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Maldives is being showcased colorfully at China’s number one business to business platform, the China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market (COTTM) which commenced this morning at the Beijing National Agricultural Exhibition Center.

The destination will be represented at a 102 Sqm Stand at COTTM with 16 participants from 9 companies from 16-18 April 2018. During the three-day exhibition, the Maldivian Ambassador to China, H. E. Mohamed Faisal, will lead the Maldives delegation along with other government officials from the Maldives Embassy based in China and the Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation.

One of the co-exhibitors at the stand

The main focus of the bustling Maldives Stand 315 at Hall 11 is business meetings with travel industry professionals and exploring potential future collaborations to further promote Maldives in China. A number of activities are also being held at the Maldives stand to attract more interest towards the destination and to enhance their visit by experiencing a bit of the Sunny Side of Life. Among the activities, visitors can experience the underwater beauty of the Maldives in a new dimension through virtual reality and have their names hand printed in Dhivehi language to be carried away as an artistic Maldivian calligraphy memento. Furthermore, visitors can also pose for pictures at the beautifully done stand depicting stunning scenes of the Maldivian islands, giving them the opportunity to win surprise goodies by posting the pictures on social media.

Entering its 14th consecutive year, COTTM is widely recognized as the industry’s most important platform and remains the only business-to-business event that focuses solely on the growing outbound tourism market in China. COTTM attracts over 4300 Chinese trade buyers, which is an increase of 18% on the 2016 event and 95% of the 2017 visitors said they would visit COTTM in 2018.

In 2017, the Maldives welcomed 306, 530 visitors from China, which represented 22% of total visitor arrivals to the country during the year. China has maintained its position of the largest single source market to the Maldives for the past 8 years and will continue to play an important role in the Maldives travel industry. Therefore, COTTM is one of the most ideal platforms to display Maldives vacation products to a prime audience.

A visitor meeting with a co-exhibitor at the stand

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Maldives has been awarded Best Travel Destinations on “Travel & Leisure Industry Awards Ceremony & 16th Anniversary Celebration” held in Swissotel Beijing Hong Kong Macau Center on March 23, 2018.

As one of the most authoritative awards of China’s tourism and leisure industry selection, it is an objective and comprehensive selection for the global tourism industry. It has abroad and far-reaching significance and influence in the leisure and tourism industry. In this awards ceremony, diplomatic envoys from the embassies of various countries in China, guests of foreign tourism bureaus, hotels, airline companies, automobile industry, outdoor activity, SPA salon, IT industry, fashion and luxury industry attended the grand ceremony together.

It is a kind of tradition for diplomatic envoys of all countries to attend as guests the awards ceremony of travel & leisure magazine, they are convincingly authoritative and fair. Mr.Mohamed Faisal awarded “The Best Travel Destinations” to Maldives and witnessed the grand ceremony.

Travel & Leisure Industry Awards is not only an annual event of tourism industry but also a festival for diplomatic envoys of all countries to gather together every year and providing a very good exchange platform for everyone to communicate, it is even more of an open forum of travel and leisure industry

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From climbing coconut trees to boduberu drumming, discover your inner explorer

One of the Maldives’ newest boutique resorts, Fushifaru Maldives, located on the far North East border of Faadhippolhu Atoll, more popularly known as Lhaviyani Atoll, made waves with a first-of-its-kind arrival ritual by welcoming all guests to the island with the blowing of the Sangu or Sea Conch (a significant aspect of Maldivian cultural history, the Sangu was traditionally used by village elders to call the community to attention for important announcements), thus marking the first of a collection of indigenous Maldivian experiences available at the resort.

Diversifying the Coconut

For guests looking to channel their inner Robinson Crusoe, learn to climb a Coconut Tree at our Coconut Tree Climbing Masterclass – a solid 99 minutes of laughter-filled bonding with one of the many beautiful coconut trees on the island, all supervised by an experienced member of our recreation team. Learning to scale the smooth, sturdy trunk barefoot or with a piece of strong cloth gives beginners a great sense of accomplishment, not to mention fantastic photos! Climbing trees is a staple skill amongst the islanders to gather coconuts and palm fronds for making everything from twine and baskets to mats and fans and to harvest fruits, leaves and spices that typify traditional Maldivian cuisine. Guests will also get to see the fruits of their labour, taking home their very own island-made mats and baskets.

Coconut carving for coconut water

Guests are also invited to experience other interactive activities, from toddy tapping and milking of coconuts to the making of pure coconut oil. They can also try their hand at weaving traditional Maldivian rope using the coir of dried coconut husks, as well as Cadjan weaving using dried coconut leaves – essentially making the roofs over their villas!

Boduberu Beat

For guests who are more musically inclined, Fushifaru’s Boduberu Beat session gives them a chance to try their hand at playing the boduberu drum made traditionally from the trunk of the coconut tree. This traditional Maldivian instrument bears influence from the music in East and Southwest Africa that was brought to the islands by sailors from the Indian Ocean around the 11th century. Starting first with steady rhythms before gaining tempo and reaching a loud, festive and exhilarating crescendo that is referred to as “vibrating the island”, the session also features dancers who will accompany guests by jumping, swaying and singing along to the music. The interactive, energetic nature of Boduberu Beat makes for a great workout and an immersive Maldivian music experience for all ages.

Maldivian Cooking Class

For gastronomes and those curious about the culinary arts of the local islands, the resort offers a hands-on Maldivian Cooking Class on Maldivian Tuna Curry, Mashuni – a staple Maldivian salad of tuna flakes, chopped onions, tomatoes, chilli and a sprinkle of lime, accompanied by steaming hot Roshi – Maldivian flat bread.

Coconut grating

Fushi Trail and Faru Discovery

A conservationist’s favourite, guests will be guided by the resort’s Resident Explorer to discover and learn about the diverse flora and fauna that make this exquisite little island a wonder both above and below the waterline. This includes spotting the island’s two Resident rabbits! Occasionally, guests may even be treated to a mother turtle laying her eggs right outside a villa. As custodians of conservation, each guest is encouraged to contribute in any small way to saving the planet, all whilst enjoying the wonders of idyllic island life.

Villa Amenities

Designed to amplify the joys of island life at Fushifaru, each guest villa offers servings of Athujehi – spicy fish chips famously made on the neighbouring local island of Hinnavaru, Kaashi – coconut meat often accompanied with dried tuna, Theluli Bambukeyo – breadfruit chips usually served at a housewarming, and Laagulha – Molucca bean which is also used as traditional medicine. Not forgetting our Very Important Kids, children will also receive traditional toys including Madhoshi – red sandalwood seeds usually collected by local island children to play games with, and Boli – cowrie shells that were used as the first form of currency in the Maldives.

Merging quintessential Maldivian design with modern aesthetics in its 49 beach and water villas; Fushifaru Maldives is an ideal escape for adventurers, conservationists and traditionalists.

For reservations and inquiries, kindly email Reservations at reservations@fushifaru.com or visit www.fushifaru.com. Alternatively, follow Fushifaru on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for daily updates.

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Jumeirah Vittaveli inaugurated the first ice rink in the Maldives with a celebrity performance by Russian Olympic Gold medallist Evgeni Plushenko.

Russian Olympic Gold medallist Evgeni Plushenko inaugurating “Ice Ice Maybe”

“I congratulate the entire team here at Jumeirah Vittaveli for having managed to introduce a world-first to the Maldives – an eco-friendly ice skating rink on a tropical island is a true expression of our aim to ‘Wow’ our guests, not just with genuine service from the heart but with innovative additions to our resort that provide extraordinary experiences to the adventurous traveller. An immense thank you also goes to the inimitable Evgeni Plushenko – we are honoured that such a world-class skater and enthralling performer as Evgeni was the first to leave his mark on our rink! I look forward to seeing the many happy faces of children and adults alike when they try out our beachside ice rink while looking out over the ocean.” comments the General Manager of Jumeirah Vittaveli Amit Majumder.

The ice rink was first introduced in a sneak preview event on March 20, 2018, to which local media and resort partners have been invited. Culinary treats included ice-themed snacks such as snow cones and a molecular food station, while entertainment was provided by a live band followed by a breathtaking ‘Art of Poi’ fire dance. Grand finale of the event was Mr Plushenko’s performance on the newly opened ice rink – Evgeni was later joined by his son Aleksandr Plushenko, an ice skating wunderkind of only 5 years old, and his wife Yana Rudkovskaya. The official opening was celebrated on Wednesday, March 21, with in-house guests at Jumeirah Vittaveli.

A performance at the event

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Within the UNESCO BIOSPHERE RESERVE of Baa Atoll in the Republic of the Maldives lies a reef island composed entirely of sediment produced on the surrounding coral “faru” (or reefs), 85% it is thought, by parrotfish, the fish grinding up coral during feeding and, after digesting the edible content, excrete the rest as sand, creating the powder soft, brilliant white sands that encircle the island. (According to a study published in the journal Geology in 2015 after having taken samples and surveys on the reefs around Vakkaru island.)

From that beginning, the exceptional beauty and awe-inspiring location were what drew the owners of this untouched jewel, to select Vakkaru in their quest to fashion an idyllic, sustainable environment of pared-back luxury under the endless emeralds and azures of The Maldives.

VAKKARU MALDIVES has welcomed guests since December 2017 and is a scenic twenty-five minutes north of Male International Airport by seaplane.

Drawing on the rich traditions of the locale, design elements are focused on Maldivian style fused with the finest natural resources in order to preserve the integrity of local architecture with a contemporary style. The result is the creation of amazing spaces for guests to connect with each other and the environment around them.

“It is an extraordinarily stunning island with an impressive house reef and more than 1,400 mature coconut trees left from earlier days when the island was a coconut plantation. I love that we were able integrate the trees within the design of the resort, especially given that Vakkaru means coconut wood in Dhivehi. We also wanted to consider the importance of parrotfish to our island, so we have named the little islanders club Parrotfish Club” says Narelle McDougall, Director of Business Development.

Over Water Pool Suite of Vakkaru Maldives

The resort offers an extensive selection of accommodation, with 125 beach and over water villas and suites catering for couples and families alike, as well as indulgent dining choices, guests can enjoy sampling flavours from Europe to Asia in four restaurants and two bars.

Preferring to keep the natural beauty of the island as unspoilt as possible, this independently operated resort is remarkably elegant and understated says General Manager, Wicus Prinsloo, “fashionable design elements, impressive jungle feel to the gardens and vegetation, apothecary organic bathroom amenities, intelligent guest room connectivity and an array of recreational activities await travellers seeking an intimate getaway in arguably one of the most desirable island destinations on the planet”.

Less than three months after welcoming guests from around the world, Vakkaru Maldives was announced “New Comer of the Year” during ITB in Berlin at the annual Hideaways Party, a prestigious event hosted by publishers of exclusive travel magazines and the Hideaways Hotels Collection.

Let the timeless allure of the Maldives welcome you in as you discover the warmth and affection of its people in this idyllic island retreat.

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IMTM Pvt Ltd in association with Adaaran Resorts has officially launched the International Maldives Travel Market 2018 (IMTM 2018) at ITB Berlin 2018 today. The event is set to be held at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi Resort, Maldives from the 23rd – 24th June 2018.

IMTM 2018 is set to be the first international travel and trade fair to be held at a resort in Maldives. It is designed to accommodate close to 50 DMC’s representative of 20 countries spread throughout 5 continents. Furthermore, it is also set to be able to accommodate 200 participants from the local tourism industry.

Mr. Mohamed Farshath, the Managing Director of IMTM Pvt Ltd commenting on the objective of IMTM 2018 stated “We are hosting an International Travel and Trade Fair in Maldives that seeks to provide a cost-effective internal platform which can garner a major collective industry presence consisting of all 5 sectors (Resorts, Hotels, Liveaboards, Guesthouses and Tour Operators / Travel Agencies) for international buyers to meet with.” 

Conventionally, Maldives has been promoted in trade and travel fairs and exhibitions – overseas –  through participation of industry stakeholders. However, findings by IMTM Pvt Ltd indicated that “most of the Maldivian tourism stakeholders do not attend International Travel and Trade Fairs as a major collective. Major trade fairs such as ITB Berlin (Germany), ATM (Arabian Travel Market) and World Travel Market (WTM) (UK) are the only 3 exceptions which consist of a widespread industry presence year after year with participation numbers exceeding 100. Even then, high costs of participation do not ensure a proportional representation between Resorts, Liveaboards, Guesthouses and Tour Operators / Travel Agencies” added Farshath.  

According to the organisers of the event, one of the key aspects of IMTM 2018 is the provision of a semi-formal setting by hosting the exhibition in a pristine tropical resort in the Maldives, thus allowing exhibitors and delegates to indulge in a true Maldivian holiday experience before, during and after the official exhibition dates. 

Registration for exhibitors and hosted buyers is now open for IMTM 2018 with the deadline set as 6th April 2018.  

For inquiries and registration details, you may also contact Mr. Rafil Mohamed via rafil@imtmonline.com / info@imtmonline.com

End.

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