During the "Maldives Media Meet," which was held at WTM London 2022, the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/Visit Maldives) informed representatives of the international media about the 50-year journey, milestones, and accomplishments of the Maldivian tourist industry.

This event took place at the ExCel London media complex on November 8.

The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (CEO & MD) of MMPRC, Thoyyib Mohamed, spearheaded the Maldives Media Meet, which was also attended by  Hussain Afeef, a pioneer in the country's tourism sector, Dr Farah Faizal, the country's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Great Britain, and Ireland, and Dr Abdulla Mausoom, the tourism minister, and representatives from media, travel industry, and tourism-related organizations were present at the event.

Panellists at "Maldives Media Meet" at WTM London 2022. (Photo/Visit Maldives)

As a mark of the Maldives' friendliness and culture, guests were given a Maldivian Feyli (traditional sarong) upon arrival. The attendees were treated to an immersive storytelling experience that embodied the Maldives' unwavering hospitality and communal spirit. It was based on the folktale "Communal Spirit" from Visit Maldives' Tales of Maldives books. This fascinating encounter demonstrates that one of the key factors influencing the Maldives tourism industry's success is hospitality. A destination presentation came next, and the panellists' opening remarks came after that.

As the Maldives commemorate the Golden Jubilee year since the start of tourism in the nation, the focus of the media meeting was on the success of the Maldives’ tourism industry over the past 50 years and the progress of MMPRC's destination marketing initiatives.

Attendees of "Maldives Media Meet" at WTM London 2022. (Photo/Visit Maldives)

Hussain Afeef, one of the pioneers responsible for the establishment of Maldives tourism, gave the introductory comments. He spoke extensively, providing the audience with an insider's view of the beginnings of tourism in the Maldives and the main contrasts between then and now. “We took the first groups of tourists on excursions on sailboats. We had no telephones or fax machines, so we communicated via morse code. We had two flights a year coming into the country, bringing in a small group of tourists, that was our connection to the outside world. We had to play many roles, we wore many hats, we had to be tour guides, chefs, and everything in between for the tourists. It was a hard journey, but look how far we have come today,” he said.

The second speaker was the minister of tourism, who discussed the value of sustainable tourism to an island nation like the Maldives. “Maldives believes Tourists of the Future are fast becoming the present and expects destinations and service providers to be meaningfully committed to Sustainable Tourism Practices,” the Minister highlighted in his statement.

The High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Great Britain, and Ireland, Dr Farah Faizal, spoke next. She elaborated on the lengthy bilateral connections between the Maldives and the UK and expressed her delight in how far the Maldives has advanced as a tourist destination. “As a diplomat, I am proud that the Maldives has established a global presence in the tourism sector, becoming a recognised brand worldwide. This has undoubtedly supported the strengthening of international relations on all fronts. Our holistic response to the pandemic has resulted in the tourism industry rebounding back to pre-pandemic levels. I am certain that this year’s WTM will showcase the outstanding degree of service our industry has to offer,” she said.

Panellists at "Maldives Media Meet" at WTM London 2022. (Photo/Visit Maldives)

Last but not least, CEO & MD Thoyyib offered a succinct review of how destination marketing has changed over the past 50 years. “We may have begun marketing the destination by participating in a fair, but then we continued to market the destination, establish presence, in all platforms, utilising every type of tool that was at our disposal. No matter the target we reach, in the form of infrastructure development in the sector or arrivals, our work is never ending. And that’s what made us the leading destination in 2020 and 2021, and that is why we are amongst the nominees for 2022 leading destination as well. Perseverance, dedication, and relentless efforts in making sure we are always visible and on the top,” Thoyyib said in his speech

Panellists at "Maldives Media Meet" at WTM London 2022. (Photo/Visit Maldives)

This event was held with the intention of establishing connections with senior media figures from the UK, one of the Maldives’ traditional top markets, as well as those from other international markets. They received the most recent information from MMPRC about the location, its goods, services, and distinctive experiences. Through this occasion, the Maldives was marketed as one of the top vacation spots for visitors from the UK and throughout the world.