The Internationale Tourismus Börse (ITB Berlin) newsroom reveals that in order to attract markets globally, as is the plan of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), several factors come into play. Marketing authorities and teams within the leisure industry in the Maldives have a thought-provoking job on their hands, with the destinations ambitious expansion to create 18,000 new jobs.

Commenting on the multiple awards wins at ITB Berlin 2018, Moosa Zameer, Minister of Tourism, reveals, factors such as the expansion of destination marketing and maintenance of brand positioning are key for the government and the tourism industry professionals when it comes to marketing the Maldives as a product. Indeed, with the efforts of new marketing establishments in the Maldives, the Maldives hit record heights in 2017 with almost 1.4 million arrivals.

Hitting the target 

In order to expand destination marketing, the Maldives requires a number of organisations and staff dedicated to marketing leisure facilities. The bodies responsible for marketing travel and leisure industry are inclusive of the Ministry of Tourism, the Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC), Maldives Tourism Promotion Board Limited, (MTPBL), Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Equatorial Travel and Tourism Association (ETTA) representatives from various companies and many more. Overall, they signify a wide-encompassing and skilful team of people responsible for marketing.

Secondly, the Maldives has been able to market the vacation destination, with the physical beauty as a product and services such as world-class spa facilities globally across Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa/Indian Ocean and North Africa and the Middle East. Europe continues to provide the Maldives with its core business, contributing a 46.5% share of the total market (up 12.4%) Asia and the Pacific followed with a 44.4% share, South East Asia proving to be the strongest sub-region.

Defining challenges

In terms of difficulty when delivering a destination vacation marketing strategy, instead of one major challenge, there are a number of possible quite significant factors.

The unique make-up of the Maldives geography will certainly impact the delivery of marketing strategies. It is considered important to appeal to various demographics which can be challenging. However, as the diverse population mix travelling to the Maldives is ever-expanding, there seems to be little impact on delivering marketing.

As the Maldives continues to expansion plans with 23 resorts set to open 2018-2019, the ‘changing construction timelines’ can be considered challenging. As it is, new projects include the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Maldives and the Italian-designed Baglioni Resort Maldives. On the positive side, if timelines are met, this will make no impact on the marketing of leisure facilities.

The third challenge of ‘marketing to overseas visitors’ which is a significant aspect of destination marketing for leisure professionals can be quite challenging. ‘Securing budgets’ and ‘defining a product that remains incomplete’ can be difficult to overcome.

Moving forward

With these difficulties acknowledged, the message to leisure marketing professionals and bodies is to allow themselves plenty of time and ample research in which to manage these challenges when delivering their marketing strategy.