The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has unveiled a series of strategic tourism promotion activities, specifically tailored to enhance the Maldives’ appeal as a premier tourism destination in the Chinese market. This initiative is part of the government’s recent announcement of a publicity campaign, the primary objective of which is to reinstate China as the leading source of tourist arrivals to the Maldives.

In a concerted effort to achieve this goal, the MMPRC has announced its intention to represent the Maldives at the ITB China 2024 fair, a preeminent B2B-exclusive trade show that caters to the Chinese travel market. The event is slated to transpire from 27 to 29 May at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre, Shanghai.

In anticipation of this event, the MMPRC has initiated a call for expressions of interest from travel companies and tourism sector stakeholders. This preliminary step is designed to gauge the overall number of companies interested in participating in the event, thereby facilitating the booking of the stand space, the agency said in a statement.

The MMPRC’s overarching aim is to provide a platform for all interested parties to participate in this fair, enabling industry partners to promote their products and experiences. This opportunity is extended to Maldives-based tour operators, guest houses, resorts, and other stakeholders. Interested parties have until 3 p.m. on 21 January 2024 to express their interest.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, China was recognised as the Maldives’ largest tourism market. In an effort to revitalise this relationship, the government is actively seeking to increase the number of tourists visiting the Maldives by 40 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

Ibrahim Faisal, the Minister of Tourism, recently announced that negotiations are underway with several airlines to augment promotions targeting travellers from China to the Maldives. The ultimate aim is to reinstate China as the largest tourism market for the Maldives.

The number of arrivals from China has been steadily increasing, nearing pre-pandemic levels following the reopening of global borders. In 2023, the Maldives welcomed over 172,163 tourists from China, securing its position within the top three source markets for the Maldives.