High Commission of India in Maldives in collaboration with Ministry of Tourism and Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has held the India-Maldives tourism roundtable meeting; ‘Connect to Travel’. The event was held at Hotel Jen.
Top travel agencies, tour operators and travel writers as well representatives from OTM Mumbai took part in the meeting – alongside stakeholders from the Maldivian tourism industry. The delegates from India who are taking part in the event will be traveling to local islands to further enhance India-Maldives tourism connections – following its conclusion.
Tourism Minister Abdulla Mausoom, Indian High Commissioner to Maldives Sunjay Sudir, MMPRC’s Managing Director Thoyyib Mohamed, OTM Mumbai’s CEO, Chairman Sanjeev Agarwal and IndiGo’s Vice President Ishan Muneer spoke at the event as keynote speakers.
The main purpose of the delegation from India is to further enhance the connection between India and Maldives in the tourism segments; luxury, MICE, guesthouse and film production. OTM Mumbai’s online platform is the largest used by travel trade buyers and professionals in India. The travel partners for the Indian delegation for this event are IndiGo airlines and Manta Air.
Out of the budget airlines currently in operation across the world – IndiGo is one that is flouring at a speedy rate. IndiGo operates 35 flights per week from six Indian cities to the Maldives – taking place as the biggest airline which connects India with Maldives.
India which was the fifth top tourist market to the Maldives three years ago – is now the first. One tourist from every four arriving in the Maldives – is an Indian. Over 200,000 Indian tourists have visited the Maldives within the first nine months of this year – an amount higher than the whole of 2019.
A total of 60 flights are operated between India and Maldives at present – from the five airlines; Air India, Go First, SpiceJet, Vistara and Maldivian. Maldivian operates flights to seven Indian destinations from Male’ City. Moreover, Maldivian and FlyMe are expected to operate flights to India from Maamgili Airport in the near future.
Subsequent to the air bubble agreement made between India and Maldives in August – the spike in the arrival of Indian tourists to the Maldives has assisted greatly in the recovery of the Maldives’ economy. Moreover, when Maldives’ became a transit destination for Indian travelers traveling to a third destination – the guesthouses which were the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic had managed to refloat themselves.
The roundtable meeting and the visit from the Indian delegation to islands in the Maldives will assist in enhancing tourism connections between India Maldives. Increase in the number of tourist arrivals from India is expected to further assist the recovery of Maldives’ economy as well as strengthen the close ties maintained between the countries.