In the context of Covid-19 severely affecting the tourism sector, the Maldives has launched a comprehensive worldwide marketing campaign to revitalize the country’s key economic sector.
The Maldives – the island country considered as a tourist paradise in South Asia is seriously affected by Covid-19. According to The Maldives Development Update report from The World Bank, tourist arrivals fell 11.1% in February and 63.4% in March year on year. Bed-nights had declined fell 44% in March. On 27th March, the Government of Maldives officially closed the border to international tourism, making tourist arrivals from February to May fall 65% year on year.
After 3 months of closing the border, the Maldives government announced the opening to welcome international tourists on 15th July. At the same time, the national tourism office of the Maldives – Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) launched ‘Rediscover Maldives…the sunny side of life’ campaign to attract international tourists. MMPRC conducted a press conference to announce this campaign that attracts top international media from 21 countries around the world.
The campaign aims to strengthen the market presence to welcome back tourists once again, emphasizes the distinctive isolation of islands here and this will make the Maldives become a safe destination for tourists. MMPRC carried out many marketing and promotion activities under the tagline ‘Rediscover Maldives … the sunny side of life’.
Some marketing activities in the campaign
- Global advertising campaign with CNN
To increase the presence of the Maldives around the world, MMPRC has partnered with CNN in a 3-month global advertising campaign. The goal of this campaign is to showcase the beauty and uniqueness of the islands in the Maldives. Thanks to the wide coverage of CNN weather watch, Maldives images and video reach a large number of global audiences with the ‘5 reasons to Insta love Maldives’ vignette. In addition, the campaign also provides a platform for some of the local personalities and talents to express their passion and narrate their stories about the Maldives.
- Promotion campaign with Skyscanner
The partnership with Skyscanner focuses on Italy, the UK, and Russia – the three main tourist markets of the Maldives. A dedicated page for Visit Maldives has launched on Skyscanner platforms with content about diverse and unique experiences in the Maldives for tourists. In addition, Skyscanner also displayed ads for Maldives destinations on the homepage and in various placements from search results and Skyscanner platforms to maximize the reach to customers. These contents are written in Italian, English and Russian to reach tourists in each market most effectively. The partnership campaign with Skyscanner is expected to reach around 50 million people in the three markets. In the UK, when the Maldives was listed as in safe travel corridors, searches for traveling to the Maldives increased by 282%.
- Outdoor advertising campaign in the UK
In early October, MMPRC launched a 2-month outdoor advertising campaign in prominent and attractive areas such as Westfield London shopping center, Kensington roadside, Liverpool Street Station, Waterloo station, Blackfriars Station, City Thameslink Station, Fenchurch Street Station. Among these, Waterloo Station is a large and bustling metro and railway station in London with the largest indoor digital screen in Europe.
- Promotion campaign in UAE
In UAE, MMPRC has launched a radio advertising campaign with one of the most popular radio channels here – Al Khaleejiya. With the reach of the Al Khaleejiya channel of more than 480,000 UAE listeners, the campaign can inspire tourists in this market to visit the Maldives on a mass scale.
In addition, MMPRC also partnered with Zomato – an extremely popular restaurant aggregator and food delivery start-up in UAE – in ‘Order & Win’ campaign to encourage users to order to get a chance to receive a trip to the Maldives. The popularity of the Zomatio platform could help Maldives campaign generate more than 3.4 million impressions to users in the market.
Besides, MMPRC also strives to promote the image of the Maldives through the BBC Travel Show, the UNITE Indian Ocean & Middle East event, Travel Weekly platform, and a series of other marketing activities in 22 markets around the world such as Korea, Germany, India, France.
MMPRC’s efforts in marketing strategies for the Maldives by various marketing activities, from outdoor advertising, digital marketing, to travel fairs, have helped bring the image of the Maldives as a safe destination for international tourists. Since the reopening of the border, there have been more than 76,000 tourist arrivals to the Maldives by the end of November. In which, Russia is the leading market with over 16,000 arrivals, followed by India with over 9200 arrivals, the UK with over 5,300 arrivals, the US with more than 5200 arrivals, and the UAE with over 4500 arrivals.