100 which

go out and enjoy all facilities at the resort,

procedures.

is applicable “until further notice” by the

but they will be required to adhere to social

Emergency procedures shall be put

government. This special tourist visa will

distancing protocols while interacting

shall be issued to resorts complying with

in place to deal with suspected cases

only be granted for tourists committing

with other guests or employees. Tables at

all relevant legislation and the following

of

isolation

to a minimum stay of 14 nights in the

restaurants will also be set at a distance

set of standards:

procedures. All staff shall be trained

Maldives. The tourists are also required

of at least two metres and buffet meals

on these procedures.

to present a medical certificate not older

will not be served. The tourism Ministry

Adequate stock of medically certified

than seven days for antigen PCR test or

states that these guidelines will be

registered guest rooms for isolation

PPE (Masks, Gloves, Face Shields,

14 days for antibody test which confirms

applicable till September 2020, unless

purposes.

Gowns, Caps and Boots or Boot

negative Covid-19 test findings.

extended by the government.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has

experts,” President Solih said. “This will

announced that when tourism reopens

be carried out in phases. As such the first

post COVID-19, in order to facilitate

phase would ease going out and about

the resort operations, the resort lease

and implement easier arrangements for

payment for the last 6 months of the year

general businesses. In later phases, there

will be deferred.

will be fewer restrictions in gatherings as

Safe Tourism Resort License A licensing fee of USD 50,000 is

applicable for the issuance of the safe tourism license. Safe Tourism License

Resorts

shall

allocate

10%

of

COVID-19

including

GOVERNMENT DECIDES TO EXTEND RESORT LEASE PAYMENTS

well.” Speaking at a special address to the nation, President Solih further added that this

He further added that permits to reopen

includes the land lease payments for the

mosques, cafe’s, restaurants as well

agricultural plots and lease payment for

as schools will be given under special

any other land given by Finance Ministry

arrangements. These arrangements will

for various purposes. The President also

also extend to government and private

stated that the arrangements to roll back

offices, where employees could soon

the lockdown measures and revive the

resume work.

economy will be made under special arrangements and phases.

The President noted that the technical team related to this work will give out

“We are preparing to ease the lockdown

additional

in Male’ area with advice by the health

arrangements in the coming weeks.

information

regarding

the


08 GOVERNMENT

SAFE TOURISM GUIDELINES TO WAIVE OFF INITIALLY PROPOSED FEES

Tourism Ministry has decided to amend

of the safe tourism license along with

be finalized before June 1, the Ministry

of reopening Maldives borders to tourists.

the draft guidelines for Safe Tourism by

USD 100 visa fee and a $100 charge for

reported. Minister Ali Waheed had virtual

“Pleased to talk over the phone with

waiving off the initially proposed fees.

a compulsory PCR Test upon arrival.

consultations with industry stakeholders

World Tourism Organization @UNWTO

Speaking at the Peoples Majlis Economic

Furthermore, charter flights and private

and further discussions with MATI,

SG @pololikashvilitonight. SG assured

Committee tonight, Tourism Minister Ali

jets were to be charged a landing fee of

MACL, MMPRC, MCAA and Technical

that UNWTO will assist in our guideline

Waheed said that the draft regulation

USD 50,000 while super yachts entry fee

Advisory Group on 21st May regarding

to restart Maldives tourism & give full

was drawn up on a bid to revive the hard

was at USD 10,000. The fees were waived

“Guideline to Restart Maldives Tourism.”

support in the process. Discussions are

hit tourism industry. The first draft by

off based on the feedback from industry

After the meeting, the Minister talked to

ongoing with the stakeholders for a good

the Ministry included a licensing fee of

stakeholders. The guidelines have also

World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)

start,” Minister Ali Waheed said, on

USD 50,000 applicable for the issuance

been revised for the third time and will

chief Zurab Pololikashvili on the process

Twitter.

discover turkey FLY WITH TURKISHAIRLINES

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GOVERNMENT 09

RESORT LEASE PAYMENTS EXTENSION WILL COST GOVERNMENT MVR 900 MILLION - FINANCE MINISTER The resort lease payment extension to

deferred. So the government will earn

6 months will cost the government MVR

this next year,” Finance Minister Ibrahim

900 million, Finance Minister Ibrahim

Ameer said.

Ameer revealed. The government has also extended the The Minister said that resort lease

land lease payments for the agricultural

payments

for

plots and lease payment for any other

government earnings with MVR 1.7

land given by Finance Ministry for various

billion budgeted to receive even this year.

purposes. These decisions were made

However the government is expected to

in efforts to to roll back the lockdown

receive MVR 800 million now due to the

measures and facilitate the hoteliers and

lease payments deferment. “We have

companies to revive the economy, the

not abolished the payment, it is only

government reports.

contributes

vastly

“IT IS NOT THE TIME TO LEVY TAXES ON HOLIDAYMAKERS” - TOURISM MINISTER Maldives has assured cheaper post

Maldives economic activities have come

COVID-19 offers for holidaymakers with

to a halt just like any other country and the

no plans of levying new taxes, according

government is now working on reviving it,

to Tourism Minister Ali Waheed.

the Minister added.

He highlighted that it is the time to assure

Tourism Ministry has drafted guidelines

safety for the tourists when reopening

to open the borders and commence Safe

the tourism industry. “It’s time to travel

Tourism. The guidelines have also been

again. It’s time to travel safe,” he said

revised further after discussions with the

speaking at a webinar organised by the

industry stakeholders for the third time

World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

and will be finalized before June 1, the Ministry reported.

Minister Ali Waheed explained that the

MALDIVES TO WELCOME ALL NATIONALITIES TO ITS SHORES Maldives will welcome travelers from

and exclusive holiday packages starting

all nationalities to its shores from July,

from July. Maldives kicked off tourism

Tourism Ministry confirmed. Guests will

with “Maldives, The Sun Will Shine

be given visa on arrival and will not be

Again” campaign on 8th June welcoming

charged with any additional fees upon

travelers back to its crystal clear waters

entry. The Ministry further revealed

and white sandy beaches again.

that there will not be any mandatory quarantine

for

travelers

and

won’t

be charged with any additional costs. Travelers will also be offered with better

Featured image: Asad Photo (Ibrahim Asad)

lucrative tourism sector of Maldives is

Maldives sees to open its borders by July,

hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

depending on the situation.


10 GOVERNMENT

ECONOMIC MINISTRY SIMPLIFIES REGISTRATION PROCESS FOR TOURISM COMPANIES leasehold, sub-leasehold or management rights.

This

generally

required

1. The new investor who is looking

a

to enter the Maldives market to

letter from the Ministry of Tourism, a

acquire an interest or property in the

completed sale and purchase agreement,

Maldives;

or at least an expression of interest in the

2. The existing investor who is looking

purchase of the property. However, to

at registering a new company to

better facilitate the flow of business in the

acquire a different property either

tourism industry, Economic Ministry has

independent of the existing property

now waived this requirement altogether.

or current partners; and 3. The existing investor who may want

Under this newly instituted practice, a

to diversify into other interests within

company may be registered by an investor

the same space, sector or industry.

without having confirmed its interest in acquiring rights over a specific property.

Source: Article published on Nasheed

The investor will receive an initial period of

and Co law firm – one of the renowned

six months post-registration to complete

law firms in the country.

Ministry of Economic Development (MED)

a tourism property (whether an island,

the acquisition of the property under the

has simplified the process of registering

land or lagoon), the investor was required

name of the company. The initial period

a foreign investment company in the

to show evidence of a right to acquire

may be extended where there are specific

tourism sector. Previously, if a foreign

an existing leasehold, sub-leasehold or

circumstances acceptable to the Ministry.

investor sought to register a company in

management of a tourist property, or

This change directly benefits three types

the Maldives in order to own or operate

an equity interest in a company holding

of investors:

MALDIVES EASES LOCKDOWN IN GREATER MALE’ AREA, COMMENCES PHASE 1 Maldives will be easing lockdown in

Specialty shops such as those selling

greater Male’ area with phase 1 where

cosmetics and textiles can also take

people will be allowed to go out for more

orders online and provide delivery

hours and general businesses will be

service.

permitted to open from 28th May.

Banks allowed to provide essential services for three days a week in the

The first phase is to last for two weeks

first two weeks. In the second phase,

according to Health Minister Abdulla

banks can increase their service days

Ameen. Schools, government offices,

to five a week.

cafes, and restaurants, as well as gyms

Restaurants and cafes to only be

and salons, are to remain closed during

allowed to provide takeaway and

the first week.

delivery service in the first two weeks. However dine-in will not be allowed.

Phase 1 of the lockdown easement

Government

offices

will

remain

includes:

closed, but essential staff can go to

office under special permits.

Maximum of three people from each household allowed to go out for up

Private offices can open for essential

to three hours twice a week but they

needs under a special permission

will still have to get a police permit

from the economic ministry.

beforehand. •

Retail shops, Bakeries, Supermarkets,

Colleges and universities can resume online classes.

Businesses that can open include: •

Parks,

beaches

• and

recreation

two weeks.

further added that lockdown measures

Transportation between islands will

may have to be imposed again depending

also remain banned.

on how things unfold. Maldives initially

Flu clinic services will be available to

announced lockdown for 2 days with the

the public.

first positive case from the capital on 15th

Bookshops, Pharmacies, Hardware

centres, as well as schools and

Health officials highlighted that easing

April. It was followed extended later as

shops, Shops specializing in childcare

mosques in capital Male’ and its

the lockdown measures do not mean

the community spread increased.

items.

suburbs will remain shut for the first

that things will go back to normal. They


NEW PROPERTIES

11

MADIFUSHI PRIVATE ISLAND TO DEBUT LATE 2020 Madifushi Private Island, the habitual

been architecturally designed to sit in

Maldivian haven, will make its debut in

harmony with the natural environment,

late 2020. A celebration of design and

senses are awakened – not overwhelmed.

human spirit, Madifushi Private Island

Each villa and suite comes with a terrace

expresses and accord of form, function

that leads to a private pool with access to

and innovation in driving hospitality

the palm fringed beach or perched over

trends that will set the benchmark in its

the Indian Ocean with either a sunset or

style. The greatest wonders of serenity

sunrise view, each location allows guests

are invites and inspired with an innovative

the utmost privacy and opportunity

and distinctive design that sits in perfect

to connect with nature and Maldivian

harmony with the natural environment.

culture. Explore somewhere untainted.

Islet and location

History and heritage

Naturally born 16-hector island is nestled

1988

in the Meemu Atoll, renowned for its

Maldives Inflight Catering (MIC), a joint

abundant flora and fauna, including

venture

swimming with whale sharks and manta

Company Limited and SATS Ltd, MIC,

rays to sailing with dolphins at sunset,

being the leading inflight caterer in the

the resort is reached by 35-minutes

Maldives with over 32 years of experience

picturesque seaplane flight over the

serving customers and the company want

atolls.

to continue growing with their customers

51 rooms with modem features, such

and exotic hotel catering to the diversified

and partners by creating value for both

as private balcony and some are with

needs of guests. Set in a heavenly

parties.

Jacuzzi, to those who are craving more

ambiance of turquoise blue waters, our

enthusiastic on their travel.

Maldives airport hotel is a perfect place

Stays and explore

between

Maldives

Airports

Set amongst the tropical flora and fauna; the beach havens or over-water

2000

havens have been perfectly designed for

Opened

travelling families and groups of friends

International Airport with 85 rooms, and

Hulhule Island Hotel, located on the

alike. Each spacious villa and suite have

2008 extended the service with another

International Airport Island, is a modern

their

city

hotel

at

Velana

Hulhule Island Hotel

for the guests on leisure as well as on business.


12

NEW PROPERTIES

COCOGIRI ISLAND RESORT TO OPEN ON 1ST DECEMBER 2020

Cocogiri Island Resort, a new luxury

Guests can also enjoy evenings watching

resort situated in Vaavu Atoll is scheduled

the sunset while dining at Cocogiri’s beach

to open on 1, December 2020.

restaurant with a range of international cuisine made by their highly experienced by

team of chefs, or cool off at the bar. For

International

more adventurous guests, the resort

Airport, Cocogiri is already being hailed

offers the opportunity to scuba dive or

having one of the best house reefs in the

snorkel with their on-island Dive School,

Maldives, making it a dream come true

or raise your adrenaline levels with their

for snorkelers and scuba divers.

extensive

Located seaplane

just

12

from

minutes Velana

away

water

sports

programme.

Explore the surrounding islands and Cocogiri is an exclusive, boutique resort

immerse yourself in the cultural beauty

featuring 20 water villas and 20 beach

of the Maldives through Cocogiri’s daily

villas on a private island ensuring the

excursions.

utmost tranquility for guests. A perfect setting for relaxation, exploration and

Regardless of the occasion, Cocogiri

rejuvenation. Whether you choose to

Island Resort assures to offer the perfect

relax in a swimming pool, swim in the

setting for rare moments of romance,

crystal-clear blue ocean, sunbathe on the

adventure, excitement and memories to

white sandy beaches or enjoy the serenity

last a lifetime.

of Cocogiri’s spa and wellness centre, the resort promises to provide an unmatched luxurious experience.

SIYAM WORLD BY SUN SIYAM RESORTS OPENING LATE 2020 Sun Siyam Resorts’s newest addition,

house-reef just metres away from the

Suites & Residences, as well stunning

vegetarian, raw as well as vegan cuisine

Siyam World will make its debut late

island! Offering a unique Premium All

over-water accommodation including a

options in addition to Italian, Indian and

2020. This property is going to be the

Inclusive plan – WOW! Inclusive, Siyam

water suite and a grand water residence.

grill specialties. Add a world-class spa,

resort with most rooms in #Maldives,

World promises you an all-encompassing,

Many of these accommodation come with

wellness and sports facilities along with

with over 490 rooms. Siyam World,

hassle-free

with

their very own private pools. Focusing on

some of the region’s best dive sites just

Noonu Atoll isn’t just everything you ever

fantastic

dine-around

the fun element, the deluxe water villas

metres away, Siyam World is truly indeed

wanted from a Maldivian holiday… It is

opportunities on all days along with a

with pool comes with individual water

an island of infinite choices, fun and bliss!

much MORE! A whole world of wonders

whole lot of FUN activities! The resort

slides that deliver you to the water below!

awaits you on a 54 hectare, pristine and

offers varied accommodation ranging

The island-wide dine-around includes

natural island, with its very own exotic

from Beach Villas to expansive Beach

exotic cuisine experiences like pure

holiday

experience

island-wide


PEOPLE

INTERVIEW WITH THOMAS BOERINGER

13

and it was a privately-owned company.

thing was a very successful operation. It

So, there was not a lot of structure in

was fantastic for all of our guests that we

place, there was not a lot of assistance

had at that time there as well.

in place where you could go to corporate

What do you consider your biggest and where to get certain products or achievement during your career in services. It was literally starting from the hospitality industry? office and ask them for what you needed

scratch and building your own hotel.

The most notable achievement I think is

The only thing that was given to us was

being here at my age. I am very grateful

the architecture, consisting of the rooms

that I got the opportunity and that

and furniture. Based on that they literally

the previous General Manager of our

threw me in the cold water and said:

properties here gave me this chance,

turn this into a luxury resort property. I

especially here with Anantara. For Minor

didn’t know where to start. Do you start

Hotels to allow someone as young as me

planning concepts? Do you start ordering

a chance to run their best resort… that

glassware or do you start ordering

really is a big achievement for me. And for

bedding or what? So, I had to find my

us here collectively, we have been voted

way, figuring out what it actually takes

as Condé Nast’s best resort in the Indian

to open a resort and realizing very fast

Ocean for the 3rd consecutive year. I

that it’s very complex and that you have

can’t say that the first two wins were due

to put in a lot of effort because it’s not a

to my effort because I wasn’t here at that

little thing to open a resort, especially for

time but now guiding this one for a 3rd

a privately owned property. It was very

year in a row, I think shows the efforts we

difficult, and with almost no assistance

put into this place. Shows the experience

whatsoever. Yes, I had the GM looking

that our guests are actually getting at

over my shoulder, ticking off boxes saying

Naladhu Private Island and shows that

yes this is perfect, go ahead and do this,

our team that we have is really fantastic

but I was given a lot of flexibility. I would

and going above and beyond. Without

say it was one of the biggest challenges

them it would not have been possible. So,

ever for me. I had to build a team from

I am very proud that I am able to achieve

the local team members that we had at

this at a very young age.

My name is Thomas, I am the resort

property on Koh Yao Noi, a little island

manager of Naladhu Private Island, one

between Phuket and Krabi. I was there

of the islands Minor Hotels manages here,

for 3 months and after that short time

together with Anantara Veli and Anantara

they actually offered me to take over the

to no English experience, no experience

passionate about what I do. I’m Swiss

they were building directly next to it. Of

side and that a knife goes to the right side.

and I started my career in hospitality

course, very enthusiastically I said yes. I

school in Switzerland and ended up in

told them that I would be excited to take

this wonderful place called Maldives.

on this assignment, but to bear in mind

that time as well. Sometimes there’s little

What’s the best advice you can Dhigu. I am 27 years of age, still very position of pre-opening resort manager in hospitality whatsoever, so we had to give to those looking to join the young to be a resort manager but very for their 5-star luxury property that teach staff that a fork will go to the left hospitality industry?

What other properties have you worked for?

that this would be my first pre-opening experience. I would not have perfect experience like other candidates, but I’m

I studied in Switzerland at an international

definitely eager and 200% enthusiastic to

hospitality management university. After

actually do it. So, I opened a property

that I started my career as an Assistant

called TreeHouse Villas Koh Yao, which

F&B Manager at a local property in my

consisted of tree houses directly on the

hometown, offering lots of different food

beach. A beautiful property and adults-

and beverage options. The hotel featured

only. I stayed there for almost 2 years and

a restaurant with a Michelin star during

after that I got the opportunity to work

my time and now has 2 Michelin stars. It

here in Maldives. It’s a truly exceptional

also featured banquet facilities as well as

assignment being a Resort Manager at

meeting rooms, plus a normal à la carte

Naladhu Private Island and I very much

restaurant with bar and room service, so I

enjoy it.

was managing over five outlets almost by

Let’s talk about some of the General Manager. It was a very valuable challenges you have faced during your career. experience. myself, as I was reporting directly to the

I think one of the biggest challenges for After that I realized that I needed some

me was the preopening experience and

more international experience so I went

getting kind of thrown into the cold water.

to Thailand. I started working as an

Being still very young at that time, they

Assistant Manager for a 4-star superior

literally just told me to open the resort

For me I think, for hospitality you are either made for it or you are not. It is

So really started with hospitality basics

something that has to do with passion. As

again. And the toughest part of that,

Steve Jobs once said, ‘If you love what you

I think, was the delay in the opening.

do, you don’t have to work a single day in

We had a specific opening date that

your life.’ I love to jump out of bed in the

was planned, but in the end, we had to

morning and I am so happy to be working

postpone it for another month, then

in hospitality and having this positivity

an additional month and we already

towards it. A positive attitude is one of

had a quite a lot of bookings on hand.

the most important things in hospitality,

So, it was up to me in the end to really

and what I realize is that it’s important

phone up all the agents and all of the

sometimes to take a risk. However, you

guests and say that unfortunately we

also have to be mindful about taking

cannot accommodate you at the moment

risks. I just try things sometimes, because

because we are just not ready yet. That

you will not know how it will come out

was a really tough one.

if you don’t just give it a try. So, trying something

may

sometimes

lead

to

Approximately 150 to 200 room nights we

success, sometimes may lead to failure,

had to move around and try to reschedule

but the most important thing is learning

our guests’ holidays and try to arrange

from the experience and from everyone

something

experience

you meet. If you want to learn, you will

from which I have learned a lot on how

get the support from the people around

to deal with people, how to understand

you and they will push you forward to

their sentiments as well, trying to make

help achieve what you want in life. So it’s

them understand in what kind of situation

all about driving yourself forward, having

you are in. We faced the challenges,

your dreams in front of your eyes and just

overcame them and in the end, the entire

pushing towards it.

different.

An


14

PEOPLE

AHMED NAVEEN – HEAD OF CENTRAL RESERVATIONS AT AITKEN SPENCE HOTELS & RESORTS MALDIVES and experience those initial steps. So,

specially the different market segments.

Naween first entered the tourism industry

Me and my team are very well geared

a s a Reservations Assistant in 2003 and

to cater to them with our experience.

by 2006, was promoted to the position of

However, today we see the world as one

Reservations Executive.

common village where you will not be able to see all guest expectations, from successfully

their country of origin. To put it in simple

climbed his career ladder to become

terms, the future of tourism is based

Senior Reservations Executive and then

on major markets such as Chinese and

Assistant

Reservations.

Indian vacationers and they can be found

Today, he has made it onto a position

all over the world. So, I see that their

where he manages an inventory of 750

expectation patterns have changed due

rooms with two well known Aitken Spence

to globalization. So, we do not find that

Resort brands; Adaaran and Heritance in

amount of stereotyped travelers today

the Maldives. At one point, he was out

anymore.”

By

2010,

Naween

Manager

had

for

of the company where he was gaining experience in the travel industry for two

As his key competencies, Naween is able

years with “Get into Maldives Travels.”

to understand the expectations of different

Today, he holds position as Head of

types of travelers and regards his years

Central Reservations.

of experience in the field has given him the ability to master this very well. With

The reservations point is the first step for

a career spanning over 17 years, Naween

any guest when they embark on planning

also shared some interesting insights on

their vacation. Naween also shared with

the operations behind reservations. He

us memorable experiences; from the

started initially working with 50 to 60

point when the fax machine was used to

travel agents and today, he deals with

handle reservations and to the point in

over 1000 travel agents plus OTAs.

the current era of the internet-of- things

Reservations at Aitken Spence Hotels &

Naween revealed an interesting story

Resorts Maldives.

behind

his

introduction

to

Aitken

Spence. He came to know of AS when he whose

from 7 to 10 days. However, over the

software that we are using today.

course of time, this has reduced to 3-4

Reservations during the very early stages,

markets, and this increases the workload

were mainly handled through fax and

in reservation operations. In the past too,

later on of course, the trend moved onto

major markets used to be Italy, the UK

emails and now, bookings arrive straight

and Germany although today, this has

to the system. Today, Naween and his

also changed incredibly. The tourism

team handle over 1000 inquiries and from

industry is a very sensitive sector and

700 to 800 booking nights / per day for

each and every positive and negative

all seven properties. The Reservations

aspect of trading in this industry is easily

Department is the nerve centre of the

noticeable. “In any part of the world,

resort chain and they make the first

we see trends of ups and downs in this

impression for the resort where they get

business through bookings,” he says.

accompanied a male friend to find a job

Hithadhoo of Addu City, is 40 years

for him and ended up working with Aitken

old. He is professional who has carved

Spence Reservations as he was passionate

for himself an illustrious career so far.

about the internet, and reservations was

Going back to his student years, Ahmed

a potential gateway for young Naween at

attended

Secondary

the time to embark upon and explore the

School, which was known by this name

world through a job of that sort. He never

at the time and which happened to be

knew that he would be stepping into a

one of the leading secondary school’s in

career that would lead him to become an

Addu City and which is currently known

iconic hotelier in the hospitality trade.

the operations staff to become proactive.

He also added, “We started with three

They pass information such as guest

members and today, we have a vibrant

his O/L exams, Naween continued to

At the time, the Central Reservations

preferences, celebrations, what they like

and

serve at his school as Cadet Master for

department was handled from Colombo,

to do or not want to do and up to their

speak eight languages and I see that our

the next three years. Having noticed the

Sri Lanka. As a futuristic move, later on,

dietary plans to name a few.

success purely depends on the team, the

opportunities and future potentials that

the Management took the bold decision

were opening up for the Maldives through

to set up a separate department for

tourism enticed him to join Aitken Spence

the Male sector and Naween was lucky

Resorts in the year 2003. So, on 6th June

enough to have been a part of those

of that year, Naween joined the 1st Batch

initial instigations, and to be cast as a

of the Central Reservations Department.

member of the 1st Batch and to witness

Southern

hails

creating the reservations management

from

the

family

Traditionally, the average guest stay was

days due to the increase in certain major

Meet Ahmed Naween, Head of Central

Naween

which has modernized the process of

as Sharafuddin School. After completing

all types of information that will make

multi-cultural

eight

team

who

leadership and support that I have from When queried about the challenges he

the Aitken Spence company.” He also

faces on a daily basis, Naween disclosed,

proudly included that his dedication, hard

“We know what our guests want when

work and continued passion has helped

they reach us, having known about the

him achieve the success he sees today. He

market for a period of time now and

has sacrificed many day offs and worked


PEOPLE 15 extra hours to achieve beyond what was

in the near future.” As a message for

will not appear cloudy forever. So, if you

you want. Naween’s story proves that

expected and this trait has enabled him to

youth who look towards carving a career

stick to one goal with a positive mindset,

everything in life happens for a reason

easily climb the career ladder.

pathway in tourism, Naween adds that

you will ultimately be what you want to be

and there is a plan for everyone. He is

adopting a positive mindset is key. He

in time.”

proud today for having selected Aitken

When queried about his plans for the

explains, “Your workplace becomes your

future, Naween stated, “Learning never

secondy home.

ends. We are in an industry where one

Spence as his second home. As an ending remark, he also disclosed, “If you sit and ponder on little challenges

can excel in their career and to fulfill those

Nothing will come to you on a silver platter

that come your way, you will never be

dreams, I look forward to excelling in the

when you start working in any field. The

able to succeed in life. But, any challenge

field of sales and marketing as well. So, I

first year will be challenging and may be

you face will make you stronger and allow

have plans to expand into that segment

the second year as well. However, the sky

you to move forward to achieve what

RAFFAELE SOLFERINO – GENERAL MANAGER, GRAND PARK KODHIPPARU

What’s the best advice you can give to those looking to join the and more, there is a lot to do. We don’t hospitality industry? destination I think it has good continuity, it’s a solid destination and will grow more need to go anywhere in the world if we are here. Some colleagues like challenges

They have to look at the hospitality

in cities like Bangkok, Singapore, Milan,

industry

London, Paris. That is also something

growing; it has a lot more to give. It’s a

nice but I am not missing anything, I am

solid industry so if you approach the

very happy here.

hospitality industry there will be a period

Give us a quick intro about Grand Park Kodhipparu.

as

something

that

still

is

where you have to understand and decide where you want to go. Into operations or sales to reach to management level. After that, when you find your way, you need

Grand Park Kodhipparu used to be

to make it on your own with passion and

a picnic island for locals. It has been

never, ever give up. You should always aim

developed, with 60% original island and

for the highest level, never stop working

40% was reclaimed. We have 120 villas,

towards achieving excellence. Aim for the

102 on water, 18 on island. We have 3

top. You must have big dreams and clear

food and beverage outlets, 1 amazing spa.

objectives to make it in this industry.

A top dive center and so many watersport

What’s in the future for Maldivian resorts and the industry in celebrity chefs for unmatched fine dining general? options. Kodhipparu has everything;

nothing is missing here. We’ve even got experiences.

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement during your Our team at Travel Trade Maldives Maldives was in 2010 in Baa Atoll. I tried career in hospitality?

I think the Maldives will have two scenarios speedboat

for

the

distance

future,

for

records

the there

will be more integrated resorts, with

decided to sit down and gain some

to go away and spend 2.5 years in Bali,

I don’t like to talk too much about myself,

reclaimed land similar to Crossroads,

insight into the inspiring story of Raffaele

Park Hotel Group, brought me back to the

maybe its best other people judge my

Fari Islands. In that direction also with

Solferino, the General Manager of Grand

Maldives with an exciting project to open

achievements. I am happy doing what I

spectacular

Park Kodhipparu Maldives.

the group’s first property in the Maldives.

do with passion If I look back, there are

Dubai spectacular architectures with

Maldives is basically home for me now…

at least four GMs that reached this level…

underwater developments and other

it’s a nice place. I am very happy to be

let’s say, under my education. That makes

attractions driving still luxury but more

back in this lovely paradise.

me proud. At the same time, opening a

volume tourism. While for those resorts at

I am in the hospitality industry for more

resort like this in 4 months… that is quite

What was so different about home country from the Amalfi Coast where Maldives that you decided to stay?

seaplane distance you will see more small

than 3 decade, I started from Italy my

something. It’s really an achievement I

boutique resorts on natural islands for a

can be proud of. People don’t believe it

more relaxing and in a sense more original

the luxury tourism is the main economy

What I found interesting about Maldives is

when I say so. We arrived in March 2017,

Maldivian tourism where the Islands are

and the luxury lifestyle is well known to

that… first, it’s a place of innovations. It’s

hotel was open on 8 June, 2017. Though

natural with the related natural forests

celebrities, with spots like Amalfi, Capri,

a place where you can set new standards

we celebrated with a grand opening party

and barefoot experience, with Maldivian

Positano, Sorrento. I worked all over

and you can be creative. The market is

in December 2017, we checked-in the first

cultural heritage, adventure and sports.

Europe, in Italy, Switzerland, Germany,

very challenging and competitive, so you

customer in June. That was something

France, England, Monte Carlo. Middle

have to always find something different,

that makes people go “wow”. However, I

East, in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain,

something that gives an edge over

can’t take all the credit. Whatever I do,

Lebanon and Asia Pacific Indonesia,

competitors, which in turn gives additional

I am never alone. I always have a good

Singapore, Bali First time I came to

opportunities to express yourself.. As a

team behind me.

How long have you been working in the hospitality industry?

structures,

challenging


16 PEOPLE

THE RITZ-CARLTON MALDIVES, FARI ISLANDS APPOINTS JULIANA S. SALLA AS RESORT MANAGER The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

She has played a key role in pre-opening

has welcomed Juliana S. Salla as its

properties of the W, proving herself to be

Resort Manager. She will begin her new

an inspired leader.

assignment on 1st July, 2020. Juliana is currently serving as Executive Juliana brings extensive knowledge and

Assistant Manager at The Ritz-Carlton

expertise boasting three years working

Bali,

with Marriott, and a total of 17 years in

and security operations. Amongst her

the international tourism and hospitality

achievements whilst in The Ritz-Carlton

sector in South America, North America,

Bali, she has increased guest satisfaction

Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific and

by 7% year-on-year, led the team

China.

during the merger between Starwood

overseeing

the

rooms

division

and Marriott in the implementation of After graduating college, Juliana was

new systems and Champion for Brand

appointed as Guest Youth Activities

Standards and Quality Audits for the

Trainer

hotel

Coordinator

cum

Assistant

operations.

Her

outstanding

Manager Luxury passenger cruise ship at

performance and dedication during her

Disney Cruise Lines, where she spent 4

tenure with Marriott led her to well-

from Sao Paulo University. She speaks

100 island and overwater villas. There are

years before moving to land-based hotel

deserved promotion to Resort Manager

fluently

and

5 food and beverage options distributed

operations.

at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives.

Spanish, plus basic knowledge in French.

among the islands. Other than the all-day

in

English,

Portuguese

dining, guests can enjoy Italian, Chinese In 2007, Juliana joined the W brand

A native of Brazil, Juliana holds a

Located on the North Atoll of Maldives,

and Japanese teppanyaki specialties.

(previously owned by Starwood) then later

bachelor’s degree in Communications

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Islands

Uniquely design facilities include an

on acquired by Marriott. During her 10-

from Faculdade de Comunicacao Casper

will be part of a lively integrated Marina

experiential Kids Club, Recreation Club

year journey with the W, she held various

Libero and also multiple degrees in hotel

Village & Resort Destination with world

and Spa.

senior leadership roles at its properties in

management

Morumbi

class luxury living & recreation facilities.

Qatar, Indonesia and China.

University and guest services operations

The resort is made up of 4 islands with

from

Ahembi


PEOPLE

17

JOALI MALDIVES PROMOTES ISMAIL NASHEED TO RESORT MANAGER JOALI Maldives has promoted Ismail

worked with Anantara Hotels. Ismail

Nasheed to its new Resort Manager.

has over 21 years’ of experience in the hospitality industry.

Ismail initially joined JOALI Maldives early 2018 as Front Office Manager. Through

Set on the picture-perfect Muravandhoo

continued hard work and dedication, he

Island, JOALI Maldives is comprised of

was soon promoted to Rooms Division

73 private beach and over-water villas

Manager and now as the Resort Manager.

and residences, each of which showcase

He initially started in the industry with

how luxury travel and sustainability can

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts where

go hand-in-hand with impeccably stylish

he worked for 13 years. He has also

design.

PATINA MALDIVES, FARI ISLANDS APPOINTS AHMED SINAN AS HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGER

Patina

Maldives,

Fari

Islands

has

extensive improvement in HR welfare and

appointed Ahmed Sinan as its new Human

colleague engagement. With a Bachelor

Resources Manager.

of Arts Degree, his creative side is an asset to any organization he has worked

Sinan joins the Patina Maldives pre-

for. His previous experience in the pre-

opening team from his role as the

opening team of CROSSROADS Maldives,

Human Resource Manager at SAii Lagoon

will also be an added advantage for Patina

Maldives, Curio Collection by Hiltion

Maldives, which is of similar concept.

which is part of the CROSSROADS, the first integrated resorts in the Maldives.

Patina Maldives, Fari Islands will be

He has previously worked at Kanuhura

the first launch under Patina Hotels &

Maldives and Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort

Resorts, a new sophisticated lifestyle

and Spa.

brand by Capella Hotel Group, which was created for progressive travelers

He initially started as the Graphic

of

Designer

Maldives,

situated in the heart of the Fari Islands

however was later promoted to Employee

archipelago, Patina Maldives will offer

Relations officer where his career in HR

guests the opportunity to enjoy privacy

began.

and seclusion or freedom of movement

for

Shangri-la

a

new

generation.

across the islands. Sinan is an emerging HR leader with 11 years of experience in the hospitality industry and 7 years of experience in Human

Resources

management.

His

major accomplishments were in Kanuhura Maldives, where the team saw an

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

Strategically


18 PEOPLE

VILLA HOTELS AND RESORTS APPOINTS MURAD HASSAN AS DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Villa Hotels & Resorts has welcomed

as the Director for market management

Murad Hassan as its new Director of

at Agoda for Malaysia and Maldives. He

Business

a

has been with Agoda for over 9 years.

successful professional with over 17

Murad has previously worked for Bandos

years’ experience in tourism marketing

Island Resort and the Maldives Tourism

in Maldives with management experience

Promotion Board.

in His

Development.

sales,

revenue,

specialties

Murad

and

include

is

marketing. hotel/resort

Villa Hotels & Resorts is one of the leading

contracting, destination marketing and

resort chains in the Maldives, operating

promotion, online sales and marketing

five exclusive island resorts: Paradise

strategy, and business development for

Island Resort, Sun Island Resort, Royal

online travel marketing consultancy.

Island Resort, Holiday Island Resort and Fun Island Resort.

Prior to his move to Villa Hotels and Resorts, he was most recently working

PATINA MALDIVES, FARI ISLANDS APPOINTS NASRULLA ADAM AS DIRECTOR OF SALES Patina

Maldives,

Fari

Islands

has

in Front Office, Hospitality Management,

appointed Nasrulla Adam as its new

Customer Service, Hotel Booking, and

Director of Sales.

Tour Operators. He is a strong sales professional with a BA (Hons) focused on

Nasrulla joins the Patina Maldives pre-

Hospitality & Tourism Management from

opening team from his role as Director

Birmingham College of Food-Tourism-

of International Sales at Amilla Fushi.

Creative Studies.

He has previously worked with Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Baros Maldives,

Patina Maldives, Fari Islands will be

Anantara Kihavah Villas, and at PER

the first launch under Patina Hotels &

AQUUM

Huvafenfushi.

Resorts, a new sophisticated lifestyle

He initially started as the assistant

brand by Capella Hotel Group, which

reservations manager in the industry and

was created for progressive travellers

climbed up the leadership ladder to now

of

the Director of Sales.

situated in the heart of the Fari Islands

Niyama

and

a

new

generation.

Strategically

archipelago, Patina Maldives will offer Nasrulla is an experienced sales director

guests the opportunity to enjoy privacy

with a demonstrated history of working

and seclusion or freedom of movement

in the hospitality industry. He is skilled

across the islands.

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AVIATION 19

AIRASIA OFFERS CREDIT ACCOUNT EXTENSION, UNLIMITED FLIGHT CHANGES UNTIL OCT 2020 allows them to change their flight date

bookings made via airasia.com. For group

for the same route unlimited number of

bookings or those made via travel agents,

times without incurring any additional

kindly refer to your respective booking

cost before Oct 31, 2020, subject to seat

agent for further assistance,” it said.

availability. AirAsia said the airline is complying Those who choose the credit account

with advice and regulations from local

option will be able to retain the value

governments, civil aviation authorities,

of the flight booking in their AirAsia

global

BIG Member account for future travel

including the World Health Organisation.

with AirAsia, to be redeemed within

It is also closely monitoring this situation

730 calendar days (two years) from the

and reserves the right to announce

issuance date.

further policies according to the latest

and

local

health

agencies,

developments. “The travel date of the new booking can fall on any date within the published flight

Guests can refer to the airline’s COVID-19

schedule on airasia.com,” the airline said

Guide for step-by-step instructions on

AirAsia guests with bookings for flights

AirAsia Bhd said the validity of credit

in a statement. It said that in the next few

how to use the airline’s AI chatbot AVA

departing between March 23 and July

accounts previously issued for COVID-

weeks, the validity period of all unused

on support.airasia.com or airasia.com to

31, 2020 can now choose to have a credit

19-related flight disruptions will also be

credit accounts issued to guests affected

make their selection.

account with a two-year validity period

automatically extended up to two-years

by COVID-19 travel restrictions will also

or unlimited flight changes for flights

for future travels. Guests may choose

be automatically extended to two-years.

departing up to Oct 31, 2020.

between two options -- the first option

“This is only applicable for direct online

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20 AVIATION

QATAR AIRWAYS CABIN CREW TO WEAR PPE GEAR DURING FLIGHTS

Qatar Airways has announced that they are

introducing

personal

protective

equipment (PPE) suits for the cabin

Bottles of hand sanitizer will be placed in the galleys and made available for both cabin crew and passengers.

crew during flights. This is to reduce the interactions between the passengers

Since

and crews during COVID-19 pandemic.

pandemic, the airline has been regularly

According to the airline, the crew will wear

disinfecting

PPE suits over their uniforms in addition

cleaning products recommended by the

to safety goggles, gloves and masks. The

International Air Transport Association

precautions are meant to provide greater

(IATA) and the World Health Organization

assurance of safety to their customers.

(WHO).

the

beginning all

their

of

COVID-19

aircrafts

using

Furthermore, the airline also implemented additional health and safety measures

Moreover, Qatar Airways implemented

onboard their flights to assure passenger

advanced air filtration systems in their

health and safety:

aircrafts equipped with industrial-size HEPA filters that remove 99.97 per cent

All social areas onboard the aircraft

of viral and bacterial contaminants from

have been closed to observe social

re-circulated air, providing the most

distancing measures.

effective protection against infection for

In economy, all meals and cutlery are

their passengers.

served sealed as usual. •

In business class meals will be served

Qatar Airways is the national flag carrier

on a tray instead of a table set up,

of Qatar, flying more than 160 destinations

and a cutlery wrap will be offered

in 82 countries. However, the airline has

to passengers as an alternative to

temporarily reduced its flight operations

individual cutlery service, in an effort

due to the pandemic.

to reduce contact between the crew and the passengers.

AIRASIA IMPLEMENTS CONTACTLESS PROCEDURES FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL Japan from today, where guests making

user experience and a seamless and

their essential travel can print their

contactless self check-in process. There

boarding pass and baggage tag after

are also plans to progressively add other

checking-in online on airasia.com or

features such as travel visa scanning

through the mobile app, ensuring a full

capabilities in the near future,” it added.

contactless check-in process.

AirAisa’s group chief operations officer Javed Malik said: “In addition to the

“Another contactless travel procedure

existing

strict

will be the PRS, which will be available

ground, such as social distancing markers

at klia2, followed soon by other airports

and Allstars wearing personal protective

in Malaysia where AirAsia operates. The

equipment (PPE), we are pleased to

PRS entails no boarding pass exchange

introduce

between guests and AVSEC (aviation

procedures to deliver more secure, safe,

security) as guests only need to scan them

efficient and contactless experience for

instead,” a statement by the airline read.

our guests across the region.

our

safety

measures

updated

on-

contactless

Additionally, AirAsia has also digitized out

Wave payments for AliPay and WeChat at

the boarding process by scanning all

“The safety of our guests and Allstars is

several initiatives for essential travel

klia2 in Malaysia, and will include other

boarding passes at the boarding gate

our utmost priority and these additional

including

at

airports gradually. Other options such

instead of collecting stubs of physical

enhancements

airports, contactless kiosks, Passenger

as BigPay and Touch ‘N Go will also be

ones.

continued commitment to keep flying safe

Reconciliation Systems (PRS) as well

available soon.

AirAsia

Group

Bhd

contactless

is

rolling

payments

our

in the new normal environment for air “AirAsia’s mobile app will also see an

as enhanced features on its mobile app

demonstrate

to help ensure smooth and safe travel

“The contactless kiosks are available at

enhancement later this month where

experience. AirAsia said the airline has set

all operating airports across Malaysia,

guests can scan their passports via the

up contactless payment options including

Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and

app itself, facilitating a more streamlined

travel,” he said.


AVIATION

21

EMIRATES RESUMES PASSENGER FLIGHTS WITH NEW MEASURES distancing measures where possible.

Cabin baggage remains restricted to

Families that are travelling together can

essential items such as a laptop, handbag,

request to sit as a group when checking

briefcase or baby items for on board.

in. In business and economy class, Emirates Emirates has amended its boarding

will resume its service with hot meals,

procedures, and passengers will now

using cutlery and crockery, sterilized

enter the aircraft by exact row rather than

before each use. Premium passengers

zone, from the back of the plane to the

will be given single-use menus, and items

front. Emirates boarding agents dressed

such as mattresses, pillows, blankets,

in full personal protective equipment

headphones and toys will be hygienically

will be on hand to assist with this and

sealed before use.

all waiting areas have been amended to allow for social distancing.

The airline recommends that travelers carry their own pen with them to fill out

Travelers who are set to transit through

Health Declaration Forms required at

Emirates has resumed regular passenger

is in place and protective barriers have

the airport onto another flight will have

some destinations.

flights from Dubai International, to nine

been installed at each check-in desk and

to go through thermal screening upon

destinations with a series of new safety

immigration counter to provide additional

disembarkation. They will then be given

“We are working with all the stakeholders

procedures. The Dubai airline launched

safety reassurance to passengers and

new hygiene kits at the gate before

in

flights from the UAE to Europe, the US,

employees.

boarding a connecting flight.

immigration,

Canada and Australia from May 21.

Dubai

including health

the and

airport, aviation

authorities to implement such measures,

Upon check-in, Emirates will give all

Emirates will fly to Chicago, Frankfurt,

In-flight safety measures

passengers free hygiene kits. These will

London,

Milan,

An additional crew member has been

expert advice for any development and

include face masks, gloves, antibacterial

Paris, Sydney and Toronto, with flights

added to all Emirates flights that have a

changes,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates’

wipes and hand sanitizer. The gloves and

scheduled on these routes until June 30.

flying time of more than 90 minutes. This

Chief Operating Officer. “We are all

Madrid,

Melbourne,

masks must be worn at the airport and

and we will continue to review and consult

person, the cabin services assistant, will

aware that we have to adapt to different

the face masks are also compulsory on all

Online check-in for all flights remain

be responsible for sanitation of lavatories

practices during this pandemic in our day

Emirates flights. At Dubai International

suspended. This allows Emirates team

which will now be cleaned every 45

to day activities.”

Airport, thermal temperature scanning

members to assign seats based on social

minutes.

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22 AVIATION faces fatal catastrophe in their business.

counter check-in hours, transit hours.

Also, certain airlines have already sought

To eliminate this time for consumption

government support and are under

and safety reasons the airlines will

discussion to save their company as the

reduce baggage allowance and impose

demand goes down.

restrictions on excess baggage facility, mandate

online

check-in

and

wear

However, it is safe to say that the near

face masks all the time. Also, airports

future of air travel won’t be normal

will have compulsory facilities such as

during post pandemic era. IATA’s Chief

thermal cameras to check customer

Economist, Brian Pearce, says: “COVID’s

temperature. Hong Kong airport already

effects on air travel are certainly going

added passenger disinfection channels

to last a number of years with no quick

prior to embarking and disembarking at

rebound to 2019 levels”. Under the IATAs

the gates.

baseline scenario, it expects travel to

THE FUTURE OF AIR TRAVEL LIES BEYOND THE “NEW NORMAL” BY ILACIYAH MADHUSHAN

return to normal by 2023, but under its

However, any initiative newly added to

‘setback scenario’ - if lockdown continues

the service will be costly. For an instance,

into the autumn or if there’s another wave

suggestion to block the middle seat inside

of the virus - travel might not return to

the aircraft may not work in the long

normal until 2024.

run, and from a business perspective. Any airline must carry at least 80% of

Therefore, many airlines have pushed to

seat factor to manage and yield revenue

haul initiatives to ensure to manage their

passenger-kilometers

(RPKs,

customer loyalty, passenger safety and

measure

of

keep commercial operations. As the first

carried by an airline), therefore if the

step during pre-pandemic era, leading

middle seats were eliminated, the airline

carriers

repatriation

may not be able to cover the cost even

program in both commercial and under

with 100% seat factor with the remaining seats.

have

initiated

The aviation industry has been drastically

financial crisis and up to prevailing 2020

diplomatic understanding and worked

affected throughout the COVID-19 crisis

COVID-19 global pandemic crisis.

along with governments, embassies and

which began with travel bans imposed at

the

volume

which

passengers

diplomatic agencies. They have also

Bureau of Transport statics has forecast

early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Based on the most recent die down during

opted to convert passenger aircrafts to

air fare will go down by 35% during post

Almost every country in the world

2007/08 financial crisis which resulted in

cargo to carry crisis relief aids, and to put

pandemic era, that is including the whole

has taken strict measures to fight the

-1.2% annual growth in global air traffic

aircraft to use in the crisis period. Apart

year of 2021. It reveals that the prices will

pandemic by the closing of borders,

passenger demand, the estimation of

from the operations, few leading carriers

increase again by 27% after the demand

airports, restricting movement, and two-

COVID-19 impact aggregates between

have declared leniency by introducing

bounces back, which will take at least

weeks quarantine in authorized facilities

35% to -65% than the expected decline in

flexibility

travel

three to four years. This is purely due

etc.

international passengers in 2020* (ICAO

vouchers to their customers who has

to the gap between supply and demand

Air Transport Reporting Form A and A-s

purchased and subsequently canceled

where the industry is now suffering with

Aviation

Plus ICAO estimates, 2020). To address

their trips during COVID-19 period.

more supply than demand. Also, due to

Organization (ICAO) estimates a potential

the demand and supply gaps which

The flexibility program is a win-win for

current the oversupply issue and severing

gross operating revenue loss of USD 151

airlines have pushed to reduce their

both customers and the airline, as it will

operation costs, many airlines are likely

to 228 billion if the first signs of recovery

network operations until the demand

benefit the customer by enabling them

to retire Airbus 380 and Boeing 747

are seen by late May 2020. However, the

bounces back, for instance, some leading

to have maximum flexibility period up

aircrafts and will reinstated with tight

estimation of loss could increase from

legacy carriers has reduced up to 98%

to 24 months to plan their future travel,

aircrafts to take maximum advantages on

USD 194 to 269 billion if there is no relief

of their network route. On the other

and for the airline in long term to keep up

marginal utility.

from the pandemic and if the industry

hand, the airline companies with strong

the customer retention and in the short

restarts in the third quarter or late 2020.

financial backing from the government

term to refrain from burning liquid cash

However, there is a contradicting situation

The overall estimation is severe compared

are now planning to gradually increase

for refunds when the cash flow is at the

which push the airlines to a deep dilemma

to the baseline versus impact which is

more routes which was suspended due to

critical stage.

since there is a huge gap between demand

approximately USD 236 to 419 billion

COVID-19 in early March 2020.

The

International

Civil

potential gross operating revenue loss of

programs

such

as

and supply. The air fare reduction is going The worse hit from the passengers’ point

to be the worst nightmare for the industry

airlines and overall reduction of 1,815 to

Many airline companies may not survive

of view is that they cannot expect a hassle-

at present grounds and eventually the

3,213 million passengers.

until post pandemic era, CAPA center for

free journey in near future.

Countries

companies will face bankruptcy in reality.

aviation has predicted that by end of May

will eventually open their airports and

Alexandre de Juniac, Director General of

The industry is witnessing the biggest

80% of seat factor will be go down and

borders, however the authority will

IATA has mentioned to CNN that in these

and longest demand drop since 9/11 and

due to less demand, and many airlines

impose certain mandatory regulations

conditions airlines will not be able to fly

subsequent great recession period in the

will be grounded. Further, the companies

to ensure the passenger safety such as

unless the ticket prices must be increased

year 2008/09. The industry has faced

have started to lay off their workforce in

aircraft disinfection process after arrival

50% to 100% for airlines to make money

many obstacles in the past 50 years due to

order to reduce the operation costs and

or before departure, long check-in queues

and cover their cost hence future of airline

socio, economic and political crisis. ICAO

survive through the crisis. CNN Business

with one meter social distancing between

will not rely with cheap air travel. (CNN:

also analyzed data based on evaluations

Insider emphasized that government

customers, removal of kiosk system to

Higher prices, fewer amenities: New era

since year 1971 oil crisis to year 2007/08

backing is mandatory before the company

eliminate finger touch points, and longer

of air travel)


AVIATION 23 any industry leaders believe taking out the

ensure passenger safety. However, in the

middle seats to ensure social distancing

long run, finding treatments or vaccine is

on board is unrealistic but instead the

the only solution to overcome COVID-19

airline can mandate face masks, placing

and bounce back to normal travel life for

sanitizers on board and airlines should

passengers and for the airline industry.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ilaciyah Madhushan is an experienced Sales & Marketing professional with proven track record in Aviation travel and tourism industry for more than 10 years.

invest on aircraft disinfection process to

VELANA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT GEARED UP FOR “NEW NORMAL” – MACL

Maldives

Airports

Limited

airport. MACL also added that similar

(MACL) has announced that Velana

floor markings, also each three-feet apart,

International Airport is geared up for the

were placed at the check-in counters in

“new normal”.

the domestic terminal at the airport.

In preparation for the reopening of tourism

In addition, four feet tall glass sheet

industry,

separators

MACL’s

Company

General

Manager

between

counters

were

Hassan Areef said that all precautionary

installed to strengthen the protective

measures are now put in place to open

measures against the virus.

the airport. MACL further revealed that hygienic Velana

International

Airport

has

measures would be intensified across the

implemented social distancing measures

airport. All seats and desks, lounge areas,

with clearly visible distance information

ticketing and check-in counters, along

and floor markings in passenger terminals

with flooring and airport tarmac area are

as a precautionary step for the safety of

subject to daily disinfecting drills.

passengers and staff. According to MACL,

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL WON’T RETURN TO NORMAL UNTIL 2023

bright floor markings can now visibly be

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih earlier

seen, three feet apart from each other, in

announced

places of possible passenger congestion.

Airport was set to resume welcoming

This includes ticketing and check-in

international

counters, and the pre-flight inspection

COVID-19 situation in Maldives continues

zone in the international terminal at the

to improve.

International air travel may not return to

per year in 2020 from 8 billion per year

normal until 2023, the International Air

in 2019 - having a significant impact on

Transport Association (IATA) has said.

airlines.

that

Velana

flights

International

within

July

if

The top industry body for air travel said that flights around the world are unlikely

Chief executive of IATA Alexendre De

to be widespread for another three years.

Juniac said only 50 per cent of air travel

Domestic travel, on the other hand, is

will return by the end of 2020. “What

expected to be up and running as usual

we see is that things should come back

again by the end of 2020 following the

to normal in 2023, which is later than

coronavirus pandemic across the world.

our previous forecast. That shows the importance and the severity of this crisis

“COVID-19’s effects on air travel are

on air transport,” he said.

certainly going to last a number of years with no quick rebound to 2019 level,” said

He further reiterated that the impacts of

IATA’s Chief Economist, Brian Pearce.

the crisis on long-haul travel will be much more severe and of a longer duration than

Under the IATAs baseline scenario, it

what is expected in domestic markets.

expects travel to return to normal by 2023, but under its ‘setback scenario’ - if

“Rebuilding passenger confidence will

lockdown continues into the autumn or if

take longer,” he added. “And even then,

there’s another wave of the virus - travel

individual and corporate travelers are

might not return to normal until 2024.

likely to carefully manage travel spend and

IATA forecast that revenue passenger-

stay closer to home. This makes globally

kilometres (RPKs, which measure the

agreed and implemented biosecurity

volume of passengers carried by an

standards for the travel process all the

airline) would drop to under 4 billion

more critical.”


24 AWARDS/ LISTINGS / FEATURES

MALDIVES AMONG MOST-SEARCHED TRAVEL SPOTS BY SINGAPOREANS Maldives has been listed among the most

travel destinations for check-in dates

searched travel spots by Singaporeans,

between January to February 2021 are

Expedia

are

Tokyo, the Maldives, Bangkok, Niseko,

searching for staycation options in the

Seoul, Bali, Taipei, Johor, Sapporo, and

near term, with an eye on overseas Asian

Okinawa.

revealed.

Singaporeans

destinations for their year-end travels, Expedia data showed.

Maldives was also among the most searched for, according to Google for

While they are looking to travel from

topics, “flights to Maldives” and “trips

October to December 2020, the top

to

destinations searched for that period

pandemic.

Maldives”

during

the

COVID-19

includes Tokyo, Taipei, Bangkok, Seoul, the

Maldives,

Bali,

Phuket,

Osaka,

In addition to this UK’s leading celebrity

Hokkaido, and Hong Kong, the data said.

news

Come 2021, Singaporeans seem to

that Maldives is among the 8 travel

display renewed optimism for travel to

destinations celebrities will likely to book

resume normalcy in the new year. Top

post lockdown.`

site

Hello

Magazine

revealed


AWARDS/ LISTINGS / FEATURES 25

MALDIVES - WHERE INDIAN LUXURY TRAVELER WANTS TO TRAVEL NEXT

Maldives emerges as the destination

but they want to see them being followed

where Indian luxury travelers wants to

for themselves. Trust will be key. While

travel post pandemic. This was revealed

flying, for instance, COVID-prevention

by the online survey: The Indian Luxury

measures will be the #1 factor while

Traveller Report: Covid Edition.

picking an airline. And at hotels, it will be imperative that guests are able to witness

The report is an outcome of an online

some of the cleaning process, are assured

survey of 3,500 Indian luxury travelers,

of the cleaning products being used, and

conducted in May 2020. More than 70%

that all staff are trained so that they can

of the respondents polled were from the

answer any questions or concerns guests

big metros of India: Delhi-NCR, Mumbai,

bring to them. Demanding they may be,

Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad,

but they are willing to pay extra for certain

Kolkata,

Seventy-three

services such as a daily deep-clean of

percent were in the 25-55 age bracket;

the room, or even a one-night-empty

45% were salaried employees, 24% were

buffer (see graphic). And fully aware of

self-employed/consultants, while 14%

the impact of travel on the environment,

were entrepreneurs and 3% were retired.

a whopping 65% said they are willing to

A whopping 70% remain open to travelling

pay extra if the hotel or resort is following

abroad on vacation this year. Maldives

sustainable and eco-friendly practices.

Ahmedabad.

was voted the destination they are most likely to choose, presumably for the

India is now one of the fastest growing

natural beauty and luxurious resorts with

outbound

a wide range of in-house activities for

world. While Maldives made record by

families to enjoy.

welcoming 1.7 million tourists in 2019,

tourism

markets

in

the

Indian market took the second place The survey further revealed that the

among the top 10 markets in 2019.

Indian luxury traveler assumes that airlines, hotels and restaurants will have

Featured image: Asad Photo (Ibrahim

systems for hygiene and safety in place,

Asad)

SONEVA NAMOONA LISTED AMONG BEST ECO-INITIATIVES IN HOSPITALITY Soneva’s

Maldives

properties—

institute daily sustainability practices

Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani—truly

like composting into Maldivian life. This

represent the intersection of wellness

initiative was inspired by the Eco-Centro

and sustainability. The brand’s Soneva

waste recycling program that has long

Namoona has been named as a legend

since been in effect at Soneva Fushi. The

awards honoree for eco initiatives by

eco-initiative began on the Maldivian

Departures Magazine.

island of Maalhos, and Soneva plans to expand the Namoona program the islands

Departure Magazine’s Best Eco-Initiates in

Hospitality

2020

is

selected

of Dharavandhoo and Kihaadhoo.

by

assessing the luxury hotels and resorts

Soneva Fushi was the first ‘castaway’

that are keen to do their part to inspire

resort in the Maldives, pioneering a trend

conservation initiatives in their local

for back-to-nature luxury holidays. It still

communities. These hotels are reported

tops lists of the top 10 best luxury resorts

to be working tirelessly to preserve

in the Maldives. In 2009, the Soneva

the region’s natural beauty, by finding

Hotel group built a second, even more

innovative ways to reduce waste, and

spectacular hotel – Soneva Kiri – on the

reuse and conserve resources. They

unspoilt Thai island of Koh. The Soneva

are not only implementing new eco-

story continued with the brand’s newest

initiatives, but educating their staff,

luxury resort: Soneva Jani, a spectacular

travelers, and members of the community

resort that sets new standards in Maldives

on best preservation practices. The

that is already known for its world-class

brand launched Soneva Namoona in

hotel standards.

February 2020 as a major attempt to


26 AWARDS/ LISTINGS / FEATURES

67% CHINESE TRAVELERS THINK MALDIVES IS SAFEST DESTINATION

67% of Chinese travelers have said

haven given its inherent island isolation.”

that Maldives is the safest destination,

The majority of the respondents went

while 90% agreed that they would travel

with beach villa for accommodation types

to Maldives. This was revealed by a

while 4 star resorts was most voted as the

new survey of 1,100 qualified Chinese

type of hotel stay. The data also saw 75%

travelers in first tier cities by hospitality

of respondents prefer independent travel

consulting group C9 Hotelworks and

to Maldives versus being part of a group.

Delivering Asia Communications focusing

38% wanted to book hotels and flights

on travel sentiment to the Maldives.

separately.

“Travel safety is a key post-crisis factor

A rising tide of consumers identified

for

including

direct or social media channels to book a

Chinese,” commenting on the report

Maldives holiday with Fliggy, WeChat and

findings C9’s Managing Director Bill

hotel websites accounting for over a third

Barnett said. “What is interesting from

of the expected share demand. China is

the China responses was that 67% of

the largest source market for Maldives

those surveyed considered the Maldives

tourism.

to be a safer holiday choice compared

its position as the top contributor to

to other destinations. While a lingering

Maldives tourism with market share of

‘fear factor’ is a COVID-19 consequence,

16.7% (284,029) in 2019.

all

overseas

travelers

the country is likely to be seen as a safe

MALDIVES TOPS THE MOST SEARCHED TRAVEL SPOTS BY BRITS Maldives is the most popular searched

(10th). Maldives was also ranked in fourth

destinations for a holiday by Brits. This

place of most popular countries to search

was revealed by TravelSupermarket’s

for a holiday after lockdown, any date

data between May 16 and 30. The top

departure. Various other online surveys

ten most-searched-for places by Britons

have further landed Maldives on top

in the past fortnight for a holiday to

searches list of Indian luxury travelers,

depart between July 1 and October

Chinese, US travelers and Singaporeans

30, 2020, are Las Vegas (first), Tenerife

during the pandemic.

(second), the Maldives (third), the Costa Blanca (fourth), Dubai (fifth), Orlando

Featured image: Asad Photo (Ibrahim

(sixth), Canary Islands (seventh), Majorca

Asad)

(eighth), Amsterdam (ninth) and Crete

Chinese

market

maintained


AWARDS/ LISTINGS / FEATURES 27

10 INCREDIBLE MALDIVIAN PRIVATE ISLANDS TO SPLURGE ON POST COVID-19

5. Waldorf Astoria Maldives

Watersports Center, and 24-hour access

Located at Ithaafushi island, Waldorf

to the state-of-the-art fitness center for

Astoria is part of the Hilton portfolio.

workouts including anti-gravity yoga and

The resort features 122 villas, each

meditation practice.

compromising of a pool and a view of the Indian Ocean. The highlights of the resort

8. Naladhu Private Island

include

Naladhu

the

two-bedroom

overwater

Private

Island

Maldives’

villa and three-bedroom beach villa for

exclusive retreat with just 19 elegant

those seeking exclusivity and the 11

houses and one two-bedroom residence –

dining venues and bars including Terra,

is a home away from home. The resort is

an elevated treetop restaurant, and The

so exclusive that even at full occupancy,

Ledge by Dave Pynt. Waldorf Astoria

it accommodates only 42 guests in its 19

Maldives Ithaafushi was also listed among

dual-occupancy villas and single split-

the 10 sexiest private island resorts of

level two-bedroom mansion. It’s no

2020 by brides.com.

wonder A-list celebrities, Arab princes and many on Forbes’ World’s Billionaires

6. Velaa Private Island

List make annual pilgrimages here.

Named among the decades best new

If what you want is utter seclusion and

below.

Thoughtful,

in-room

luxury hotels’, Velaa Private Island is

9. COMO Maalifushi

comprised of 18 overwater villas, 25

COMO Maalifushi, recently listed among

beach villas, houses and 4 four-bedroom

the best private beach vacations for post-

residences. Each dwelling is serviced by

lockdown luxury travel, stands apart

a personal butler, ready to accommodate

with its understated style, encapsulating

any desire that guests might have in mind.

the spirit of the Indian Ocean and the

The private residences on at each villa

barefoot chic of a COMO private island

covers a 1,350sqm space, capable of

resort. The luxuries are all there, with a

housing up to 10 people.

COMO Shambhala spa, world-class yoga facilities and exceptional cuisine along

touches

7. The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli everyone but the resort staff and a few cocktails; yoga mats; and sketch kits, Resort

with the Maldives’ vibrant marine life.

perfect peace, in a location off-limits to

include fresh herbs and citrus for DIY

other guests, then a private island is the

in case the Maldives’ sherbet-colored

The Private Island Experience at The St.

10. Soneva Jani

only place to go.

sunsets inspire guests to preserve the

Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort grants

With the popularity of Instagram, world-

setting on paper.

premier access to the resort’s portfolio of

famous Soneva Jani has become a resort

77 transcendent signature villas including

for luxury travelers as it offers unrivaled

the illustrious John Jacob Astor Estate,

photo opportunities. Located on an

Here we bring you our favorite 10 incredible private islands from Maldives

3. Hurawalhi Island Resort

to splurge on post COVID-19.

At adults-only Hurawalhi you can roll

the most expansive overwater villa in

uninhabited five-island cluster in the

out of bed, put on snorkeling fins and

the Maldives. Accommodating up to 154

Noonu Atoll, the Maldives’ most exclusive

Find a very private setting for intimate,

your over-water villa. Hurawalhi is home

breakfast at Alba, the resort’s signature

pristine beaches, blanketed with lush

one-of-a-kind experiences. Niyama offers

to the world’s largest all-glass undersea

restaurant, along with a daily food and

tropical greenery, and surrounded by a

a resort within a resort: The Crescent. It

restaurant, located 5.8 meters below the

beverage credit to use at any of the six

5.6 km (3,4 mi) lagoon of crystal-clear

is a an over-water seclusion for up to 14

lagoon. The resort masterpiece wows its

unique restaurants and bars. For the

waters with uninterrupted Indian Ocean

adults and 8 children. A playground of

guests with breathtaking surroundings,

active-minded, guests will have unlimited

views. Soneva Jani is also among A-list

5 ultrachic villas, all with private pools.

top-notch facilities, amazing diving and

use

celebrities’ private vacation getaway spot

Features

snorkeling, and a myriad of relaxation

(excluding

1. Niyama Private Islands Maldives slip right into the ocean from the deck of guests, the experience includes daily and game-changing hotel is fringed by

private

chef,

2

dedicated

Thakurus (butlers), a housekeeper and complimentary

diversions,

including

options.

sunset cruise, private barbecue and

4. Nautilus Maldives

movie under the stars, and island

Located in the Baa Atoll, The Nautilus

drumming night.

is home to 26 beach and ocean abodes

2. Kudadoo Maldives Private Island

situated like private residences in one of the Maldives’ most picturesque locales. You don’t need to occupy every one of

Kudadoo’s 15 Japanese-style overwater

them; just luxuriate in knowing that you

villas are situated along a horseshoe-

and your guests are the only ones allowed

shaped boardwalk that originates on

to do so. You’ll be attended to by a private

the resort’s small, main island. Each

butler—there is one assigned to each

features an open floor plan; a zen-like al

ocean dwelling—while the property’s five-

fresco bathroom area with a shower and

star dining is described as “unscripted”

bathtub; and a large, outdoor living area

and “about liberating the palate;” even

with a private swimming pool and slip-

the menus are mere suggestions, offered

right-in access to the turquoise water

as “inspiration only.”

of

non-motorized diving)

watersports

offered

at

the

in Maldives.


28 AWARDS/ LISTINGS / FEATURES

10 RESORTS FOR AN EXCITING FAMILY GETAWAY IN MALDIVES Family holidays are growing rapidly.

has a children’s game room that is fully

According to a research conducted by

equipped with fun games and activities

Agoda, seven out of 10 families globally

for teens. From a dart board to teen-

take at least two-family vacations a year.

sized snooker tables, Meeru Island has

Maldives has become popular among

everything to keep kids entertained.

family holidaymakers in recent years. We have rounded up the 10 family friendly

3. Kurumba Maldives

resorts for you to visit in Maldives post

Kurumba Maldives has been recognized

COVID-19.

as 2017’s Best Luxury Family Beach

1. Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi

Resort in the world by the World Luxury Hotel Awards. The resort offers family

Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi is located

room options for families of ages and

on its own private island (Lhohifushi),

sizes. The Majaa Kids club at Kurumba

only a 25-minute speedboat ride from

Maldives offers variety of supervised

the airport, making it one of the most

activities for kids of all ages include

accessible resorts in the Maldives. The

painting, puzzles, and movies, as well

resort offers variety of activities for kids

as a few outdoor activities such as fish

and families including kids’ playground,

feeding.

children’s pool, indoor and outdoor activities for kids. Moreover, the resort

4. Bandos Maldives

is one of the best surf holiday resorts in

Located just 7 km away from Velana

Maldives, offering surfing and other water

International Airport, Bandos Maldives is

crab racing, pirate hat making and many

center for teenagers. The resort also has

sports for teens.

among the best resort in Maldives family

more. The resort also has a two-bedroom

a kid’s pool, offers kids menu and has

holidays . The resort has kids club named

Family Beach Villas available with private

dedicated areas in restaurants for kids.

“Kokko Club” which offers Kids’ an

pools.

2. Meeru Island Resort & Spa

9. Kuramathi Maldives

Meeru island resort & spa is one is one of

indoor nursery and outdoor playground

the top-rated family resorts in Maldives.

with a wide range of daily activities for

6. SAii Lagoon Maldives

Meeru offers a wide range of family offers

kids of all ages to choose from. Moreover,

SAii Lagoon Maldives offers a wide variety

finest family resorts with its dedication

for families along with kid’s facilities

resort offers family rooms which can

of fun and educational activities for kids

to providing an exciting holiday for the

with many fun activities for children’s

accommodate up to 2 extra beds for kids.

of all ages. Kids facilities includes three

entire family. Kids club at Kuramathi

outdoor and three indoor areas, including

offers age-appropriate fun experiences

a family room where adults and guardians

for the kids of all ages. A wide range of

and families. The resort has an indoor

Kuramathi is amongst Maldives one of the

playroom, where children can spend

5. Dusit Thani Maldives

their time building towers, making art,

Dusit Thani Maldives has a kids club

are welcome to join the fun. An activity

outdoor and indoor activities is organized

playing with soft toy friends and sliding

providing supervised activities for kids

room and a playroom are kids-only zones,

for kids of 3 to 12 years including many

onto soft mats. Moreover, the resort also

such as face painting, treasure hunts,

fostering a sense of children having their

activities such as nature walks, treasure

own space to create and grow.

hunts, beach activities, as well as marine

7. Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort

life education in conjunction with the resort’s Eco Centre.

10. Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Villa which is ideal for families with kids, Spa The resort offers two Bedroom Family as there is a second bedroom for the

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa is

children and parents can have ultimate

another gorgeous resort to visit in the

privacy during their holiday. Anantara

Maldives with family. The luxury resort

Dhigu’s kids club is open to children from

located in southern end of Maldives offers

the age of three, offers variety of fun and

variety of options for families traveling

educational activities for kids of all ages.

with kids. Kids club welcomes kids aged

Kids meals.

4-12 and provides exciting activities for

8. The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi

kids such as jungle club where the kids can meet animals and retails. The resort

The resort offers exciting activities for

also offers a range of indoor and outdoor

kids of all ages. Which includes kids’ spa

games, fitness activities, arts and crafts

treatments, Indoor recreation center with

for kids.

board games, PS games, library and game


AWARDS/ LISTINGS / FEATURES 29

TOP 10 MALDIVIAN RESORTS FOR INDIAN HOLIDAYMAKERS 2. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, the Maldives

India is now one of the fastest growing

bedroom villa with dock for your yacht.

outbound

The Kedarnath and Simmba actress was

tourism

markets

in

world. While Maldives made record by welcoming 1.7 million tourists in 2019,

Escape the stress and chaos of everyday

Vadoo possesses its own exotic reef teeming with vibrant aquatic flora and fauna. Awarded as the World’s Leading

life at the luxurious Taj Exotica Resort &

Indian market took the second place

Spa in Maldives. The resort features 64

eve.

among the top 10 markets in 2019. So

sea-facing villas and suites that strike a

for Indian holidaymakers to enjoy post pandemic.

1. Heritance Aarah Heritance Aarah is a premium allinclusive all-villa resort consisting of 150 villas including 26 intimate luxury duplex

to pool beach villas, family beach villas and family pool beach villas. Indian

Water Villa retreat at the World Travel

fine balance between luxury and nature. 7. Furaveri Maldives

Awards in 2010, Adaaran Prestige Vadoo

Lounge by the infinity pool, read in a

All set with 33 newly built villas and

is a luxurious Maldives Island resort

hammock as you look out at the sea or

additional upgrades, the resort is re-

that stands out amongst the best. The

simply gaze at the stars at nighttime. For

branded into a four-star deluxe property

list of indulgences that awaits you at

a more adventurous trip, go on a wildlife

to be known as Furaveri Maldives. The

our Maldives Island resort can only be

spotting expedition, snorkel among the

resort is a tropical 23-hectare coral

matched by the captivating lushness of

coral reefs or scuba dive to explore the

island, Furaveri is situated in the exotic

the surroundings.

diverse marine life.

Raa Atoll, about 151 km north of the

ocean suites, 56 sunset ocean villas and 68 land villas ranging from beach villas

capital city, Male’. Famous Bollywood

3. Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives

actress Karishma Tanna and Indian

of sun, sea and sand, and offer the more discerning travelers the opportunity to

Grand Park Kodhipparu houses 120 villas, each of which comes with a private pool

Furaveri Maldives.

Grover, Mouni Roy and Tara Sutaria were

and net floating above the water. Each

indulge their sense of adventure, love of

of the 120 villas and communal areas at 8. Innahura Maldives Resort the resort have been carefully designed

Crown

&

Champa’s

Latest

life, fun, discovery and wellbeing, within a Resort

uniquely captivating environment with its

Innahura Maldives Resort opened on

own distinctive identity, and significance.

6th March 2019 with 78 bungalows

Fushifaru Maldives’ 49 Beach and Water

including 33 Sunset Beach Bungalows

Villas merge quintessential Maldivian

and 45 Sunrise Beach Bungalows, with

design and architecture with modern

four designed as adjacent bungalows for

aesthetics.v

families. The island’s beach are perfect for honeymooners, and families planning a long overdue get-together.

by renowned hospitality experts Hirsch Bedner Associates and draw inspiration

5. Sun Island Resort & Spa Located on Nalaguraidhoo Island in

from the natural beauty of the Maldives

the South Ari Atoll, Sun Island Resort

its marine life and unique local craft

is a popular holiday destination in the

and culture. Guestrooms are light and

Maldives offering great chances to see

contemporary with a rustic feel featuring

whale sharks and manta rays throughout

timber flooring, handmade carpets and

the year. This is the biggest resort in the

textured walls.

Maldives and its scale comes with an

4. Raffles Maldives Meradhoo

unmatchable array of facilities along with very high value for costs.

At the southern end of the Maldives, in the crystal waters of the Indian Ocean, lies Raffles Maldives Meradhoo. This uniquely

6. LUX* North Male Atoll LUX* North Male Atoll houses 67 two-

idyllic resort brings the legendary service

story villas with private pools, an over-

of Raffles, host to the well-traveled since

water spa, tennis and beach volleyball

1887, to Gaafu Alifu, one of the world’s

court,

largest and most remote natural atolls.

are 15 one-bedroom beach villas, 46

Indian actors Vatsal Sheth and Ishita Dutta

overwater

celebrated their anniversary at Raffles

beach residences, one LUX Beach retreat

Maldives Meradhoo last November.

3 bedroom villa, and one overwater 3

and

four villas,

restaurants. four

There

two-bedroom

Fushifaru presents an island experience like no other, to go beyond the confines

celebrities Bipasha Basu, Karan Singh

earlier this year.

10. Fushifaru Maldives

television actor Pearl V Puri were spotted enjoying their vacation in the Maldives at

spotted vacationing at Heritance Aarah

As the gateway to the South Atolls,

at LUX* North Male Atoll to spend some quality time with her family on new years

we compiled the top 10 Maldivian resorts

. Adaaran Prestige Vadoo


30 AWARDS/ LISTINGS / FEATURES

KANUHURA MALDIVES ACHIEVES FORBES TRAVEL GUIDE 5 STAR AWARD

Kanuhura Maldives was listed alongside

India, Jordan, the Maldives, Mauritius,

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda

New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia etc.

Huraa and St. Regis Maldives Vommuli

Forbes Travel Guide is the global authority

Resort in Maldives.

on

luxury

hospitality.

Professional

inspectors travel the world to assess To

uncover

properties,

the

most

Forbes

outstanding

Travel

Guide’s

incognito inspectors check into a hotel

hotels, restaurants, and spas based on 900 objective standards that determine their coveted annual Star Ratings.

for a minimum of two nights, posing as ordinary guests and paying their own

Kanuhura Island Resort & Spa, Maldives

way. The ratings tabulate 75 percent of

is an indigenous and elegant 5 star 100-

a hotel’s score based on its service, while

room hotel with a contemporary feel

the remaining 25 percent is determined

and stylish service, located on Lhaviyani

by the quality of its facilities.

atoll to the northeast of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, slim oval island,

The

inspectors’

main

highlights

for

one kilometre long and 200 metres

Kanuhura Maldives include Kanuhura’s

wide. Travel is by seaplane, around 40

wide range of activities like the Maldivian

minutes from the International Airport

Warrior Workout, scuba diving or night

at the Maldives capital, Male’. With two

fishing. He has also appreciated the

beautiful neighboring islets, Kanuhura is

Kokaa Wellness Retreat and Spa, with

a unique and very private hideaway with a

its five signature services and multi-day

wide range of facilities, bars, restaurants,

wellness journeys as well as the sandy

activities and sports. Close by are some

white shores of Masleggihura all to

of the world’s best diving sites.

yourself (the smallest of the three islands Kanuhura Maldives has received the

Kanuhura Maldives was acclaimed for

of Kanuhura) for a picnic or private day

“Forbes Travel Guide 5 Star Award”.

its “bohemian feel with whitewashed

at the beach.

This award is the highest recognition

villas adorned with funky art and Iru

of the resort’s dedication to service

bar’s beaded swings and beach teepee”.

Forbes Travel Guide ventured to 16

excellence, commitment and a true sense

Maldives made a splashy debut on the

countries—Antigua,

of hospitality.

list, picking up six of the highest awards.

Cambodia, Egypt, Fiji, French Polynesia,

the

Bahamas,

JOALI MALDIVES FEATURED AMONG BEST ECOINITIATIVES IN HOSPITALITY JOALI Maldives is paving the way for eco-

with its focus on nature, sustainability,

friendly luxury travel. The resort’s Reef

and preserving and protecting the rich

Restoration Project has been named as a

natural environment of the region. At

legend awards honoree for eco initiatives

JOALI Maldives, on-site Marine Biologist

by Departures Magazine.

Samantha

Reynolds

is

leading

the

hotel’s Reef Restoration Project. For this Departure Magazine’s Best Eco-Initiates

project, Reynolds grows coral at JOALI

in

by

Maldives’ underwater nursery for nine to

assessing the luxury hotels and resorts

12 months, then transplants the coral to

that are keen to do their part to inspire

an underwater snorkel trail accessible to

conservation initiatives in their local

JOALI guests. Guests are encouraged to

communities. These hotels are reported

take part in the growing and transplanting

to be working tirelessly to preserve

process, and snorkelers benefit from

the region’s natural beauty, by finding

the underwater beauty this restoration

innovative ways to reduce waste, and

initiative is producing. Set on the picture-

reuse and conserve resources. They are

perfect

not only implementing new eco-initiatives,

Maldives is comprised of 73 private beach

but educating their staff, travelers, and

and over-water villas and residences,

members of the community on best

each of which showcase how luxury travel

preservation practices. Opened in 2018,

and sustainability can go hand-in-hand

JOALI Maldives is leading the way for

with impeccably stylish design.

Hospitality

2020

is

selected

eco-friendly luxury travel in the Maldives

Muravandhoo

Island,

JOALI


AWARDS/ LISTINGS / FEATURES

31

COMO MAALIFUSHI AMONG BEST PRIVATE BEACH VACATIONS FOR POST-LOCKDOWN LUXURY TRAVEL COMO Maalifushi has been listed among

Shambhala Spa sounds pretty heavenly.

the best private beach vacations for post-

Eight private treatment pavilions float

lockdown luxury travel. This was revealed

above the water, and it is truly heaven on

by luxury travel operator Black Tomato,

earth set against a backdrop of one of the

who recently shared some predictions for

most inspiring settings I can imagine,” he

travel in late 2020 and 2021.

further added.

“We’ve seen a notable increase in

COMO Maalifushi is the only resort

bookings in Maldives, and one of the

to open in the Maldives’ Thaa Atoll,

best secluded beach respites is COMO

nestled in the archipelago’s southern

Maalifushi, a pioneer in reimagining truly

reaches. The resort stands apart with

authentic wellness travel,” explained Co-

its

founder of Black Tomato, Tom Marchant.

the spirit of the Indian Ocean and the

“The in-house surf instructors take

barefoot chic of a COMO private island

guests to the nearby deserted reefs for

resort. The luxuries are all there, with a

private sessions on the best waves in the

COMO Shambhala spa, world-class yoga

Maldives, and the dive masters do the

facilities and exceptional cuisine along

same under the surface. And right now

with the Maldives’ vibrant marine life.

a relaxing treatment at the overwater

“TRIPS/FLIGHTS TO MALDIVES” AMONG MOST GOOGLED PHRASES DURING PANDEMIC With most travel on lockdown until

The information is based on data collected

further notice, the best people can do to

from top U.S. travel searches on Google

cure their wanderlust is plan or window-

from April 1 to May 11.

shop for future trips online. Maldives was also crowned as the most Hence, it’s no surprise that some of the

searched destination on Google in the US

most searched for phrases on search

in 2019.

engine giant Google is about Maldives. According to Google, “flights to Maldives”

According to UK’s leading celebrity news

and “trips to Maldives” are among the

site Hello Magazine, Maldives is among

most searched for topics during the

the 8 travel destinations celebrities will

COVID-19 pandemic so far.

likely to book post lockdown.

understated

style,

encapsulating


32 AWARDS/ LISTINGS / FEATURES

TOP 20 LOCAL ISLANDS TO VISIT IN MALDIVES Maldives tourism industry has been dominated

by

high-end

resorts

for

1. V.Keyodhoo Located in Vaavu atoll , the island is

decades. However, in 2009 with the

popular for those looking to spend their

permission to operate guesthouses in the

holidays on fishing excursions out in

local islands, it brought a revolution to the

the open sea. So expect to find several

tourism industry of Maldives. Since then

guesthouses that cater specifically to this

local island tourism sector has been one

group of tourists. However, the island

of the fastest-growing sectors in Maldives

also offers the usual water sports and

tourism industry.

other excursions you’d expect from a Maldivian island. Professional divers will

Here are the top 20 local island tourism

also find a lot to like about this island

destinations in Maldives to visit post

as there are several fully equipped dive

pandemic.

centers located in Keyodhoo.

7. V.Thinadhoo

Famous surf points Chickens & Cokes

Thinadhoo in Vaavu atoll is a beautiful

are two world-class surf spots near the

island surrounded by sandy beaches and

island. There several guesthouses and

a lush house reef. Referred to as “Mas

water sports centers available in the

Thinadhoo” (Fish Thinadhoo) in ancient

island.

times due to the fantastic amount of marine life that call the island’s lagoon

13. B.Fehendhoo

home, Thinadhoo is now a favorite spot

Fehendhoo is one of the least populated

for recreational fishing, snorkelling, and

islands in Baa Atoll of Maldives. This

scuba diving.

makes it perfect for travellers looking for quiet comfort while enjoying the beauty

8. Fuvahmulah One of the most famous islands in

huge stretch of beach, the house reef and

Maldives for its beauty and historical

a small picnic island about fifty meters

importance, Fuvahmulah is the second

away from the pier that is perfect for

nearest atoll to the Equator and the first

romantic getaways.

atoll in the Southern Hemisphere. Being

2. V.Fulidhoo

‘Green Leaf Award’ in the year 2014 and

The guesthouses in Fulidhoo offers

has been recognized as an environmental

everything

role-model island in Maldives.

that

the

resorts

of

the

Maldives is famous for but at a much more affordable price. The island is

5. Aa. Rasdhoo

surrounded by a large white sandy beach

Located in Alif Alif Atoll, Rasdhoo is

and the diversity of marine life you’ll meet

the capital island of the administrative

even during a short snorkeling excursion

division and has many guesthouses with

in the surrounding turquoise lagoon is

varying degrees of comfort and amenities

mind-bending!

available. The island is very popular with divers due to its close proximity to several

3. K.Maafushi

famous dive sites. Honeymooners and

The birthplace of the guesthouse industry

couples will also love the picnic island

in the Maldives, Kaafu Atoll Maafushi is

and sandbank excursions.

about 45 minutes away from Male’ via speedboat and now boasts over a dozen

6. Laamu Gan

beautiful guesthouses and offers guests

Gan is the longest island of the Maldives.

an assortment of activities and facilities

It is divided in wards, the northernmost

that would rival any Maldivian resort.

of which is called Thundi in middle Mathimadhu and at the end Mukurimagu.

4. Aa.Ukulhas

The

four

islands

Gan,

Maandhoo,

Located in Alif Alif Atoll close to the most

Kadhdhoo and Fonadhoo which are

northern boundary, Ukulhas is an oval-

linked with causeways stretches up to

shaped island famed for its cleanliness

about 18 kilometers in length making up

and well -maintained waste management

the longest lengthen of dry land in the

system. The island was awarded the

Maldives.

of Maldives. The island is famous for its

a one-island atoll itself , Fuvahmulah has

14. B.Maalhos

many distinctive features which make the

Located in Baa atoll, a protected biosphere

island unique.

reserve, the island is most notable for the rich cultural and traditional activities still

9. Addu City. Hithadhoo

practiced in the island. Maalhos is popular

Addu city is the second-largest urban

even among locals as a must-visit island

area in Maldives in terms of population

during holidays as a lot of cultural events

and Hithadhoo is largest island among the

are organized by the residents every year.

several connected islands . Addu City has several guesthouses that offer a variety of

15. B.Dharavandhoo

services and unique attractions to visit .

Home to one of the several domestic

Addu nature part is must place to visit in

airports

Addu city.

Dharavandhoo is known as the hub

located

around

Maldives,

of local tourism in Baa Atoll. As such,

10. Adh.Dhigurah

the island’s economy focuses mainly

Dhigurah, (meaning long island) is in

on

Alifu Dhaal atoll, about 20 minutes by

offers several guesthouses and various

plane from the capital, Male’. The island

excursions designed to get the most out

is narrow but 3 km in length which is

of your stay in the UNESCO Biosphere

considered to be a reasonably long island

Reserve of Maldives.

in the Maldives. With more than 3 km

tourism

related

activities,

and

of natural white sandy beach, it is also

16. Aa. Thoddoo

considered to be a beautiful inhabited

To most locals, the island is famous as

island.

the “island of watermelons”. This is no surprise as a large percentage of the

11. K.Thulusdhoo

beautiful island of Thoddoo is composed

Thulusdhoo is the capital of Kaafu Atoll,

of farms used to cultivate the fruit

located just 28 km north of Male. The

through- out the year. However, the farms

island is popular for among wave surfers.

on the island are a secondary attraction


AWARDS/ LISTINGS / FEATURES 33 to the tourists flocking in droves to enjoy

base by Hummingbird helicopter service

cropped up on the island. Curious about

surrounded by a beautiful lagoon just

the private beach area regarded by many

and the helipad used by the company still

the statue of a pot (known as a ‘runbaa’

makes the allure even more potent.

as among the most beautiful beaches in

exists.

by locals) at the entrance of the island?

the country.

17. Aa.Bodufolhudhoo

18. Adh.Dhangethi Dhangethi is well-known for its cultural

Be sure to ask locals about the local folk

20. K.Dhiffushi

story behind it. It is an interesting legend.

Located 36,6 km northeast of Male, the capital of Maldives, Dhiffushi is becoming

A relatively obscure little island located

heritage, including traditional handicraft

19. Aa.Himandhoo

in North Ari Atoll, Bodufolhudhoo got

and carpentry. To cater to the local

Himandhoo has become very popular as

attractions of the island are the beautiful

some time in the spotlight recently after

island tourism , various tourism related

a beautiful vacation destination for locals

bikini beach area that visitors love and

becoming the first island in Maldives to

services such as water sports facilities,

as well as tourists in recent years. Having

the clear turquoise lagoon that’s perfect

ban single use plastic bags. During the

scuba diving center and speedboat rental

easy access to several popular dive spots

for snorkeling and other types of water

1990s the island was used as a helicopter

services for guest excursions has also

in addition to the white sandy beaches

sports.

popular among tourist. Some of the major

PARADISE ISLAND RESORT AMONG BOOKING.COM’S TOP WISH-LISTED PLACES Paradise Island Resort has been listed

listed types of places to stay for global

among three of the top wish-listed places

travelers are hotels and apartments.

to stay, data from Booking.com reveals.

Hotels account for 40% of all properties

Travel might be on pause in these

wish listed by travelers globally over the

unprecedented times, but Booking.com

last two months, and apartments account

data says that this hasn’t stopped people

for 20% of all properties wish-listed

across the world from dreaming about its

globally.

possibilities. Three of the top wish-listed places to stay Delving into the millions of wish lists

include the stunning Five Jumeirah Village

created by would-be travelers on its

– a world-class resort located in the heart

platform over the last two months,

of luxurious Dubai, the beautiful Paradise

with properties wish-listed across over

Island Resort & Spa which is located at

100,000 different destinations since the

the exclusive white sand beaches of the

and comfort. Located at North Male’

amenities, guests can choose between

start of March, Booking.com shares the

Maldives, and Amora Ubud Boutique

Atoll, just 20 minutes speedboat ride from

garden villas, superior beach bungalows,

top destinations and places to stay on

Villas, where you can wake up on the edge

Velana International Airport and part of

water villas, haven villas, haven suites

peoples’ minds as they plan for when the

of a hilltop overlooking the breathtaking

the Villa Hotels and Resorts collection.

and ocean suites. All are either directly

time is right to travel again. Dreaming

Balinese jungle.

The

beautifully

on or a short distance walk from the

furnished rooms to choose between, each

iconic white sandy beaches and tranquil crystal waters.

about a change in scenery and the

resort

offers

282

opportunity to enjoy a stay experience

Paradise Island Resort & Spa is an award-

offering a truly incomparable experience.

outside of their own home, the most wish-

winning destination epitomizing luxury

Each beautifully designed with modern

MALDIVES - TOP SEARCHED DESTINATION FOR U.S. TRAVELERS

The most searched for destination in the

3. Fiji (9,900)

US is Maldives, which received 18,100

4. Costa Rica (9,900)

searches during the stay-at-home order

5. Bahamas (8,100)

as a result of COVID-19. This was

6. Mexico (6,600)

revealed by InsureMyTrip who reviewed

7. Jamaica (6,600)

data using Google search trends.

8. Aruba (6,600) 9. Thailand (5,400)

The Maldivian archipelago of over 1,000

10. Italy (4,400)

islands is popular for its remoteness, tranquil beaches and luxury properties.

“Flights to Maldives” and “trips to

The state with the highest contribution

Maldives” was also among the most

of searches for Maldives is California,

Googled phrases during the COVID-19

followed by Georgia, New York and

pandemic.

Pennsylvania. The destination is planning to reopen July 1.

In addition to this UK’s leading celebrity news

site

Hello

Magazine

revealed

The full list is as follows:

that Maldives is among the 8 travel

1. Maldives (18,100)

destinations celebrities will likely to book

2. Greece (14,800)

post lockdown.


34 ACCOMMODATION

ANANTARA HOTELS, RESORTS & SPAS LAUNCHES DIGITAL EGIFT OFFER

Anantara

Hotels,

Resorts

&

Spas

and personal with elephants and spend

announces the launch of an unmissable

a night in the unique Jungle Bubbles at

eGift offer providing guests time to

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp

dream of their next escape, anywhere

& Resort in Northern Thailand. Anantara

in the world. The launch of the eGift

is committed to providing guests flexible

offer enables guests to transform their

and convenient experiences at its hotels

wanderlust into tangible travel plans with

and resorts situated in some of the most

an exclusive 30% extra value.

stunning locations around the world. This offer will be available for 30 days ending

Around the world, Anantara Hotels &

on 28th June 2020, eGifts booked during

Resorts are preparing to open their doors

this period will be valid for 12 months.

wide and welcome back guests, so it’s the perfect time to plan that long awaited

As the world looks to reopen and many

dream getaway. For a limited time only,

are planning their next long-awaited trip,

Anantara offers guests 30% extra value on

purchasing an eGift offer is the perfect

any eGift.

way to honour a loved one or to celebrate an upcoming special occasion. To find

The eGift offer is applicable for all

out more about the launch of the eGift

Anantara stays, including dining, spas and

offer by Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas

of course Signature Anantara Experiences

visit egiftcard.anantara.com to purchase

at participating hotels & resorts around

and review the full terms & conditions.

the world. From underwater dining at

For

Anantara

Hotels, Resorts & Spas, please visit www.

Kihavah

Maldives

Resort’s

breathtaking SEA Restaurant, to the

more

information

on

Anantara

anantara.com.

spectacular opportunity to get up close

ANGSANA VELAVARU SHARK CONSERVATION PROJECT RECORDS OVER 350 SHARKS, 9 DIFFERENT SPECIES BRUVS are a non-intrusive method

Nilandhe Atoll in the Maldives, and just a

for observing underwater life and are

40-minute seaplane journey from Velana

commonly used to survey sharks. Data

International Airport, Angsana Velavaru

from the undergoing research will be used

(the island known as “Turtle Island” in

to identify important shark habitats and

the local Dhivehi language) is surrounded

assess the effectiveness of the national

by sparkling turquoise waters and ocean

shark fishing ban in Maldives. Findings

views as far as the eye can see. This

will ensure successful outcomes and

luxurious tropical getaway offers 79

ultimately identify social and ecological

private villas, all with beach frontage,

indicators important for the sustainable

and a cluster of 34 InOcean Villas, the

management

of

first standalone collection of water villas

Perched

an

on

shark

populations.

expansive

private

lagoon in the virtually untouched South

in the Maldives perched one kilometre from the main island.


ACCOMMODATION 35

INDULGE IN HUMBLE LUXURY AT GRAND PARK KODHIPPARU, MALDIVES Explore the ultimate tropical island dream

collection of 120 idyllic beach-front pool

pancake of white sand, embark on a 360°

We all crave new vistas, scenic walks, a

and indulge yourself in humble luxury at

villas, breathtaking overwater villas and

barefoot island adventure. The resort also

spot of pampering and a dip in the sea.

Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives – a

spacious two-bedroom villas. Whats

boasts three restaurants, various outdoor

In short, we’re ready for a bit of escapism

dazzling hotel with superb facilities in

most unreal about the overwater villas at

excursions. Enjoy a refreshing dip into the

from our everyday lives. Just a mere 20

one of the world’s most beautiful spots.

this paradise is the overwater net floating

45-metre long infinity pool and soak up

minutes’ speedboat ride from capital

Experience paradise on earth. A luxurious

above the water. Get a chance to sleep

some sunshine. If that’s not enough, head

Male’, why not head over to Grand Park

one-island-one-resort destination, Grand

right underneath the stars and wonder in

over to the award winning spa to let go of

Kodhipparu, Maldives?

Park Kodhipparu, Maldives features a

to your dreams. Positioned on a perfect

your troubles and enjoy some tranquility.

VILLA HOTELS AND RESORTS TO LAUNCH ‘CLEANSTAY@ VILLA INITIATIVE’

and guests. “The health and safety of our

Implement

guests have always been our priority. We

standards,

have continuously maintained an excellent

measures.

standard of hygiene in all our resorts.

new with

staff

hygiene

mandated

PPE

Apply stringent disinfecting measures

Given the impact of COVID-19, we have

for F&B, Spa, sports, and recreation

upgraded our standards to ensure the

facilities.

health and safety of guests throughout

their experience in our resorts. When the Maldives re-opens for tourism, Villa

Recommend

social

distancing

between guests and staff •

Implement continuous staff training

Resorts will be providing guests with a

in hygiene and cleanliness standards

renewed assurance of cleanliness and

and protocols

safety,” a statement by the resort read. The

CleanStay@Villa

initiative

will

housed with doctors and required

implement SOPs for end-to-end hygiene checks from arrival, transfer to departure.

facilities •

It includes, but not limited to, SOPs in the following:

Ensure resorts’ medical clinics are

Use hospital-grade disinfectants in cleaning protocols

In case of need, provide isolation rooms at each resort

Disinfect all exposed surfaces on lounges and transport facilities for

Villa Hotels & Resorts is one of the leading

arrival and departure.

resort chains in the Maldives operating

Check and log temperature for

five exclusive island resorts: Paradise

On a bid to ensure health and safety

of their in-house doctors. The initiative

all guests and staff on arrival and

Island Resort, Sun Island Resort, Royal

for guests, Villa Hotels and Resorts is

will follow the WHO and Maldives Health

departing.

Island Resort, Holiday Island Resort and

launching its CleanStay@Villa initiative.

Protection Agency (HPA) guidelines. This

Identify high touch areas in guest

Fun Island Resort.

CleanStay@Villa initiative will be built

initiative will undergo regular reviews

villas and modify cleaning protocols

on the Villa Hotels and Resort’s existing

based on evolving industry standards and

to

high standards and under the guidance

feedback from the group’s travel partners

thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

ensure

that

such

areas

are


36 ACCOMMODATION

TAJ HOTELS LAUNCHES TAJNESS – A COMMITMENT RESTRENGTHENED recommendations in its hotels and across

All guest facing employees like baggage

the organization in accordance with

handlers, valets and guest relations

guidelines published by the World Health

and back room staff, like housekeeping

Organization (WHO), Food Safety and

and engineering, have been adequately

Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and

trained on social distancing norms as

the Government of India. IHCL has also

well as the latest precautionary hygiene

been working in close consultation with

and safety guidelines. In addition, all

its longstanding global partners, who are

associates and vendors will also be

pioneers in providing smart sustainable

provided

solutions for cleanliness and hygiene for

Protective Equipment (PPE) and all work

the hospitality industry.

areas will be disinfected regularly. For

with

appropriate

Personal

more detailed guidelines on the standards The new experience, which begins from

for safety and hygiene from pre- arrival to

the moment the guest puts foot in a hotel

check-out please see the annexure.

South

sense of responsibility and care. The

car until alighting from one on their way

company,

challenges we face are unprecedented,

back home, has been carefully thought

With its genuine sense of warmth and

announced that hotels under its brands

but we believe the best way for us to

through. Mandatory temperature checks

care being integral to the Company’s

Taj, Vivanta, SeleQtions and Ginger are

demonstrate our commitment is to give

will be conducted with all guests and

DNA; IHCL and its brands – Taj, Vivanta,

implementing enhanced precautionary

our guests and associates the assurance

associates entering the hotels. Check-

SeleQtions and Ginger stand prepared

measures

of exacting standards of safety and

in and check-out formalities will be

to welcome guests back to experience

opening, to give greater confidence to

hygiene.

our

processed digitally as far as possible in

the hallmark Tajness with a commitment

guests. Some of these measures include

already stringent protocols as we look

order to have minimum contact. Common

restrengthened.

thermal screening of all employees

forward to welcoming our guests to

and high-touch areas of hotels like cars,

and

relive the legendary magic of Tajness

lobbies and elevators would witness

The group’s Maldivian properties are: Taj

restrengthened.”

more frequent and industrial strength

Coral Reef Resort & Spa, Maldives and

disinfectants being used as part of an

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives.

Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), Asia’s

largest

in

guests,

hospitality

preparation

intensive

of

hospital

hotels

level

sanitization of its hotels as well as

We

have

augmented

new contactless processes and social distancing measures. “For over a century,

As the country gears up to reopen in various

escalated cleanliness routine. Restaurants

IHCL has been the pioneer and custodian

sectors in a phased manner, IHCL’s hotels

and banquet areas will have fewer tables

of authentic Indian hospitality,” Mr.

have effectively implemented heightened

and all self-serving buffets are suspended.

Puneet Chhatwal, MD & CEO, Indian

hygiene and safety procedures for all

Menus will largely be digital or single

Hotels Company (IHCL) said. “Embedded

guests, employees, partners and vendors.

use, with greater emphasis on wellness-

in our DNA is our commitment to ensure

In preparation of resuming operations,

oriented food sections for healthier meals

the comfort of guests with the greatest

the company has implemented multiple

and greater level of immunity.

ADAARAN CLUB RANNALHI GETS MALDIVES’ FIRST ENOS SYSTEM

The DivePoint dive-centre at Adaaran

Adaaran

Club Rannalhi in South Male’ atoll has

among the best hotels in Maldives and

become the first Maldives operation to

sits exclusively at the tip of the South

invest in ENOS, the electronic rescue and

Male atoll within the exotic collection of

locating system for divers.

islands known as the Maldives. Its unique

Club

Rannalhi

is

featured

location offers access to pristine beaches, The resort got a SeaReq ENOS receiver

excellent scuba diving opportunities and

which is portable so can be moved

a relaxed environment with easy access

between boats. With antennae mounted

to the capital city of Male’. Bask in the

on top of a diving dhoni, the dive-centre’s

golden sun and frolic on the soft sands

crew will be enabled to receive alerts

as you experience friendly Maldivian

over long distances should the sometimes

hospitality and explore the rich tropical

strong

wonders of a vibrant island nation during

currents

or

sudden

weather

changes characteristic of the Maldives result in a diver separation. The

crew

have

been

personally

trained by Karl Hansmann, owner of the manufacturer Seareq, which was established in 2003, and inventor of the ENOS system.

your stay at this inviting Maldives hotel.


ACCOMMODATION 37

VAKKARU MALDIVES LAUNCHES ‘VAKKARE’ In preparation for reopening, Vakkaru

you an intimate slice of paradise, where

shall be observed. Vakkaru Maldives will

local authorities’ requirements, the resort

Maldives

elevated

you can enjoy a safe and happy holiday in

also encourage many activities, such as

added.

hygiene procedure called ‘Vakkare’. The

the privacy of your own island home. The

diving, excursions, fishing and snorkeling,

resort’s dedicated team are being trained

one proviso being that all travelers have

which can be privately enjoyed with

“At

to deliver the most hygienic attention

to be fit for travel and entry into Maldives.

limited contacts.

committed to the joy of travel and

is

launching

an

possible from the moment they arrive

Vakkaru

Maldives,

we

remain

delivering exceptional experiences to our

into their ‘Kare’, providing Vakkaru

All elevated practices of hygiene and

To give guests complete peace of mind,

discerning guests in a safe and healthy

Maldives’ guests with the confidence that

sanitation shall be reinforced in all

all team-members of resort will be going

environment,” a statement by the resort

they will enjoy an exceptional vacation

the public areas, production outlets

through necessary medical checks prior

read. “You can be reassured of our

in the most-safe surroundings. Maldives

and housekeeping, as reported by the

to being back on duty. In the event of an

commitments towards the health and

already offers one of the safest locations

resort. Proactive sanitization and social

emergency, their certified Resort Doctor

safety of our guests and team. Should you

in the world, owing to the natural and

distancing

in

has all the necessary equipment and

require any further information, please

unique concept of one island, one resort.

restaurants, buffets and other common

accessories in place, together with an

do not hesitate to contact me concerning

At Vakkaru Maldives, they are promising

areas such as the gym, pool and beach

isolation room, in line with the WHO and

this important matter.”

Fringed with exquisite powder beaches

individually built beach bungalows, 20

and

water bungalows and 20 superior water

measures,

particularly

EXPLORE ANGIRI RESORTS FOR EXQUISITE MALDIVIAN BEAUTY

lagoons,

Angiri

resorts

offers

travelers a chance to reminisce unique Maldivian beauty through not one, but

bungalows.

4 resorts: Dreamland Maldives, Angaga

Thulhagiri Island, Maldives

Island Resort & Spa, Thulhagiri Island,

Experience

Maldives and Safari Island Maldives.

hospitality, at a setting with traditional

Dreamland The Unique Sea & Lake Resort Spa

the

unique

Maldivian

features of thatched rooms and sandy floors to mark every footstep of your way. Thulhagiri Island is surrounded

Dip into the first ever freshwater lake

by a crystal clear lagoon encompassing

with a Bio-top Pool (1st ever in Asia) at

spectacular tropical marine life. The

Dreamland, The Unique Sea & Lake Resort

island is about 220 meters with just 13

Spa. This picturesque lake is surrounded

km from the airport, only 20 minutes by

by 20m high mangrove trees on one side

speedboats.

and 20m high palm trees on the other side. The fresh water lake combined with

Safari Island Maldives

rich vegetation makes the resort a one of

Safari Island is surrounded by sandy

a kind unique gem in Maldives.

beaches, crystal clear water lagoon and a

Angaga Island Resort & Spa

house reef with many attractive dive points which attracts snorkelers and divers. The

Angaga is a tropical oasis surrounded by

island has its own luxury safari boats

beautiful sandy beach, crystal clear water

for the use of in house guests for free of

lagoon and beautiful living house reef

charge. Take advantage of a wealth of

with colorful corals and many different

unrivaled services and amenities at this

types of species. The resort offers 50

Maldives resort.


38 ACCOMMODATION

CROWN & CHAMPA RESORTS – SHAPING MALDIVES TOURISM SCENERY, ONE RESORT AT A TIME Crown & Champa Resorts (CCR), one of

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

home to the world’s largest all-glass

Male’. Good quality and affordable rates

Welcome to the divers’ paradise famed

undersea restaurant, located 5.8 meters

make it a popular choice for leisure and

offer picturesque discovery of Maldives

for snorkling and whale shark spotting.

below the lagoon.

business travelers. It is a short walk to

to travelers and shaping the industry one

Vilandhoo’s

resort at a time. CCR is a trading name

provide the perfect space to relax after

the largest resort groups, continues to

accommodation

options

for a group of resort hotels in Maldives,

Kudadoo Maldives Private Island days filled with ocean adventures. Choose by Hurawalhi

owned and operated by various Maldivian

from the 194 rooms available, each with

Embracing all the hallmarks of exclusivity

and foreign partners, whose common

their own natural island style.

and intimacy, Kudadoo Maldives Private

interest is to work together to achieve better business performance. The group currently operates 9 resorts. Their 10th

Island by Hurawalhi holds the promise

Komandoo Island Resort & Spa

of

pure

freedom.

private

attractions

as

the

National

Museum, Parliament Building and Old Friday Mosque.

Kagi Maldives Spa Island Opening Soon

synonymous

authentic

Kagi Maldives is said to offer a soulful

and latest addition, Kagi Maldives is said

most romantic Maldives’ resorts. Adult

connections, space and time, a place

island experience where equilibrium can

to debut in September 2020.

only, perfect for honeymooners, divers

that redefines the norm ‘freedom re-

be found in its iconic over water spa or

and anyone after romance and relaxation.

imagined’.

in the underwater paradise. At the heart

CCR’s first property, Kuredu Island Resort made its debut on December 1988. The

privacy,

island

tourist

Komandoo is one of the top-rated and

Kuredu Island Resort

with

A

the main shopping area and such popular

Innahura Maldives Resort

Veligandu Island Resort & Spa

of the island will sit Kagi’s 1500-squaremeter spa and wellness hub, complete

Spa,

Innahura takes the quintessential sun, sea

with

resort is a top-rated Maldives resort with

surrounded by a beautiful lagoon, an

and sand elements, add a traditional twist

floating yoga pavilion at its centre. It will

a big variety of accommodation, sports,

excellent house reef and long stretches of

to modern facilities and round it up with a

also house a state-of-the-art gym, two

dining and entertainment options to

white, sandy beach, is the only resort on

generous dose of authentic experiences.

restaurants, three bars, a dive centre and

choose from.

the island of Veligandu, North Ari atoll.

The resort is an affordable 4-star resort,

a house reef.

Veligandu

Island

Resort

&

suitable for families, honeymooners and

Meeru Island Resort & Spa Meeru is a 284 room, 4.5 star-resort,

Hurawalhi Island Resort Hurawalhi

Island

Resort

adventure-seekers looking for a relaxed, Maldives

easy-going Maldivian island.

surrounded by sparkling clear, warm

boasts superbly designed, exclusive and

water in a turquoise lagoon and long

supremely spacious villas on the beach

Champa Central Hotel

stretches of white, sandy beach in north

and over the water, welcoming guests

Champa Central Hotel is a 4-star hotel

Male’ atoll.

above the age of 15. Hurawalhi is also

conveniently located in the centre of

HRS_19-707_TTM_AD_02_PATHED.pdf

1

15/4/19

14:58

an

open-air,

teardrop-shaped


ACCOMMODATION 39

GET READY TO EXPERIENCE “ISLAND HOMES” IN MALDIVES POST PANDEMIC The COVID-19 pandemic has caused

the island, Veli Vilaa was designed to

disruptions

human

offer a unique tropical island experience

activity on the planet. At the moment

to families and friends. It is a spacious

travelling anywhere is out of the question

4-bedroom

for most, even though some countries

beachfront with its own private beach

are cautiously opening their borders.

where you can experience the breath-

However, what you can’t stop people

taking sunset view. This island home

from doing is dreaming of the destinations

is equipped with all necessary water

you will visit once the pandemic is over

sport gears including canoes, fun tubes,

and the world is once again open for

banana boat and a private jet ski. Guests

exploring. Once this happens, Maldives

can also enjoy variety of cuisines from

is ready to offer a fresh concept that you

the in-house menu at a dining area inside

really should experience: Island Homes.

the villa, or even served in a romantic

in

almost

every

bungalow

built

on

the

setting on the beach. Activities available Island Homes offer an excellent setting

range from watersports to excursions that

for families and group retreats who are

could have you swimming with mantas

looking for personal comfort and a fully

one day or chasing dolphins the next.

serviced accommodation. Most Island

as long as possible, before heading back.

strengths and there’s always something

Homes are located in a contained private

The property has such a calming and

Island Homes is a fresh new concept

new brewing in the tourism sector. Island

area (with access to a private beach

magical effect on the senses that guests

for Maldives, famous the world over for

Homes is one such concept. The thought

even!) providing the ultimate in privacy

often despair having to leave. One

its beautiful beaches, the beauty of its

of being cloistered in a luxurious home

with many of the luxuries you’d usually

Serbian family, who arrived before the

underwater world, and a reputation for

with every comfort available while away

expect to find at a Maldivian resort.

pandemic leading to lockdowns all over

being a luxury holiday destination only

from home is definitely something many

the world, chose to extend their stay

available to the wealthy. However, after

travelers around the world are yearning to

One of the first such properties to pop

to six weeks once they realized they’d

the first few decades of tourism and with

experience for themselves once Maldives

up in Maldives is the luxurious Veli Vilaa

rather stay and experience the stress-

the introduction of local island tourism,

is open for business post pandemic.

located in Dhiffushi Island. Nestled

free island life, cocooned and sheltered

this is no longer the case. Innovation

amongst the many coconut palms of

from the woes of the world at large for

has been one of the industry’s major

MÖVENPICK RESORT MALDIVES PARTNERS WITH MALDIVES BUSINESS SCHOOL TO PROMOTE HIGHER EDUCATION FOR STAFF Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives

us the first ever resort in Maldives to

has partnered with Maldives Business

partner with Maldives Business School,”

School to promote higher education for

a statement by Mövenpick Resort read.

its staff. This partnership marks the first

“At

resort in the country to partner with a

Maldives, lifelong learning, and a culture

business school to provide exclusive

of continuous improvement plays a huge

opportunities for employees.

role and this partnership will go a long

Movepick

Resort

Kuredhivaru

way in helping our Heartists get the best Resort

out of themselves, both personally and

Kuredhivaru Maldives are entitled to get

professionally” said Cameron Steele, the

free enrollment in Maldives Business

resort’s Executive Assistant Manager.

Employees

of

Mövenpick

School’s degree programmes under this partnership.

Located only 45 minutes travel from Male’, Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru

“We are proud to announce that we have

Maldives is a tropical oasis located in the

joined forces with Maldives Business

undisturbed Noonu Atoll nestled in the

School to promote higher education

northern part of Maldives.

for our employees (heartists!); making


40 ACCOMMODATION

MAAFUSHI – AN ISLAND WITH LUXURY AND TRADITIONS Maafushi is located in South Malé Atoll,

hopping and a trip to a local inhabited

snorkelling with sharks, fishing trips,

a workout or running out of cash while on

approximately 27 nautical miles away

island became a popular excursion

and trips to the virgin sandbanks, all of

vacation.

from the country’s main hub – Velana

allowing

the

which are designed to kick start your day

International Airport. This translates

local culture of the Maldives first-hand.

in a Maldivian setting. Five-star diving

Fret not! Maafushi is the island home to

into a traveling time of about 30 to 40

The island quickly became a popular

centres accredited by PADI – The Diving

an array of high quality ancillary services.

minutes on a speed boat or 1 hour 30

hotspot for such activities and as a result,

Association are at your service to take

Air-conditioned

minutes on a local ferry on a good day,

numerous souvenir shops and beverage

you to the wonderful underwater world,

selling a wide range of international

making the island basically a stone’s

shacks started to sprung throughout to

to showcase the mesmerizing creations

products ranging from branded cosmetics

throw away from the main airport. The

cater to the growing demands of souvenir

of mother nature. Prepare yourself for an

to snacks are found every nook and

name “Maafushi” might sound very exotic

shopping.

exhilarating adventure on the water, with

cranny of the island. A fully fledged gym

a wide variety of watersports available

with the latest equipment welcomes all

tourists

to

experience

to most foreigners, but it simply means

convenience

stores

Big Island in Dhivehi. Maa, meaning

Today, the setting is very different. From

to choose from. All of it available at

tourists without a monthly membership.

“Big” and Fushi, meaning “Island”. Even

humble beginnings, the island has become

reasonable prices; a far cry from the

The Bank of Maldives branch located at

though the island is 1.28 km in length

the pioneer of the Maldivian local tourism

hefty charges of luxury resorts.

the end of the island hosts an ATM which

and 0.26 km in width, with a population

industry, Maafushi could be described

of about 4000 residents, it is considered

as the Maldivian equivalent of Phuket

Strolling along the streets of Maafushi is

eliminating the fear of being caught

big in comparison to most local inhabited

or Bali. The island is the perfect haven

akin to experiencing a real life “Alice in

cashless. Relax comfortably and enjoy

islands in Maldives. Hence, the name.

for budget-friendly tourism. The sights

Wonderland”. Although, you might not

a rewarding sun-tanning session with

of approximately 60 accommodation

see a talking Cheshire cat and trees made

compliments from nature in Maafushi’s

Delving into the history of Maafushi, the

establishments

multi-

out of candy, the natural beauty and

own Bikini Beach – a designated area of

island used to be a traditional fishing

storey luxury four-star hotels to boutique

tourism scene will emanate the feeling of

the beach whereby you are allowed to

village. Back in the day, Maafushi was the

hotels to small scale lodges are scattered

being in a wonderful paradise. Maafushi

wear your bathing suit.

epicentre of a burgeoning fishing trade

throughout the island. These hotels and

proudly boasts a vast stretch of beaches

with skilful fishermen who sold their

guesthouses enable a tourist to obtain a

with white sand. This co-exists in line with

A vacation to the Maldives doesn’t have to

catch to the wealthier residents in Male’.

holistic, authentic Maldivian experience

a breath-taking expanse of the Indian

be limited to luxury water villas or beach

Both the young and old men start their

without blowing a hole in the bank

ocean which exhibits crystal clear waters

bungalows.

day at the crack of dawn, setting off to

account, as the average daily rate is on

in multifarious hues of blue. The pristine

has become a major item to tick off in

sea on their dhonis (fishing vessels) and

the fine lines of USD$50 – USD$100 per

blue skies and crooning birds are all part

bucket lists for every tourist who visits

returning with their hard-earned catch

night. Restaurants serving delectable,

of this tropical escapade. The above-

Maldives. Luxury, serenity, adventure –

around sunset. The womenfolk would

international fare are omni-present in the

mentioned factors are complemented

all at a bargain. Day by day, tourists who

stay back doing their everyday duties and

island. Whether you are craving for a hot

with the positive, friendly and demure

spend their vacation in Maafushi increase

wait for the men to return with their catch

plate of Chinese style seafood noodles,

demeanour of Maafushi residents. It is

tremendously along with their fair share

which they would use for their own meals

or an American style steak with potatoes

customary to receive a friendly smile

of adventures. Let Maafushi be your next

to feed their families. What was left from

or a Baked Lobster, Maafushi has got you

along with a “hello”, “ciao”, “good

holiday destination. Whether your motive

the daily catch would be converted into

covered.

morning/afternoon”, or even a similar

is to relax or to have adventure and fun,

greeting in your own language, as many

you will not be disappointed. It is time

ranging

from

dried and smoked fish, which was also a

accepts major international credit cards,

Today,

visiting

Maafushi

major source of export and income for the

A trip to Maafushi doesn’t leave you

locals in the tourism industry are able to

for you to book your ideal holiday in

island. However, during the 21st century,

confined to spending the days tanning

speak several languages such as Chinese,

Maafushi!

the scene started to change slowly.

yourself on the beach. Several excursion

Italian, French, German and Hindi. It is

Maafushi became a major stopover point

centres with gleaming signboards offer

normal for one to worry about finding

for tourists from nearby resorts, as island

a wide spectrum of activities such as

places to obtain essentials, having to skip


ACCOMMODATION

INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP LAUNCHES ‘CLEAN PROMISE’

Reception: reduced contact at check-

leading experts, and launching a global

in, touch-less transactions, front-

IHG Clean Promise that gives guests

desk

screens,

sanitized •

41

key

sanitizer

stations,

greater confidence and protection,” she

cards,

paperless

said. Developed through Ecolab and

checkout.

Diversey, the Way of Clean has now being

Guest Room: visible verification of

expanded with additional COVID-19

sanitized

glassware,

protocols and best practices to reflect the

remote control), reduction of in-

advice of the World Health Organisation,

room furnishings/high-touch items,

Centres for Disease Control & Prevention,

new laundry protocols, use of new

and local public health authorities in

technology.

markets around the world.

items

Public

(e.g.,

Spaces

and

Facilities:

additional deep cleaning of high-

Ms Harwood said future guests could

touch surfaces, social distancing,

expect to see evolved procedures in

“last cleaned” charts, best practices

every area of the hotel. “The perspective

for pools, fitness centres and lounges.

the world has gained from the past few

Food & Beverage: new standards

months will frame the way everyone thinks

and service approach to buffets,

about the ‘next normal’ and, for travellers

banquets, room service and catering.

unleashed back on the world after months of isolation, the most immediate

InterContinental

Hotels

Group

has

Cleanliness Board, which has experts

announced the launch of a “Clean

in operations, health, safety and guest

Promise”, which will be rolled out globally

experience, working external specialists

across its hotels and resorts from June 1.

to define solutions, best practice and

The Group has updated its cleanliness

implement processes.

policy in preparation for a post-COVID-19 world, committing to a higher standard of

Under the new system, hotel teams

hygiene across its hotels and resorts.

will also appoint Clean Champions to continue building the culture of clean

Starting from June, IHG brands will

instilled in IHG hotels around the world.

operate under a Clean Promise developed

IHG updated cleaning protocols - At a

through the company’s new Global

glance:

IN THE ERA OF COVID, SUMMER ISLAND HOLDS VIRTUAL EID CELEBRATIONS

These champions will focus on guests

concern will be around cleanliness,

and colleagues as they navigate the new

safety and wellbeing,” she said. “IHG

environment and help on-property teams

has been busily reshaping the experience

to consistently deliver these elevated

for guests by redefining cleanliness and

cleanliness standards. IHG Australasia

supporting guests’ personal wellbeing

& Japan Managing Director Leanne

throughout their stay – and it’s driving

Harwood told the Clean Promise was an

innovation, especially where technology

extension of the company’s Way of Clean

can make a difference.”

program, which was launched in 2015. IHG

group’s

Maldivian

properties

“We are proud to build on our industry-

include Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma

leading Way of Clean program to develop

Maldives and InterContinental Maldives

new science-led protocols and service

Maamunagau Resort.

measures,

partnering

with

industry

Summer Island Maldives held a virtual

and enjoying Eid. Even though we don’t

Eid celebration this year to celebrate

have any guests, we are still celebrating

the end of Ramadan, with a bodu beru

Eid. We made a special video song and

show and a special song broadcast on the

had a live boduberu show from 5-6 pm on

resort’s social media channels. Summer

Eid day. Eid Mubarak to everyone.”

Island has become famous for its Eid celebrations over the past few years, with

Summer Island Maldives, located on

Maldivian staff performing traditional

Ziyaaraifushi, is one of the first Resorts

processions, dances and games, such as

in the Maldives. In 1996, Kaimoo group

bodu mas, Koadi, maali, dhandi jehun,

acquired Ziyaaraifushi and rebranded it

and dhafi negun, in addition to bodu beru.

as Summer Island Village. In 2015, the island was rebuilt entirely and rebranded

The celebrations have become a big

as Summer Island Maldives. The island

hit

tourists,

is located in North Malé atoll and is 40

and Maldivian guests, with increasing

minute speedboat ride from Velana

numbers of people from Male’ travelling

International Airport.

amongst

staff,

foreign

to Summer Island for the Eid holidays. Summer Island Maldives was recently With the resort currently closed because

awarded the prestigious Holiday Check

of the Maldives’ COVID-19 lockdown,

Gold Award for Being One of Maldives’

Summer Island chose to continue the

Most Popular Resorts. It was also awarded

traditional celebrations and show them

South Asia’s Leading Beach Resort and

over social media. Resort Manager Mari

Maldives’ Leading Beach Resort at the

Shareef said: “This year we miss our

2017, 2018, and 2019 SATA awards.

guests, especially the children visiting us


42 ACCOMMODATION

BANYAN TREE HOTELS AND RESORTS LAUNCHES “SAFE SANCTUARY” quotas in enclosed areas and for group activities. Guest amenities, linens and

Wellbeing Now and for the Future The

Group,

known

for

pioneering

bedding are thoroughly steamed and

wellbeing for guests and associates, is

arrive fully protected in-room, ensuring a

rolling out an Organisational Wellbeing

pristine and comfortable night of sleep.

index to assess and respond to associates’ wellbeing, as well as a regional Tele-

Providing for Contactless Journeys therapy service to help support emotional Going contactless as much as possible,

and mental health. Self-care, mindfulness

in-room directories and restaurant menus

and

will be replaced with digital options for

available for both associates and guests.

convenient access on personal devices.

Within the SafeSanctuary programme,

Check-in and check-out processes and

additional global standards will focus

experiences such as personal health

on deep rest through sleep, activities

resilience

modules

are

already

In preparation for the return of travel,

and stay with us. This programme has

and fitness classes, cooking sessions

Banyan Tree Group is committed to going

over 40 areas of enhanced protocols,

emphasizing the connection to Nature,

or

the extra mile to ensure a Safe Sanctuary

including screening procedures, hygiene

and culinary offerings emphasizing plant-

conducted in-room to enable a vacation

for both associates and guests. Partnering

stations,

prioritizing privacy.

with Bureau Veritas to co-develop a

throughout the guest and associate

proprietary label and set of protocols,

experience. Highlights of the programme

the Group is launching the SafeSanctuary

include:

and

redesigned

processes

wellbeing

consultations,

may

be

forward menus and ingredient integrity.

Looking Ahead

Preventing through Continuous Education & Training

Banyan Tree Group’s primary mission

All associates are educated continuously

is dedicating all efforts to ensure a Safe

on the evolving nature of this health

Sanctuary for guests’ return.

is to create sanctuaries to live well, and

Programme, an integrated health and

Protective assurance protocols

wellbeing programme that incorporates

Rigorous

protocols of assurance and wellbeing

protocols will be applied through the

situation,

standards.

guest and associate journey, focusing

surrounding

Education

on high-traffic public areas as well as

Banyan Tree Holdings Limited (“Banyan

and training are fundamental to ongoing

This will be rolled out progressively from

high-touch areas in-room with EPA-

Tree” or the “Group”) is one of the

success, and the centralized Banyan

June 2020 throughout all properties. The

approved and recommended cleaning

world’s

Tree Management Academy will increase

SafeSanctuary Seal demonstrates the rigor

agents. Appropriate distancing will be

branded hospitality groups. The group’s

its subject-specific training standards

of Protect, Provide and Prevent, to assure

encouraged through signage and with

properties in Maldives include Banyan

worldwide.

on

all guests and associates of the Group’s

ambassadors in public areas such as

Tree Angsana Resort & Spa Maldives -

each property and key personnel will

enhanced health and safety measures at

pools, lobbies, restaurants and other

Ihuru, Banyan Tree Angsana Resort &

apply

all guest touchpoints as they plan, book

facilities. There will be limited capacity

Spa Maldives - Velavaru and Banyan Tree

implementation of the new protocols.

cleaning

and

distancing

along

audit

with

guests

communities.

Hygiene

and

Managers

technology

that

allows

leading

independent,

multi-

Maldives Vabbinfaru.

DUSIT INTERNATIONAL INTRODUCES ‘DUSIT CARE – STAY WITH CONFIDENCE’ TO ADAPT THE ‘NEW NORMAL’ Dusit International, one of Thailand’s

and operating procedures across five

leading hotel and property development

distinct dimensions: 1. Flexible Stays 2.

companies, has dynamically responded to

Safety & Well-being 3. Local Experience

the challenges brought by the COVID-19

4. Technology, and 5. Dusit Care Kits. To

pandemic by introducing ‘Dusit Care –

limit queues and offer added convenience

Stay with Confidence’– a new programme

for guests, Flexible Stays covers, amongst

of services designed to go beyond

others, check-in and breakfast. All Dusit

enhanced hygiene protocols to deliver

Hotels & Resorts will offer flexible check-

additional convenience, experience and

in times, while breakfast will be available

value while ensuring guests always feel

at any time of the day.

safe and reassured. Safety annd well-being will see each Dusit The programme, being rolled out at Dusit

property enhance its already stringent

Hotels & Resorts worldwide, includes the

health

introduction of new facilities, services

includes frequent sanitization of all rooms

and

safety

practices,

which


ACCOMMODATION 43 and public areas, to include temperature

its various locations so guests can enjoy

Each pack will include hand sanitiser gel,

welcome guests and meet their needs the

scans on arrival, provision of appropriate

the best of local foods and souvenirs

a face mask, and antibacterial wipes

moment the official restrictions are lifted.

space in restaurants, and more measures

without having to leave the comfort of

so guests can explore Dusit’s various

And she is confident that domestic leisure

designed to protect the health and safety

Dusit’s hotels.

destinations with confidence.

markets will respond well.

efficient

“COVID-19 has significantly impacted

“To help revive the tourism industry

To promote personal well-being, Dusit’s

service, Dusit is also implementing new

our industry, and there is no doubt that

following this crisis, focusing on domestic

in-room

been

Technology to allow for mobile payments,

health, safety and security will take

leisure markets first will be key,” said Ms

enhanced to include personalized healthy

and installing digital menus in its various

precedence over any other factor when

Suthumpun. “Based on the severity of the

food, while refreshment fridges will offer

outlets. Flexible meeting and conference

customers are ready to book hotels

situation and the current travel restrictions

healthy drinks and snacks which guests

equipment, and property-wide high-

again,” said Ms Suphajee Suthumpun,

in place, it’s likely to be a while before

can enjoy for free. New outdoor workout

speed internet, ensure guests can always

Group CEO, Dusit International.

we can count on international and inter-

areas will also be added to offer plenty of

remain connected.

of guests, customers and employees. To dining

options

have

enable

contactless

and

space for exercise. For Local Experience,

regional travel. With this in mind, we must “While the health and safety of our guests

do all we can to inspire and stimulate local

Dusit is partnering with the finest local

To offer additional peace of mind, a Dusit

will always be our top priority, to truly

demand, and the steps we have taken at

culinary specialists and craftspeople in

Care Kit will be placed in every guest room.

inspire confidence and drive demand in

our properties put us in a strong position

this difficult time, we recognise we must go

to achieve this. Strategic comeback

far beyond basic measures for enhanced

campaigns offering exceptional value for

cleanliness and physical distancing. To

money, and the introduction of wellness-

truly delight our guests and meet their

focused initiatives under our Dusit Care

needs in a post-COVID-19 world, we

programme, will also add to our distinct

must reinvent our services in line with the

appeal and help us to meet our short-

new normal while seeking ways to deliver

term goals.”

additional convenience, experience and value. We must also ensure the new distancing measures do not detract from the high levels of gracious service for which we are renowned. This is what we aim to achieve by implementing the Dusit Care – Stay with Confidence programme.” Ms Suthumpun said that by implementing the five new Dusit Care – Stay with Confidence hotels

are

services, now

the

company’s

well-positioned

to


44 ACCOMMODATION

LILY HOTELS OFFERS MORE FLEXIBILITY ON BOOKINGS! and Ayurveda treatments at Tamara Spa,

core part of the Hideaway experience,

their 5-star staff will ensure to indulge

with the divine Hideaway Spa offering a

your every need. Lily Beach Resort &

range of treatments for rejuvenation and

Spa’s this offer is available for stays from

relaxation. The abundance of fish life

01 June 2020 through and including 30

around this Maldives resort is second

September 2020.

to none, making it a prime location

Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa Maldives

for snorkeling and scuba diving. The perfect

Maldives

retreat,

Hideaway

offers the utmost in romance and is one

Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa - the

of the preferred destinations for those

perfect island retreat in the Maldives, is

celebrating their honeymoon. Families

located in the northern Haa Alifu Atoll.

are very welcome at Hideaway, with an

An exclusive all-suite Maldives resort for

extensive Kids Club available to help

those who demand genuine luxury and

keep young travelers entertained during

the utmost in privacy. Set on a crescent-

their stay.

shaped private island, this incredible Book confidently your dream escape to

best all inclusive resort in the Maldives.

resort offers a choice of private villas

In addition to the “Buy Now, Book Later”

the Maldives and secure today’s rate for

Close to Male’ and just 25 Minutes

or private villas with pools for its guests

offer, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa

travel at a later date at Hideaway Beach

by seaplane, Lily Beach Resort offers

to unwind and enjoy a home away from

Maldives is also offering 2 offers available

Resort & Spa Maldives and Lily Beach

Premium food and beverage options

home. Beachside or over the water villas

for stays from 01 October 2020 through

Resort & Spa at Huvahendhoo. There is

with an extensive list of wines & spirits.

and the associated privacy levels offered

and

no need to select the exact dates of your

Included in the no surprise package are 3

are the hallmark of this award winning

Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa Maldives

holiday today.

excursions per stay. Home to families and

destination, which boasts some of the

and Lily Beach Resort & Spa are operated

couples alike, even newlyweds find their

largest beachfront villas in Maldives.

by Lily Hotels and Resorts in Maldives.

Lily Beach Resort & Spa

including

30

September

2021.

honeymoon experience extraordinary,

Nestled on a private island amidst the

with the wide list of activities on the island

Gourmands, Foodies and food lovers

serene clear blue water of the Indian

including

fishing,

alike can indulge in an award winning

Ocean is where you will find one of the

mirage of sports and leisure activities

culinary experience. Wellbeing is a

snorkeling,

diving,

NIYAMA’S EXPLORERS KIDS CLUB: OFFERING LUXE EXCITEMENT FOR LITTLE VIPS Luxe excitement for the littlest VIPs. Set

trained by Scott Dunn, supported by a

in the heart of the Isle of Play, Explorers

trained local team, with each one having

Kids Club caters to the imaginations of

a passion for working with children.

all ages. This quintessentially Maldives

Divided into two areas for the different

kids club immerses children in the eye-

age groups, the whole club is full of

opening nature and cultural beauty of the

everything an active imagination could

islands – from Dhivehi lullabies to dolphin

need.

scouting. With age related activities and

Niyama

Private

Islands

offers

more

myriad opportunities to create their own

than a luxury retreat in the Maldives.

exceptional island experience. With twin

Going beyond conventional concepts

islands Play and Chill, Niyama offers you

of lavish accommodation, sumptuous

the true luxury of choice, with everything

cuisines, and lavish services, Niyama

expected from an island resort and so

Private Islands presents every visitor with

much more.

facilities for children from 12 months to

Activities

12 years, the Explorer Kids club gives

Niyama’s nurturing Globetrotter and

parents the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed

Adventurer programmes for younger

holiday, whilst their children are in the

guests, introduces the children to the

care of experts, enjoying everything that

flora and fauna of the islands and include

both islands have to offer. Purpose built

activities from coconut painting to sand

with a circus theme, the children’s club is

prints, from hermit crab races to water

a vibrant and exciting place and promises

fun, and from themed treasure hunts to

fun and adventure for every child.

cookie making. There’s much fun to be had both inside and out, with toys, games

Explorers is divided into four age groups,

and books in the club to keep children

each with an excellent carer to child

entertained during the heat of the day,

ratio. The childcare team is made up of

and a playground with a sandpit, water

fully qualified child carers recruited and

play area, inset trampoline and see saws.


ACCOMMODATION 45 Snacks are provided, and there’s a sleep

volleyball, stand up paddle boarding

with pomegranate. Ostrich bobotie. Four

appreciation for new flavors. Niyama

room for babies and toddlers in need of

and designing t shirts, your children will

distinctive cuisine classes are on offer:

has also won the Family Traveler Award

a siesta. We also provide complimentary

be endlessly entertained. The club has

Maldivian as experienced at Epicure,

2016 for the Best Kids Club and been

nappies (including swim nappies) during

a stage for those who love to perform;

with fresh seafood locally caught and

voted as the world’s best family hotels

club hours. For the Voyagers and Pioneers,

a small wall for budding climbers, and

cooked with vibrant colours and spices;

2015 by Conde Nast Traveler. Niyama

a trip to Niyama is a real Swallows and

there’s even a spot of education with visits

Asian as served at Nest, with five-flavored

Private Islands Maldives offers more than

Amazons adventure. They have their

from Niyama’s resident marine biologist.

Thai dishes being a focus; the freshness

a luxury retreat in the Maldives. Going

of the Mediterranean from the Executive

beyond conventional concepts of lavish

own separate area and games room in the children’s club, and they’re able to

Niyama has recently launched Food

Chef of Blu; and the rarest of African

accommodation,

explore their surrounds with Niyama’s

Play – tailored cooking classes for small

delicacies roasted over the open fires of

and personalized service; Niyama Private

Explorers team who take them out to

groups of six to eight – wherein guests

Tribal. Niyama’s Food Play classes are

Islands Maldives presents every visitor

the reef to snorkel, or find dolphins or

are invited to learn the secrets of our

ideal for couples, families with kids or

with myriad opportunities to create their

discover one of the neighboring islands.

native chef whizzes. Maldivian tuna

groups of friends, offering an ideal day

own exceptional island experience.

With activities including cookie making,

curry. Thai tom yum. Grilled halloumi

of adventurous learning, passion, and

sumptuous

cuisines,

LILY BEACH RESORT GIVES BEST OF MALDIVES FOR 22 MAROONED GUESTS AMID PANDEMIC Lily Beach Resort has given the best of

table and enjoyed the celebration with

Maldives hospitality for 22 marooned

Bodu Beru dances and bond fire. Other

guests amid the pandemic. At the end

guests bought presents for the lucky

of March, Maldives closed its border for

birthday boy and the resort upgraded the

incoming tourists which was followed by

family stay to the Sunset Water Villa. It

the cancellation of airlines to repatriate

is interesting to see how people approach

tourists back to their countries. As a

to one another has changed during these

result, Lily Beach Resort had 22 guests

times, for the better.

since mid March who were unable to return to their country.

“This peculiar situation has made us become even more flexible and creative

The lockdown and travel ban between the

because it is not so common to have

islands in Maldives left the resort’s 200

guests in your resort for more than 2

staff and these 22 guests marooned on

months and somewhere, we need to

the island. As a result the guests got to

entertain them more than what we would

indulge in exclusive Maldivian hospitality

normally do when they are here for one

from morning to night by their team.

or two weeks,” the resort representative further said. “They are concerned about

and security of their guests and team

bathrooms, FO, Resto, Recreation

“Because there has been no new guests

the situation back at home, and it is also

members remains the highest priority

areas etc.) and have continued the

or staff to foot step on the island for

our responsibility to try to make them

at the resort. They are reportedly doing

use of hospital-grade disinfectant.

more than 2 months, and of course no

“forget”, even if it is only for one evening,

everything they can to ensure travel

suspicious cases in our resort, we do

what the world is going through.”

safety and provide maximum flexibility

food

as the situation around novel coronavirus

accordance with current food safety

(COVID-19) continues to evolve.

recommendations.

not feel the constraints that families

Lily Resorts will continue to adjust and

beverage

service

in

around the world have in terms of social

Lily Beach Resort also adapted their room

distancing and being locked down; we are

prices as it would not be ethical to try to

locked down but on a beautiful island,”

benefit from this situation and guests are

an official from the resort said. “We have

more than appreciative of it, according to

In response to COVID-19, Lily Resorts

sanitizers. They have also activated

changed our activity calendar to match

the resort. Looking at it from a business

have

measures

their operations response teams to

the in-house guest’s interests. Night

angle, this allows anyone to build trust

developed in consultation with Ministry of

provide around-the-clock assistance

fishing, swimming with whale sharks and

and loyalty. Looking at the future, Lily

Health and local public health authorities

to their resorts and are prepared to

manta rays, lagoon tastings and theme

Beach Resort have also launched an

(including the HPA and MOH) to make

act swiftly should they be alerted to

nights in different locations around the

attractive offer to allow guests to book

their cleaning and hygiene protocols even

a case of coronavirus at one of its

island.”

now and choose at a later stage their

more rigorous:

properties.

dates, as it is difficult for the time being

Guests Travel Safety:

The

taken

teams

are

receiving

The management has also taken part in

to commit. “That flexibility in this offer

ongoing

some of the celebrations with guests,

has been extremely well received by

operating protocols.

notably for the 13th birthday of one of the

guests and it gives us an optimistic view

guests. The resort’s whole team met for a

for the future,” a statement by the resort

of cleaning of public areas (including

BBQ dinner on the beach on a communal

read. As it has always been, the safety

lobbies,

briefings

and

enhanced

They have increased the frequency door

resort

have

increased

the

deployment of antibacterial hand

additional

resort

The

handles,

public


46 ACCOMMODATION

GILI LANKANFUSHI TO LAUNCH A NEW PLANT-BASED PACKAGE: “POWERED BY PLANTS” FOR ECO-CONSCIOUS TRAVELERS with recycled wire mesh to feature fish

intensity and sea temperature, whilst

and sea turtles.

also identifying and tracking manta ray and turtle populations, to educate guests

Whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner,

about the underwater world through the

guests will be treated to colorful and

guided trips. They will also offer a new

balanced plant-based menus, drawing

programme of additional lectures at their

inspiration

dedicated research centre, Gili Veshi.

traditions Gili

from and

Maldivian carefully

Lankanfushi’s

culinary

crafted

chef

For those eager to try their hand at

Hari Govindaraj using organic herbs,

a new skill to take home, there is the

vegetables and fruits lovingly grown in

opportunity to learn plant-based tricks

the resort’s very own organic garden

of the trade from ChefHari in a private

without

pesticides.

Gili Vegan Cooking Class where guests

Signature dishes include; Aloe Vera &

will prepare Maldivian curries, juices

Beetroot Tartar with Arugula and Seared

and smoothies using fresh ingredients

Radish & Spinach Cannelloni. 100% of

found in the gardens. After a full day

using

executive

by

harmful

Looking beyond immediate restrictions

Arriving at the resort, guests will settle

the resort’s food waste will be processed

ofoutdoor pursuits, guests can retreat to

to sustainable travel news for 2021,

into their villa with sweet vegan treats,

in

composter,

the blissfully secluded Meera Spa and

much-loved

eco-resort

feather and wool-free bedding and

producing natural fertilizer which will

enjoy a holistic and healing treatment

Gili Lankanfushi will introduce a new

a complimentary bottle of reef-safe

continue to nurture the island’s extensive

using cruelty-free vegan products such as

‘Powered by Plants’ package; a series of

Australian gold botanic sunscreen so

organic garden. Nature-based days will

Voya’s ‘Serenergise’ bodyoil and ‘Feel the

plant-based offerings and nature-based

they can take a dip in the crystal clear

begin with intention as guests will enjoy

Heat’ warming gel to rejuvenate the body.

experiences to continue to strive to reduce

ocean safe in the knowledge that they are

a private vinyasa flow yoga class on the

Powered by Plants at Gili Lankanfushi

the resort’s impact on the planet, and

protecting the surrounding eco-system.

beach before accompanying a local

starts from $4285 (approx. (3,416) for

marine biologist on a guided snorkeling

five nights’ accommodation including

Located in the languid waters of the North

session, learning about Gili Lankanfushi’s

all meals during guests’ stay from Chef

Malé Atoll, just a 20-minute speedboat

pioneering Coral Lines Project which

Hari’s plant based menus, plant-based

A recent survey from Original Travel on

ride from Malé, the resort’s 45 villas

provides a nursery environment for new

in-room amenities, a Gili Vegan Cooking

post-Coronavirus travel showed that

offer open-air living spaces, roof terraces

corals to grow, bolstering the house reef

Class, a private dinner under the stars, a

30% of respondents will want to travel

and private decks with direct access to

and monitoring survival types across

60 minute treatment of choice, a private

more sustainably once restrictions are

the lagoon below. Its furnishings are

coral genotypes.

vinyasa flow yoga class, a guided snorkel

lifted and McKinsey’s report on luxury

inspired by the island and made by skilled

consumption post-crisis anticipates an

craftsman

materials

The island’s dedicated marine biology

intensified desire for more responsible

such as bed frames made from recycled

team monitor the health and biodiversity

consumption amongst luxury consumers.

teakwood and lampshades handwoven

of

Maldivian

further facilitate responsible travelers in honoring their natural surroundings.

using

upcycled

FUSHIFARU MALDIVES BUILDS MANTA SHAPED CORAL REEF

an

advanced

rocket

with a marine biologist, and domestic

the

ecosystems,

measure

transfers.

light

A month ago, Fushifaru started building

chance to regrow on the frame and regain,

an immense coral frame in the shape of

their otherwise lost, life. This exciting

a manta and today, the frame is filled

project has made a lot of progress as well

with rocks, coral and most importantly,

as a positive impact on the environment.

lots of marine life. At Fushifaru Maldives,

However, with ocean temperatures rising

caring for the wellbeing of the beautiful

in Maldives, many corals die and are

oceans of Maldives is just one of their

bleached as a result of the warmness

green initiatives. Their team implemented

of the water. Through replanting broken

this coral planting program where broken

corals, Fushifaru Maldives hopes to

pieces of coral are restored by attaching

strengthen the corals in their lagoon by

them onto frames. These are then allowed

giving them an opportunity to live. Their

to blossom and create new homes for the

belief is that there is no time to waste on

diverse marine life in Fushifaru lagoon.

helping to save the coral reefs, in order to

Members of the staff were involved in

restore the ocean’s health and contribute

sourcing the rocks, finding broken pieces

to the wellbeing of the planet. This is just

of corals and attaching them carefully onto

one of the many “Going Green” projects

the frame, so that the corals are given a

they are currently working on.


ACCOMMODATION 47

CONRAD MALDIVES RANGALI ISLAND SEWS FACE MASKS TO DONATE LOCAL COMMUNITY, HEALTHCARE WORKERS In light of the global pandemic, Conrad

“We know there is a need for masks right

Maldives Rangali Island has inspired

now and hoping that our efforts will be a

its team members to get involved in a

positive contribution to those who need

face mask sewing initiative where these

these extra layer of protection.”

will in turn be donated to selected local communities and healthcare workers in

A celebration of design and human

Maldives.

spirit, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island expresses an accord of form, function

This initiative was launched earlier this

and innovation in driving hospitality

month, where the resident tailors and

trends that has set the benchmark in its

volunteering team members are aiming to

style. Rejecting trends in design to create

complete 1500 face masks for donation.

a space that invites and inspires with

Located in the South Ari Atoll, the resort

a distinctive design that sits in perfect

plans to distribute the face masks to

harmony with the natural environment.

local residents and healthcare workers of

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is an

nearby local islands as well as in Male’,

inspirational backdrop featuring intuitive

the countries capital.

service, distinctive

“During

this

challenging

time,

infinite mix

connections of

and

a

once-in-a-lifetime

we

experiences making it an extraordinary

are looking at unique ways to help

destination for couples and families to

communities in our neighboring islands,”

discover paradise.

said Alex Traeger, Director of Operations.

LUX* RESORTS & HOTELS LAUNCHES CAREGIVER PACKAGE FOR LOCAL HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS LUX* Resorts & Hotels has launched

bit for our local community in order to

a special caregiver package for local

provide them with a well-deserved break

healthcare professionals for stays at

close to home.” A Caregiver rate will be

LUX* South Ari Atoll Resort & Villas or

extended to all local healthcare heroes

LUX* North Malé Atoll Resort & Villas.

residing in Maldives who wish to stay at LUX* South Ari Atoll Resort & Villas or

LUX* Resorts & Hotels’ recent Healthcare

LUX* North Malé Atoll Resort & Villas,

Heroes campaign to thank Maldivian

with 30 per cent off accommodation

healthcare

very

and 20 per cent off all dining and spa

heartwarming stories shared by the local

treatments, applicable between 3 June

community, wishing to express their

2020 until 31 December 2021.

heroes

saw

some

gratitude to the medical professionals during this unprecedented crisis. The

Additionally, LUX* Resorts & Hotels will

community’s

has

honour all Healthcare Heroes by planting

highlighted these heroes’ professionalism

coconut trees on World Environment

and tireless fight against the outbreak

Day,

since it started in March.

permanent reminders of their invaluable

touching

tributes

5

June

2020,

to

serve

as

acts of service rendered during this “Our deep gratitude for all healthcare

unprecedented time.

workers’ heroic acts of service during this pandemic is beyond what words can

To enjoy the caregiver rate, medical

describe,” said Roshan Radhay, Regional

professionals should book directly with

Director of Sales & Marketing, Maldives

the hotel with a valid ID presented upon

& Middle East. “No gesture is enough to

booking.

repay them, however we wish to do our


48 TRAVEL AGENTS

AGODA LAUNCHES “TALENT DIRECTORY” TO ASSIST ITS FORMER EMPLOYEES FIND JOBS Agoda, the hotel booking giant has

former employees are requested to email

launched

at: alumni@agoda.com.

an

online

portal

“Agoda

Talent Directory” to assist their former employees in finding jobs. “We built

The directory provides a list of people

this because we’ve had to say goodbye

who have opted-in to have their profiles

to great people at Agoda recently;

shared for the purpose of finding a new

talented individuals who we believe other

job opportunity. Potential employers can

companies would be lucky to have,” a

reach out to any of the individuals directly

statement on the Agoda Talent Directory

or submit any specific job opportunities

site said.

through the portal and Agoda will share it directly theie alumni community. Agoda

Agoda Talent Directory is a live document

has laid off more than 1,500 employees in

where former Agoda employees provide

30 countries, accounting for about 25% of

details for potential employers to access

the total workforce due to the COVID-19

on their site. To enroll for the directory,

crisis.

EXPEDIA GROUP REVENUE DROPS 15% IN 1ST QUARTER OF 2020

Online travel agency, Expedia group has

safeguard

announced that their revenue for 1st

decreased the marketing budget by 20%

quarter of 2020 has been decreased by

for the 1st quarter of 2020. Earlier in

15% compare to the same period in 2019.

February 2020 the company laid off 12%

This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic

of their employees. Moreover, last month

which has affected the company’s hotel

the company also announced new capital

and air travel bookings around the globe.

budget of $3.2 billion. Among them $2

the

business.

They

have

billion coming as debt financing and $1.2 According to the company, the 1st quarter

billion as an equity investment by Apollo

revenue was decreased by 15% from

Global Management and Silver Lake

$2.6 billion in Q1 2019 to $2.2 billion.

Partners.

At the same time, the gross bookings for the quarter ending March 31 were down

According to the Expedia Group CEO

39% year-over-year from $29.4 billion

Peter Kern “the COVID-19 has created

to $17.9 million. Moreover, Earnings

more urgency and focus to streamline

before interest, tax, depreciation and

operations and has created an opportunity

amortization (EBITDA) was a loss of $76

to work through “what had been thorny

million in the 1st quarter of 2020. Expedia

technology issues.”

group has taken several measures to


TOURISM MARKETER’S SECTION 49

5 THINGS TO EXPECT WHEN MALDIVES REOPENS IN JULY Maldives will be opening its shores to

compared to the properties catering to

the world from July, after 3 months of

budget segment. As people start to travel

restrictions. The pandemic has changed

post COVID-19, privacy will become the

the status quo indefinitely. Lets look into

new luxury. Travel and hospitality brands

what it will look like in Maldives post

that cater to this new mindset will reap

pandemic.

the rewards of more reservations as well

1. VIA to be key for inbound tourism success

as the added bonus of bookings at higher price points.

3. Local island tourism may not first point of contact for the tourists. pickup until late this year Velana International Airport will be the Airport screening and how airlines can

Although

the

timeline

proposed

by

cater to the demand will be important

the government to open local island

in building trust for the destination. The

tourism will be from August 1st, 2020,

good news is that Velana International

the local island tourism industry will go

with social distancing measures and

thought of vacation will still give itchy feet

Fear of traveling abroad will be imminent

While the beds remain the same, demand

hygiene measures intensified across the

to travelers and they would want to enjoy

with the local community as well but

will not be like before. Hoteliers cannot

airport.

far from madding crowds. The impact on

the budget segment should seize this

maintain with 2019 prices, and they

aviation could hit budget travelers since

opportunity. Offers and packages to

have to come up with attractive prices

many budget airlines across the globes

locals could induce sales for them.

for tourists. Dynamic pricing will come

have collapsed. This could take sometime

Everyone will be in need of a vacation

into play resulting in price wars between

Looking into tourism sector, the top luxury

for recovery and impact travelers coming

after

hoteliers.

properties will get immediate bookings

to local islands.

uncertainty of the pandemic.

4. Budget segment should target Airport is geared up for the “new normal” into recovery around late this year. The locals

2. Surge in bookings for top luxury properties

grappling

the

lockdowns

and

5. There could be a price war among hoteliers

5 WAYS HOW DIGITAL TOURISM CAN PLAY A KEY ROLE IN TOURISM INDUSTRY services not just to reduce human contact but also drive efficiency and reduce the

4. E-commerce System Digital marketing is an investment and

environmental impact. These platform

you need to ensure that you get your

offers a series of digital services that can

investment back. It is important to

be managed from one place, including

have a one-stop shop where travelers

check-in and check-out tools to entire

can book travel services, from airfare

operation.

to accommodation to entry passes to

3. Virtual Reality

popular destinations and other services. Once a site visitor becomes a client, he or

Businesses operating within the travel

she should be able to reserve or pay for

industry need to be quick to adopt

your services through your e-commerce

virtual reality technology and for good

system that should be able to accept payments from popular payment systems.

Digital tourism is the use of digital tools to

While all of this means there are plenty of

reason. Typically, your customers are

prepare, organize, control and enjoy the

opportunities for travel brands, there is

looking to purchase experiences, rather

travel experience in the tourism industry.

also a lot of competition. It is now more

than products, and virtual reality offers

We look into ways how digital tourism

difficult to stand out from the crowd of

an effective way for marketers to give

plays a vital role in the industry today.

other travel companies and get people

them a taste of what they can expect.

others perceive your business when

to the checkout, which is exactly why

Travel customers usually require lots

they search for or stumble upon it

you need to be up-to-date with the latest

of information before they book a hotel

online. Consequently, online reputation

Travel marketing has never been more

best practices when it comes to digital

room. This may, for instance, require

management (ORM) proactively influences

important. The rise of social media and

marketing for the travel sector.

them to read descriptions, view images,

what information people will find. ORM

look at videos, read customer reviews

is not only about managing content in

1. Digital Marketing

influencers means that the world is more

5. Digital Reputation Management Your online reputation determines how

visible than ever before and consumers

2. Digital Service Management

or seek opinions on social media.

search engines, though. It’s also about

are constantly looking for inspiration, the

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it

Through intelligent use of virtual reality,

managing negative business reviews and

next big destination and the best travel

ever so important for accommodation

however, this process can be shortened

encouraging happy clients to contribute

deals.

providers to implement more digital

significantly.

more positive feedback.


50 TOURISM MARKETER’S SECTION

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO NEXT-LEVEL ANY FRONT OFFICE OPERATION

could help stay connected with the

a growth mindset to the next level their

customers on an always-on basis and

front office operations in a manner that

have records of those interactions to

reaps optimal benefits.

learn from and to further improve the service. •

BY GUEST WRITER MOHAMED HAMDHOON

Encourage employees to bring their

Tablets, smartphones, vessel/vehicle

extroverted self to work. Employees

tracking systems, and digital walkie

working in the front office are in a

talkies. As emailing is fast replaced

state of constant interaction between

by messaging apps such as Slack,

guests

Flock, and Ryver while most of the

Encouraging—and

information about guest profiles,

appropriate,

preferences, and daily movements

to project a pleasant and upbeat

are

is

personality works wonders when it

important to invest in the necessary

comes to delighting guests and going

tools to get the best out of these new-

the extra mile on the service journey.

communicated

online,

it

age technologies.

and

other

departments. where

training—employees

Be open to new methods and to experiment with new service

Although

is

deliverables. Sometimes the best

always

ideas come from those who are out

remember to weigh this question before

there on the field interacting with

committing money or resources into any

the guests and observing the trends

such undertakings: Is this going to help

in real-time than from the executive

us simplify processes and improve guest

team who are in a boardroom

experience?

brainstorming

crucial,

embracing companies

technology must

for

new

ideas.

Companies should encourage this If the answer to that question is a

from their employees and implement

resounding yes, you are headed in the

such ideas that carry any merit.

The front office department is an integral

Here are five surefire ways hospitality-

right direction. If you or your team have

part of any hotel or resort operation. As a

centric companies can next-level their

the slightest of doubts surrounding that

implementation process of those new

revenue-generating business function, the

front office operations regardless of their

question, keep looking.

methods and service deliverables.

front office department plays a significant

star ratings or service settings.

role in informing, educating, and exciting the customers about the services offered

Embrace Technology

by the company.

Incentivize

or

gamify

the

Change is hard, and often, it will be

Cultivate a growth mindset

met with resistance from those who

Today, companies are operating at such

are insistent on maintaining the status

The front office operations are as hectic as

a competitive landscape in which the

quo of how things have always been

they come. And it requires a lot of moving

customers are so fickle and the choices so

or how things have always been done.

Few companies realize this, but the front

parts to ensure the services are offered

abundant that they risk losing their clients

Incentivizing employees to adopt the

office department is also a relationship-

in a manner that adds value instead of

in the blink of an eye if they grow even a

new changes with a financial or some

building business function. From nailing

frustrating the customer.

little bit complacent in their services or

other form of reward or gamifying

fails to engineer a new way to blow away

the process so that it will feel more

their customers.

like play could help create buy-in

a good first impression to wowing customers during their stay by observing

Given the complexity and variety of

their preferences, likes, dislikes, and

services being offered by the companies

personalizing the services based on

today, trying to rely on a shared Excel

Exceptional services provided by gracious

behavioral psychology that results in

sheet is the easiest way to introduce

and passionate hosts is the name of the

repeat business falls under the purview

chaos and ruin your day and upset your

game of the entire hospitality industry.

Adopt a common service language

of the front office department.

customers.

Meeting customer expectations is no

A lot of service organizations fail because

longer enough. You must go beyond them.

they have a fragmented or disjointed

and make such change management efforts a true success.

And from what I have gathered, seen, and

Here are some of the technologies that

Satisfying your customers is no longer

understanding of what they are trying to

experienced from so many hotels and so

could

happening

enough. You must delight them. And for

accomplish between different functions,

many resorts are they do not fully grasp

and help companies better plan and

that to happen, companies must radically

sections, and departments.

this extremely basic fact about their front

streamline their workflow.

change

prevent

that

from

their

service

philosophies

and embark on a journey of iterative,

If

Cloud-based Property Management

sometimes mistake-prone, and lifelong

addressing the guests by their names

Systems (PMS). A PMS such as Opera

learning. In her brilliant book Mindset:

at every interaction or acknowledging

5 from Oracle Hospitality could

The New Psychology of Success, world-

their

But it does not have to be that way. Any

help tailor personalized services

renowned psychologist Carol S. Dweck

birthdays,

company can take their flailing or subpar

and streamline billing and maximize

captured this idea beautifully when she

and anniversaries for the Butler Team,

front office operations and inject life and

revenue

said, “Love challenges, be intrigued by

then it should also be the same for the

energy into it to completely overhaul its

management systems

mistakes, enjoy the effort and keep on

Reception Team, the Transport Team or

E-Concierge apps. Handling guest

learning.”

the Call Center Team.

office operations. And that to me, is a flagrant under-utilization of resources

and a missed opportunity.

business efficacy, service superiority, and

with

its

advanced

rate

delighting

special

the

customer

occasions

honeymoons,

means

such

as

babymoons,

bottom lines. All it takes is a conscious,

communication in a timely fashion

concerted effort to seek excellence from

is crucial. E-Concierge apps such

Here are some ways companies can shift

Anything less than all the teams singing

all parties concerned.

as Alice, Hotelcloud, or Agilysys

their inherently fixed mindset in favor of

the same song and dancing the same


TOURISM MARKETER’S SECTION 51 dance could render the excellent service

person learning and development

added benefit of improved services

company does not know how to use those

provided by the Butler Team useless and

sessions, complement it by providing

for the customer.

resources intelligently and responsibly.

create gaps that, once noticed—and

self-directed

they always get noticed—results in poor

learning platforms such as Harvard

employees to do that intelligently.

If a company embraces the latest

customer satisfaction.

ManageMentor or LinkedIn Learning

Most of the decisions made by

technology (well, at least what they can

where they can acquire additional

employees

the

afford out of the latest technology),

Here are some ways companies can

and ultra-specific knowledge about

standard operating procedures say

cultivate a growth mindset, adopt a

align everyone on their teams to work

those skills they are lacking.

or what the usual course of action

common service language, identify skill

Conduct yearly research to identify

suggests can be summarized as a

gaps and up-/re-skill their employees,

of destroying value for each other or

what skills will be most in-demand

judgment call. Training employees

and empower them towards action, they

creating discernible service gaps that

in the next 3-5 years. Do employees

to do that in a manner that increases

could also nurture a front office operation

hurt the overall customer experience.

have the proper organizational or

the upside of taking the action and

that is truly next-level.

communication skills? Do we need to

decrease the downside on not taking

Create a common service vocabulary

invest in improving their leadership

the action could save companies a

and share it amongst everyone.

skills or give them an immersive

pretty penny in the long run.

And once it is shared, confirm that

training on creative problem solving

everyone has the same understanding

and

as everybody else because they could

customer? Failure to close these

Running

still be working at a cross purpose

gaps could hurt customer experience

operation is not a luxury that is only

from each other.

and satisfaction and make it that

reserved for the mega-rich or the biggest

much more difficult to delight the

hotel chains with the most resources.

customers.

Resources do not mean anything if the

towards the same objectives instead

Incorporate

common

service

vocabulary into the onboarding and induction plan of new employees.

to

handle

on

a

online

difficult

vocabulary, it is important to pass it

Empower Employees and Bias Them Towards Action

down to those who join the team later.

Far

Or else, the potency of such an effort

centralized

will be lost with every employee who

when it comes to getting anything done.

resigns or retires.

While it is good to err on the side of

Update the shared service vocabulary

caution when it comes to making CAPEX

as the organization evolves. Nothing

or any huge financial decisions, speed

is set in stone in the life of an

matters when you are dealing with irate

organization and the same is true

customers.

Once there is a shared service

how

learning

too

many

companies

decision-making

have

a

process

for its shared service vocabulary. Get rid of those ideas and phrases

Empower the employees or the shift

that no longer make sense or serves

managers to make quick decisions if it

any purpose and add those that

is below a certain dollar threshold or if

better reflect the values and service

it could help resolve minor complaints

philosophies in the present or an

or issues without further agitating a

aspirational future.

customer who is already not happy about

Identify Skill Gaps to Up-/Re-Skill Your Employees Accordingly

something. Here are some ways companies can

We live in a time and age where everything

empower

from the technology we use to the

them to take immediate action instead

knowledge we acquire to the skill sets that

of waiting for the managers to sign off on

are becoming obsolete fairly quickly. A

something as simple as rebating an M&M

lack of essential skills could spell disaster

from the bill of a guest who has spent tens

in the way how things are done and how

of thousands of dollars on her extras.

employees

and

encourage

services are provided and hinder future growth for some companies. Closing such

Recognize those who are proactive

skill gaps—of both hard and soft skills—

and anticipate customer needs. A

must be considered an urgent business

lot of the times when a customer is

priority and companies should treat it

unhappy and complains about the

as such. Here are some ways companies

service, a service recovery must be

can up-/res-skill their employees and

done which could be multiples of the

some important points to consider when

value of the service she received in the

conducting their gap analysis.

first place. Reinforcing such behaviors by recognizing those who proactively

Enable self-directed learning with

anticipate customer needs and save

online learning solutions. Instead of

money for the company could also

only providing employees with in-

allude others to do the same with an

Value calculated risk-taking and train

no

matter

what

Final Thoughts a

world-class

front

office

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mohamed Hamdhoon is the Front Office Manager at Kurumba Maldives. He has years of experience in the tourism industry


52 TOURISM MARKETER’S SECTION

GUESTHOUSES - THE FIRST STEPS TO RECOVERY BY RUTH FRANKLIN be sanitized and safe at all times. This

Now is the time for your guests to feel

cleaning process will form part of the new

reassured.

norm and once Safe Tourism guidelines have been published you will need to

Managing

establish a clear cleaning program and

expectation is hugely important at this

policy for your property.

time. Clearly communicate when you

your

potential

guest’s

plan to re-open on all channels where

4. Operational Space

your potential guests may find you with

Take time to consider how you will

a caveat that this may change if the

provide services to your guests whilst

government advice changes.

maintaining social distancing. It may be necessary to remodel spaces especially in

Consider preparing a ‘we are open for

dining areas, which in turn will allow you

business’ campaign. It is essential to

to understand your capacity/occupancy

stay close to your guests, maintaining a

constraints. Following publication of Safe

continuous and positive relationship that

Tourism guidelines it is likely you will

instills confidence and assurance.

need to consider reception areas; how

Note: In draft, police mentioned that permission to guesthouses to reopen will be given by their respective council and without fee. With announcements in the Maldives this week of proposed Guidelines To Commence Safe Tourism in the Maldives and the easement of restrictions once the current lockdown directive ends on the 28th May, many tourism businesses will be looking ahead to taking their first cautious steps towards reopening, the big question for many guest house owners is how? It goes without saying that the final guidelines

for

Safe

Tourism

when

published will play a large part of both your timeline and strategic plan. Ensure you are clear on what the final expectations are when they are published and do not be afraid to ask for clarity if you are unsure. It’s important both for your business’s reputation and for the Maldives that the safety of your staff and your guests is exact from the start. In the meantime however there are aspects of your strategic plan that you can be working on if you have not already started doing so.

1. Review your reviews Take time to read all reviews on your property from the last six months. Check all review platforms where you are listed

and where guests will check in/out, how

7. Team Preparation

payment is taken for example.

Take time to communicate and train your team no matter what size your team is.

and note the areas of improvement that

5. Marketing

previous guests have highlighted. Post

Use

wisely.

understand your pre opening plan and the

COVID-19 operation provides you the

Understand which markets will be able to

part they play in delivering it. Once you

opportunity to start afresh and allows

travel and focus on these. This may mean

have guests in house your team will play

you to put actions or processes into place

changing your current advertising and

a hugely important role. Their actions

to ensure every review is 5* .

communication targeting. If you are not

and behaviors, how they demonstrate

already connected with MMPRC yet then

the required health and safety and

this maybe the time to do so.

cleanliness guidelines will be the reason

2. Maintenance and renovations

your

Every member of your team needs to

marketing

budget

that you receive further bookings. If they

There has never been a better time to ensure that your property is in the best

Review your marketing material, are

are not trained effectively on processes

condition to open its doors to guests.

your fact sheets up to date, have you

and procedures they will not be able to

Take time to walk through your property

planned your rates for 2020-2021? Have

deliver the service level guests are now

and view it through the eyes of a guest.

you reviewed your booking terms and

looking for.

Start outside at the entrance, walk the

conditions as well as your cancellation

perimeter and then walk through every

policy? Remember now is the time to

8. We are in this together

part of your property. Check every area,

offer

publishing

This is also a time of opportunity for the

those that are guest facing and those

rates through to the end of 2021 as many

guesthouse community and associated

areas that are not. Enter every room,

travelers may choose to travel later.

businesses on each local island. It’s the

open every door, cupboard, window.

Check your website, is it up to date? Is

time to build strong relationships by

Check every tap, shower, toilet. Review

your image gallery inspiring and current?

working together and not in competition

every plug socket, light switch. Are they

Likewise review all OTA platforms in the

during the recovery process.

working and in good condition? Check

same manner. Have you been in contact

for areas that may need painting or

with your key local and international

Creating a reopening strategic plan will

decoration. These details as owners you

agents? Have you shared all relevant

take time and consideration. However

may not normally see but are noted by

information with them in order that they

it is time well spent as a clear plan will

guests.

can market and promote your property

reassure guests, allowing them to enjoy

with confidence?

the experience you offer. Your team will

3. Cleaning

flexibility.

Consider

be happy knowing that their employer and

Once all maintenance and renovation has

6. Communication

been completed perform a deep clean

Hopefully you have continued to keep

in turn will lead to a positive customer

even if this was performed as part of your

in touch with your guests through social

experience for your guests. Finally, you

close down operation. Work from top to

media and your website. Now will be the

will be supporting your community and

bottom ensuring no corners are missed.

time to display the preparations you are

rebuilding your local economy.

Pull out furniture, clean inside cupboards

making in order to welcome them back,

and drawers. Follow HPA and WHO

building up to your final plans in regard to

cleaning guidelines, everything must

health and safety and social distancing.

place of work cares about them, which


TOURISM MARKETER’S SECTION 53

WATER SPORTS BUSINESSES - HOW TO GET BACK IN THE WATER

purchase in the beginning. So plan in

Whilst I believe that health and safety in

advance to make sure you won’t run out

our new world is a shared responsibility,

of it.

it is still important to reassure guests that

BY GUEST WRITER RUTH FRANKLIN

you have policies and processes in place.

3. Team Preparation

This will assist to manage and respond

Train and educate your team on your

to their concerns. As a business you

new protocols so that everyone is on the

may also want to consider insurance and

same page. Their actions and behaviors,

waivers that may assist in protecting your

how they demonstrate the required

business if funds allow.

health

and

safety

and

cleanliness

guidelines is important to the success of

Don’t forget that we are in this together.

your operation. If they are not trained

I would encourage water-sport and

effectively on processes and procedures

excursion providers on local islands to

they will not be able to deliver the service

work together and not in competition.

level guests are now looking for.

Who knows for some small operators,

4. Test it Out Implement your operational changes as

merging businesses together may be the road to a long term successful recovery process.

a team and check that you can provide a safe but fun experience. Review every activity so that you understand that all aspects of the guest experience follow social distancing, cleanliness as well as general safety.

5. Communication Be transparent and inform guests about what you are doing and about anything that in the future they should expect to What will be the guest capacity

do for themselves. Prepare public notices

towards recovery with the launch of phase

for each activity to ensure social

highlighting the new ‘rules’ and ensure

1 easement of lockdown restrictions,

distancing?

they are visible in key areas.

This week the Maldives took another step

which in turn will have created a more

optimistic feeling about the future.

How will you clean/disinfect boats between use?

How will you ensure life jackets

Whilst it may yet be some time before

and rented equipment is cleaned/

local islands see international tourists, I

disinfected between use?

am sure there are many locals who are

looking forward to the moment they can travel once again between islands and

Will guests need to bring their own equipment?

Will you be able to provide tandem

enjoy a weekend away from their city

activities if this is something you have

homes or indeed visit family and friends.

offered previously? •

With this in mind it is time for water sport and excursion providers to start considering what steps they need to take to be able to open for business. The

How will you provide the equipment to guests?

Will the wearing of masks and/or gloves be compulsory?

domestic market will be the first to want

2. Equipment

to use their services, I know for sure I do!

Now is the time to ensure all your equipment is in good working order. Is

1. Health & Safety

it safe to use? Is it in good condition?

It goes without saying that the final

Is it stored correctly? Is it stored in

guidelines

when

an environment where it will remain

published will need to be reviewed to

disinfected once the cleaning process

ensure all requirements are met. However,

is completed? Does it comply with any

in the meantime start to consider and

necessary safety guidelines issued by

develop health and safety protocols for

the manufacturer or associated activity

your team and your guests that are specific

governing body or associations?

for

Safe

Tourism

to the activities you offer. This will assist in keeping everything and under control.

Will you be required to have any

These protocols may include but are not

mandatory health and safety equipment

limited to the following:

available? This might not be easy to

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ruth Franklin is the Co-Founder of local tour company Secret Paradise. Secret Paradise has provided local island experiences since 2012. They annually audit their partner accommodation properties and are currently finalizing a program to support their guesthouse partners in being ready for business.


54 TOURISM MARKETER’S SECTION

FOREIGN LANGUAGES NEEDED TO STAY AHEAD IN TOURISM, ACCORDING TO EXPERTS heavily

Muaviyath Umar, Executive Director of

Director of Training, Development and

don’t

dependent on welcoming people from

Villa Hotels & Resorts further added that

Quality Assurance of Lux* Resorts and

markets due to their stable economies.

around the globe, it is important for the

without the Chinese market, it would

Hotel seconded this. He highlighted that

Though UK is strong too, English being

people in the industry to be trained in

be hard to keep consistent occupancy

in the last three years Italy as a traditional

a language spoken by everyone, German

the language the holidaymakers speak.

percentage in the industry (especially the

market has given Maldives good strength

could probably be the most likely market

In a property such as hotel or resort,

market distribution spreads among all

and value plus they were consistent and

which will last, in his opinion. “Also when

the

categories of properties including guest

good spenders too. So he is certain that

German is taken as a language, you are

house etc).

Italians will be one of the markets which

covering three major countries in Europe

will bounce back quickly post COVID-19.

(Germany, Austria and Switzerland),” he

Maldives,

being

industry

a

country

professionals

must

be

comfortable with the language they use to interact with the travelers.

“One market which is very resistant to

usually

hit

German

speaking

added.

So to have a better understanding of

the language and preference percentage

German

what language is most important to the

is higher to acknowledge their own

Shuhan Ahmed, General Manager at

Director of Sales and Marketing at the

destination, we asked around some

language. Furthermore, comparison to

Milaidhoo Island Maldives believes that

newly renovated Maafushivaru, Rizma

industry experts.

most of the markets reasonable effort

German market has been the most stable

Waleed agreed to this as well. She

needs to be put in convincing and they

market for Maldives and the recessions

however highlighted that UK, Austria

Chinese Looking at the top 10 markets to Maldives,

always seek for more information,” he said.

China leads. A senior professional in one of Maldives leading resort explained that

Ibrahim Mirnan Maniu, Cluster Assistant

China is the “new future” (once again). He

Sales Manager at Crossroads Maldives

explained that China will continue to be

said, “Chinese because biggest market

the largest source market (as a country)

and even if India surpasses it doesn’t

but we need to overcome the massive

matter, most Indians speak English.”

language barrier.

Italian

Director of Human Resources at Symphony

Italy is the biggest European market

Maldives, Isha Waleed, President of

to Maldives tourism. So it should be

Guesthouses of Maldives Moosa Nasih,

the sought out language from Europe,

Director of Sales at Intercontinental

according to Mauroof Ahmed, Business

Maldives Ibrahim Inad and another travel

Development

industry marketer agreed to this as well.

Collection. Afeef Hussain, the Regional

Manager

at

Coco


TOURISM MARKETER’S SECTION 55 and Switzerland is equally important and

Baglioni Hotels & Resorts further added

should be Russian language. He further

followed by Russian, Italian and German.

settled with languages from Europe as it

that we are slowly conquering the Russian

recommended Spanish.

However, it was difficult for all resorts to

is the most important market by region.

market and we need to learn the language

agree on one specific language as a must

to be able to better serve them. Another

Director of Sales & Marketing at Crown

have. The importance of which language

experienced sales personnel pointed

& Champa Resorts, Ahmed Shaheen

differ from one resort to another. Other

Russian is one of the global language

out that we don’t have Russian GRO at

suggested either Chinese, Italy or French

languages suggested by the respondents

which covers huge territory, even outside

Maldivian resorts whose sole purpose for

because guest feels comfortable to travel

include Hindhi, Spanish and Arab.

Europe. On top of this their spending

being hired is as interpreters.

where there are people speaking their

Russian

power on leisure is above average and

language, serving it as a good selling

Working in hospitality industry, any one

point.

language from these can give your CV the

they love to travel around the year,

The Director of Sales at the much-

according to Hassan Zahir, Director of

anticipated

Sales at Velaa Private Island. Hussain

Islands, Nasrulla Adam also agreed that

Majority believes Chinese should be

Hameed, Human Resources Director at

Russia is an important market and it

the go-to language in the industry,

Patina

Maldives,

Fari

cutting edge and help you in taking your career to the next level.

LEARNING MARKET TRENDS IN HOSPITALITY AGAINST COVID-19 IN MALDIVES BY VARUN DEWAN 48.86% by the 1st of June. This number jumps to 91%, beginning of July. This

Maldives Market Rate Trends In the other image, you can also see that

increases further to 93.18% by the 12th

the prices have been changed downward

of July. These price trends are fluid and

between 0 to 20%. These indicate that

a combination of the current restrictions

the market’s ability to pay will take a

clubbed with an optimistic outlook a few

serious beating and that has already been

months into the future and will have to

factored in the pricing. Discounting is not

be tracked closely. The reason for that

the best strategy and is a quick race to

is simple, the lockdowns will be followed

the bottom so you must factor them but

either by cautious optimism or revenge

not necessarily discount to the same

vacations and in both cases, the market

degree. your rate positioning will test you

needs to indicate the world is back to

and every decision to lowering prices in

normal. After having stayed at home,

the market will tempt you to follow but

people will spend more time researching

that does not lead to profitability and as a

the offers and options and you have a

revenue manager you already knew that.

Hotels’ pricing is a widely used measure

On room availability on third party

beautiful opportunity to change your

to measure a market’s demand and

websites, we noticed that the increase in

packages to suit that segment.

prevailing supply situation and which one

supply coincides with month ends. This

is weighing in.

looks like a decision that lacks the resolve and has been applied in the absence of

Taking this in the context of the hospitality

a definitive direction. As per this report,

business in the Maldives, our research

collated by OTA Insight, the end of April

examines the prevailing rates trends

saw a room availability jump from 22.73%

and hotel availability across this popular

to 42.05% with nominal fluctuations

beach and luxury holiday destination.

during the course of the month leading to

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Varun Dewan is the Founder & Commercial Director of ProfitableRooms. He has been working with hotels/resorts in revenue management and to increase profitability


56 TTM HIGHLIGHTS

TTM HIGHLIGHTS OF 2019


TTM HIGHLIGHTS 57


L E A D I N G T R AV E L T R A D E B U S I N E SS R E S O U R C E OF MALDIVES

TTM MALDIVES

TTM TRAVEL SUMMIT

TTM AWARDS & GALA

TTM+

BEST OF MALDIVES

TTM ONLINE

TTM PERIODICAL

T R A V E L T R A D E M A L D I V E S . C O M

Profile for Orca Media Group

TTM Periodical | Issue 008 | July 2020  

International Travel Trade Periodical of Maldives

TTM Periodical | Issue 008 | July 2020  

International Travel Trade Periodical of Maldives

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