Former Miss South Africa is Enjoying The Best Holiday Maldives

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Former Miss South Africa Melinda Bam and her hubby Adriaan Berg (who is a former Mr South Africa) are living their best life in the Maldives.

The couple are celebrating Adriaan's 30th birthday and decided to spoil themselves with a beach vaycay. And guys, it looks lit. We'll just be out hunting for someone to hug to keep us warm on these winter nights while watching these two catching a tan.

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International Tourism Film Festival Maldives to return to Sun Siyam Iru Fushi

The second edition of International Tourism Film Festival Maldives is to be hosted by Sun Siyam Resorts, with the event set to take place from November 16th-18th this year at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives.

The concept behind the event is to gather talents of different ages, interests and backgrounds at one place.

With the success of the first edition, Sun Siyam Resorts hopes to have a much grand event this year, with international celebrities and media.

This year’s festival, extended over three days, will be filled with special events which are impeccable in its entertaining and educating aspects.

It is a platform for innovative work from both professionals and amateurs - in other words the perfect ground for networking.

“An occasion such as this will unite all those with a deep love for art and tourism,” explained a spokesman for Sun Siyam Resorts.
“We invite film makers and producers of all calibres to submit their content to be featured.
“If you have not already, this is the perfect opportunity to show your creativity and share with the world your perception.”

The deadline to submit all entries is July 21st this year.
Results will be communicated in September 2017.
More InformationThe International Tourism Film Festival Maldives brings together professionals, celebrities and guests from across the globe to share their passion for traveling and seeing the beauty of it, the love for art, tourism and sports.
Festival entries include movies about interesting and unique places all over the world, shining a light onto the different cultures and histories of countries and their events.
Films last from one to 13 minutes.
With contributions and sponsorship from major stakeholders in the industry, the first event last year was a great success.
Sun Siyam Iru Fushi MaldivesThe event takes place at the multi-award winning property of Sun Siyam group, The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives, which is the flagship property within the group.
Located in the unspoiled Noonu Atoll and set within 52 acres of white sands and exotic flora, here guests are immersed in a timeless culture.
From the intuitive detail and personalised service that creates the most beautiful moments, to the sublime ambience that permeates each unforgettable taste, touch and experience.
Since its brand launch in 2014 as The Sun Siyam, it has gained international recognition across the globe.
The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives makes it the perfect venue to host the International Tourism Film Festival Maldives.

Source: breakingtravelnews

New sales director for Dusit Thani Maldives

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Dusit Thani Maldives, a luxury resort on Mudhdhoo Island, has appointed Niclas Prokop as its new director of sales and marketing. Prokop, a German national, joins the property from his most recent role as chief commercial officer at Azulik Hotel & Maya Spa, Mexico.

He brings with him over 24 years of experience working for international tour operators such as Thomas Cook and Dertour, in addition to a number of hotel chains in the Maldives - Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, Ayada and Kanuhura. Prokop possesses great leadership skills, a passion for excellence, and a talent for developing high performing teams that deliver excellent business results.

In his new role, he will be responsible for fostering relationships with key partners, driving revenue and accomplishing sales and marketing goals. “We warmly welcome Niclas to our growing Dusit family,” said general manager of Dusit Thani Maldives Resort, Reinhold Johann. “With his breadth of experience in the region and strong capabilities, we are confident that Niclas will excel in his new position.”

Source: tradearabia

TTM Hotelier Summit Maldives 2017 - Vision for the Future of Tourism

Loading Maldives Offers.... As a major component of Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) that connects the travel trade community of Maldives, the first ever Hotelier Summit of Maldives will be hosted on the 12th of July from 9am to 1pm at Dharubaaruge. The summit is aimed to act as a platform where by stakeholders of the industry would meet in one place to discuss the future of Tourism in the Maldives.

The summit offers a solution-oriented platform that facilitates face to face meetings, networking activities, and information exchange amongst the most elite assemblage of hotel owners and general managers. A total of panels are scheduled to take place at the summit in which more than 80 general managers from resorts and hotels of Maldives is set to take part. Various topics are set to be discussed that a significant to the Maldivian tourism industry.

Notable attendees include Head of Ministries, Travel Weekly, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Representatives from Expedia, Trip Advisor, IITM, Air Asia and American Express. World tourism is seeing an ever increasing growth, while the Maldives government has plans to develop over 50 resorts before the end of 2018. Major focus of the summit is to address such matters and discuss ways in which demand would meet the ever growing supply planned for the tourism industry of the country while looking at the future.

Saturdays Singer Frankie Bridge heads to the Maldives for Honeymoon

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I didn’t know I wanted to dine underwater until I saw a photograph of ‘5.8’ - the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant. There are now more than 100 different island resorts in the Maldives - that’s a lot of luxury - so any newcomer has to offer something extra special. The Hurawalhi Island Resort, which opened last year, has plumbed the depths to make its mark: the restaurant gets its name from the fact it is 5.8 metres - about 20ft - under the sea. Actually the trip was more than just a holiday, it was a sort of delayed honeymoon - we were married last July.

 I’ve never been anywhere where the sea is that clear and the sand is that white. Getting to the resort from Male airport was an adventure in itself as you fly the 40-minute hop on a seaplane. We had an over-water villa which offered a grandstand view of the ocean. I loved looking at the fish, but swimming with them? Not for me! Fortunately we also had our own pool which I was more at home in. Wayne, however, was in his element in the sea.

 One of his highlights was swimming with manta rays, which were massive. Small nurse sharks with black fins came into the water near our villa and I loved seeing those… from a distance! One of my highlights was going out on a boat to see dolphins. We were warned we might not see any - but they came up and started jumping all around the boat. There was a real effort to provide good, healthy meals - mainly Pan-Asian cuisine.

 There was a choice of restaurants but we usually ended up at the buffet. The exception, of course, was the six-course dinner in that fabulous underwater restaurant - although it was strange to be eating fish at the same time as you were looking out at fish swimming around the restaurant. In the evenings there was always some sort of entertainment and the guests wanted me to sing at an open-mic night, but I politely declined.

 I was there to rest, not sing Saturdays songs! The Maldives is now one of my favourite places: up there with Antigua. But what made Hurawalhi so special were the lovely and helpful staff.

Shangri-La Announces Another Maldives-Sri Lanka Holiday Package

Loading Maldives Offers.... Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has announced another exciting combined holiday package for Maldives and Sri Lanka, offering guests the chance to experience once-in-a-lifetime wildlife safaris by both land and sea.

Shangri-La said the ‘Finding Shangri-La: Indian Ocean Island-Hopping Offer’ allows guests to enjoy “an unforgettable twin-centre trip” between Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa in the Maldives and Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa in Sri Lanka.

The package, which is valid across all villa categories until December 17, offers guests staying a minimum of seven nights at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa to receive a three-night complimentary stay at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa. Guests staying a minimum of four nights at the resort in Maldives will receive a one-night complimentary stay at the resort in Sri Lanka.

“Adventure travellers can now embark upon an effortless journey across the Indian Ocean to uncover the region’s most enchanting flora and fauna; from the elusive Sri Lankan leopard to the Maldivian eagle ray, combined with Shangri-La’s unparalleled hospitality, offering memorable bespoke experiences,” the Hong Kong-based hospitality group said in a statement.

Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa, which opened in June 2016 on the island’s ancient Spice Route, boasts fantastic proximity to some of the Sri Lanka’s finest nature and wildlife reserves, in particular Yala, Bundala, and Udawalawe National Parks. Guests can also spot wildlife that inhabit the area surrounding the resort, with parading peacocks and wandering elephants offering a majestic welcome.

Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa. PHOTO/ SHANGRI-LA
Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa is located in the southernmost Maldivian atoll of Addu, just a five-minute boat ride away from Gan International Airport. The resort is a collection of 132 private villas nestled across emerald green jungle and stunning turquoise shoreline.

This latest offer will be complemented by another two-destination holiday package announced by Shangri-La late last month. At the Arabian Travel Market, which was held in Dubai from April 24-27, Shangri-La announced a package which allows guests to combine their stay in its Colombo hotel, which is set to open by the end of this year, with a retreat at its resort in the Maldives.

These efforts are part of Shangri-La’s efforts to capitalise on the recently launched direct flights between Sri Lanka and the southern part of the Maldives.

Neighbouring Sri Lanka’s flagship carrier began scheduled flights to its second destination in the Maldives in December, becoming the only airline to operate scheduled international flights to a destination other than the main Velana International Airport.

SriLankan Airlines currently operates four weekly flights to Gan International Airport from Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. The airline has recently announced plans to add two more flights to its Colombo-Gan route starting September 17.

As Shangri-La seeks to take advantage of the recently launched direct flights to Addu, an additional international airline is set to begin scheduled flights to the Gan International Airport next March.

Best International Island Destination - Maldives at Outlook Traveller Award

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Maldives wins ‘Best International Island Destination’ at Outlook Traveller Award 2017. In an event held in New Delhi, India.

The Annual Outlook Traveller Awards is currently in its 10th Edition. The awards facilitates the best in the travel industry, with 28 categories, the awards take a 360⁰ view of the tourism sector and the way it has been growing in the last year. This year the awards  were divided into three categories—15 Jury awards, two Editor’s Choice awards and 11 Readers’ Choice awards.

Since its inception in June 2001, Outlook Traveller has catered to the needs of the growing number of travellers. A pioneer in many ways, the magazine has steadily over the last 16 years published many articles on the hidden gems of India, thereby contributing to the tourist flow. As an organisation, Outlook Traveller believes in partnering with society to bring about awareness and aid in disciplined changes for the welfare of all.

Travel and Tourism sector of India ranks 7th in the world in terms of the total contribution to the country’s GDP. Indian outbound market has been one of the fastest growing market in the recent years, from 13 million in 2010 to 19.4 million in 2015. This is expected to grow further with 32.3 million outbound trips in 2020 making India the fastest growing market in the world. Maldives is among the top choices for Indian travellers resulting in a growth of 27.9% at the end of 2016.

Strong Growth Forecast for ‘Resilient’ Tourism Industry- Maldives Central Bank

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Maldives central bank has posted a strong growth forecast for the country’s tourism industry as it hailed the resilience of the industry observed last year.

In its annual report for 2016 released Tuesday, Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) said the strong growth observed in the tourism sector during the latter part of last year is expected to continue this year. The strong growth is attributed mainly to the increased number of tourists from the European market, which reflects better growth prospects for the region, it added.

Mirroring the positive outlook for the sector, MMA projected bed nights growth to be at five percent in 2017.

“These projections may be even higher if the remarkable performance seen in the tourism sector at the turn of the year continues,” the report read.

Recovery in second half of 2016

Maldives marked 2016 as ‘Visit Maldives Year’ in an effort to reach a target of 1.5 million tourists entering the country during the year. Several tourism promotion activities were carried out in Asia and Europe, and many competitions and events were also held within the Maldives to boost tourist arrivals. While the campaign was successful in attracting 1.3 million tourists — four percent more than the previous year — it fell short of reaching the 1.5 million target.

According to MMA, the trend in tourist arrivals to the Maldives during 2016 showed that arrivals picked up strongly in the second half of the year. This increase was underpinned by improving economic conditions in European countries, coupled with a rise in flight movements by international carriers over the period, the authority said adding that the strong growth in arrivals from the European markets more than offset the decline in arrivals from the Chinese market.

MMA noted that other key indicators such as bed nights growth also followed a similar trend, gaining momentum towards the latter part of the year and recording an overall growth of three percent for the year. Reflecting this, the average duration of stay, which has been on a downward trend, fell only slightly to 5.6 days in 2016 from 5.7 days in 2015, contributing to a six percent growth in estimated tourism receipts, it said.

The tourism sector witnessed a major expansion in terms of the number of resorts and bed capacity in 2016, the authority stressed. With the opening of 11 new resorts, the total number of resorts in the country increased to 126 at the end of the year, while the number of registered guesthouses, hotels and safari vessels reached 382, 16 and 144, respectively. With regard to bed capacity, the average operational bed capacity of the industry7 stood at 29,457 beds.

Tourist demographics: Europe regains market share

As for the market share of tourists, Europe accounted for 45 percent of total tourist arrivals, while Asia accounted for 46 percent. Reflecting the improving economic conditions in the European markets, market share for Europe increased; this was a reversal of the downward trend of previous years. However, the market share of Asia — the market leader since 2014 — dipped from the 49 percent in 2015 to 46 percent in 2016.

Arrivals from the European market grew significantly at seven percent during 2016 after recording a marginal growth rate of one percent in 2015. This was mainly supported by growth in arrivals from the UK, despite a marked depreciation in the pound sterling. On the other hand, Germany, the second largest market from the region registered a marginal growth owing to political tensions in their country. Other key markets such as Italy registered a remarkable positive growth, whereas growth in tourists from France dropped significantly during the year. Arrivals from Spain also registered a sizeable growth compared with previous years. In addition, arrivals from smaller source markets in Eastern, Central and East Mediterranean Europe also improved.

“This can be attributed to an increase in flight movements to these regions during the year,” the report read.

MMA noted that arrivals from Russia — the fourth largest European market — also showed a strong positive growth after recording two consecutive years of negative growth. This reflected the easing of the recent economic recession that was prevalent in the country, it said.

Total arrivals from the Asia and Pacific region registered a marginal decline in 2016 after posting a positive growth during the previous year. Growth was largely hampered by the 10 percent decline in Chinese arrivals.

However, other key markets from the Asian region — such as India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia — showed pronounced growth on the back of increased flight movements. Some operators introduced flights to new destinations in 2016, including new flights to New Delhi and Colombo, contributing to more arrivals from both India and Sri Lanka.

MMA attributed the increase in arrivals from Malaysia to the growth in flight movements of a regional low-cost carrier from South East Asia during the year.

Arrivals from the Middle East also posted a strong growth rate, owing to an increase in arrivals from Saudi Arabia. This may be due to a new the commencement of Saudi Arabia’s flagship carrier Saudia between Riyadh and the Maldives, according to MMA.

Arrivals from the Americas, which have doubled in the past five years, also increased due to considerable growth in arrivals from the US.

Similar trends in 2017?

Despite the strong growth forecast by the central bank, Maldives has experienced another slowdown in tourist arrivals in the first quarter of the year. January saw a significant increase in arrivals, but growth has slowed down since then with a 2.1 percent drop in arrivals in March.

Europe, the largest regional source market which has been recovering for the past couple of months after a year of falling growth, also posted a drop of three percent in March with important European markets such as the United Kingdom declining by nine percent.

Middle East, one of the most important emerging source markets, also observed a decline of 8.3 percent in March with arrivals from Saudi Arabia dropping by 31 percent.

Leading global market research and analysis firm STR has also said that the Maldives tourism industry observed a moderate performance in the first quarter of the year.

A report analysing Asia Pacific hotel industry performance shows that occupancy fell by one percent to 69 percent in the Maldives during the first quarter. Average Daily Rate (ADR), however, increased by 2.3 percent to MVR13,044.63 (USD846.5) and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) was up 1.3 percent to reach MVR9,000.17 (USD584).

RevPAR growth was moderate in the Maldives throughout the quarter despite a 10.3 percent increase in January, which was due to a 32 percent rise in arrivals from China during the Spring Festival Golden Week holiday. RevPAR growth for the quarter, however, became muted with declines in both February (-3.8 percent) and March (-4.2 percent).

Over the past three years, dozens of uninhabited islands have been leased to local and foreign resort developers. Several international brands have entered into the market, increasing the number of resorts to 120. That number is set to increase as the government has announced the opening of some 20 new resorts by the end of this year.

Along with the new resort openings come the challenge of increasing demand from budget travellers who choose guesthouses over luxury resorts that the Maldives is known for. The guesthouse sector has rapidly expanded with over 300 guesthouses in operation today.

Government has come under fire from private organisations representing industry stakeholders such as the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) over the lack of effort and budget to promote the Maldives as a destination.

The government has recently announced new steps to maintain a structured growth in tourism, including a slowdown in leasing islands for resort development and increased marketing efforts in key markets such as China and the Middle East in order to reach an ambitious target of a record 1.5 million tourist arrivals this year.

Maldives Newest Holiday Escape Reethi Faru Set to Open Late 2017

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Reethi Faru, a new holiday escape in the Indian Ocean, is set to open in the last quarter of the year.

The four-star plus resort being developed on the remote island of Filaidhoo in the northern Raa Atoll can be reached by a scenic 45-minute seaplane flight from the main Velana International Airport or a 20-minute domestic flight to Dharavandhoo domestic airport followed by a 30-minute speedboat ride.

The island, which measures 600 by 350 metres, will have 150 well-furnished, homely and spacious detached and semi-detached villas built in traditional style and that blend perfectly into the natural beauty of the environment. The unique setting – amid tropical foliage, fringing a long expanse of powder soft beach or on stilts over the clear blue lagoon – will make every guest wish to stay on and on.

Reethi Faru, Dhivehi for Beautiful Reef, will have numerous restaurants to cater for everybody’s taste while its bars, poolside and beachfront, will invite guests to linger.

The resort, which has a stunning white sand beach, a house reef just 30 to 80 meters from shore, coconut groves and lush vegetation, will also offer a wide range of recreational facilities, including diving, water sports, tennis, squash, badminton, a gym, an aerobic room as well as a spa to pamper your body and soul.

Reethi Faru is being developed by Mahogany Pvt Ltd, the company that owns and runs the eco-friendly, four-star Reethi Beach island resort in the UNESCO biosphere reserve of Baa Atoll.