Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/Visit Maldives) welcomed the first direct flight from Hong Kong to the Maldives since 2020. Today, a special ceremony was held at Velana International Airport to mark the joyous occasion, commemorating the arrival of Hong Kong Airlines flight HX791 from Hong Kong International Airport, carrying tourists from this market to the Maldives. The tourists were greeted with the traditional BoduBeru; a vibrant cultural performance, and presented with a special gift pack, including flowers. This celebration marks the return of tourists from Hong Kong Airlines to the Maldives, a significant event since the onset of the global pandemic. Dignitaries attended to the event includes, Ambassador from People’s Republic of China to the Maldives, H.E Ambassador Ms. Wang Lixin, representatives from The Ministry of Tourism, Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), Maldives Immigration, Maldives Customs Service, along with government-related enterprises & tourism associations in the Maldives.
China has long stood as one of the most significant markets to the Maldives tourism industry. The resumption of direct flights from China to the Maldives on January 18, 2023, marked the end of a 3- year hiatus caused by border closure due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to 2020, the Chinese market consistently topped the arrival charts to the Maldives. In the preceding year, Maldives welcomed over 187,118 tourists from China, firmly securing its position as one of the top three source markets for the Maldives. Since the reopening of borders, there has been a steady rise in arrival numbers. Hong Kong remains an important market within this region. The establishment of direct connectivity from Hong Kong is anticipated to contribute to the continued growth in the number of arrivals.
MMPRC consistently promotes the Maldives as the top destination in the Chinese market through strategic marketing activities. In 2023, MMPRC conducted successful joint online promotions and familiarization trips. Notably, Maldives achieved its highest-ever tourist arrivals last year, surpassing 1.8 million tourists. Furthermore, the Maldives secured the prestigious title of ‘World’s Leading Destination’ for the fourth consecutive year at the 2023 World Travel Awards. MMPRC was honoured as the ‘World’s Leading Tourist Board’ for the second consecutive year. Adding to these accolades, the Maldives received the newly-introduced Global Tourism Resilience Award for its capacity to recover swiftly and thrive after disruptions. These victories signify a remarkable triumph for the Maldives’ tourism sector, underscoring our destinations’ outstanding position in the global tourism landscape and the enduring appeal of the Sunny Side of Life to travelers worldwide.
MMPRC has a host of exciting activities lined up for the Chinese market this year, encompassing an e-learning campaign, digital promotions on leading Chinese apps, outdoor marketing initiatives, joint promotional campaigns, familiarization trips, social media campaigns, and active participation in fairs and exhibitions. The resumption of flights and targeted marketing activities in the Chinese market are poised to generate positive outcomes for the Maldives tourism industry, solidifying the Maldives as the most preferred destination in the minds of Chinese travelers.