Maldives is launching promotions targeting over 100 Australian travel agents, wholesalers, and media companies interested in further developing ties with the unique island-tourism destination.“Australians love to travel for adventure, action, romance and pampering, and the Maldives offers all those attractions in abundance,” the tourism promotion board’s Ismail Shahyr said, “Unfortunately too few Australians know about us, and our task is to ask the Australian travel industry to join us in raising our country’s profile and generating more demand from Australians looking for a great surf, dive, cultural and spa resort experience”.
Made up of more than 1200 tiny islands and atolls dangling like a vivid coral necklace in the northern Indian Ocean south-west of Sri Lanka, the Maldives is going through a mini development boom in the archipelago with 35 new islands being set aside for tourism recently.
“Tourism is now our biggest industry, and the trend is for further very strong growth. A very good indicator of that growth is that while we already have 87 resorts ranging from budget to super luxury there are a further 46 in the pipeline. As well as that, we are seeing strong growth in the number of operators packaging water-based activities like surfing and diving and a growing interest in the sea-based culture of our 1190 islands and 26 natural atolls”.
Australians make up 1.3 per cent of the 600,000-plus visitors to the Maldives each year. At the moment Australians can fly to the Maldives in 12-15 hours with Singapore Airlines, Emirates or Malaysian Airlines. It is the Maldives Tourism Promotion Board’s intention to develop more ties in the Australian market in order to improve accessibility and traffic from the market.