Maldives targets two million tourists, USD3.5 bln by 2020

MMPRC and Maldives Getaways sign agreement to host Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) fair to lure 2 billion tourists and USD 3.5 billion to the Maldives by 2020. PHOTO/MMPRC

MMPRC and Maldives Getaways sign agreement to host Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) fair to lure 2 billion tourists and USD 3.5 billion to the Maldives by 2020. PHOTO/MMPRC

Maldives announced plans to host a major annual tourism fair over the next four years to bring in 2 million tourists and hike revenue up to USD 3.5 billion.

Local public relations company Maldives Getaways, the organiser of Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) signed on Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) late Thursday to host the fair.

In a statement, MMPRC said TTM will connect the Maldives’ tourism industry with international agents. The annual fair is designed to lure 2 million tourists to the archipelago by 2020 and increase industry revenue up to USD 3.5 billion.

The first TTM show is to be held next year July with a variety of activities including stalls to promote resorts and agents, speeches by local and international veterans, photo and artwork exhibition, and business meetings. The two-day fair to be held in Dharubaaruge convention centre in capital Male will be concluded with a grand ending ceremony including a banquet and entertainment.

According to MMPRC, participants in the first TTM include 150 local and international travel agents, top executives of 100 resorts and hotels, 50 reporters and public relations firms.

While TTM is currently in the works, the Maldives had hosted its first travel and tourism fair this year with “Vacations Expo”, which was held August 4 to 6 at the National Art Gallery with 35 entities of the tourism sector participating.

Additionally, Maldives Getaways had also organised the first guesthouse conference of the Maldives which was held previous week Saturday, with over 160 guesthouse leaders in attendance.

While the Maldives plans to lure 2 million tourists over the next four years, tourism has recently fallen into a lull. The government had recently abandoned the previous projection that this year will bring 1.5 million visitors to the Maldives, revising the number to 1.4 million instead.

Official statistics show that tourism, the largest industry of the archipelago, accounts for 40 percent of the Maldives’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP). While the industry brings in 60 percent of foreign currency to the nation, it also accounts for nearly 90 percent of tax revenue via industry related duties such as land lease, Green Tax and TGST (Tourism Goods and Services Tax).

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