Direct flights to double the number of tourists

Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Thoyyib Mohamed has said the number of tourist arrivals in Maldives will double with the increase of direct flights operating to the country.

Speaking at a press conference to brief the public on the recent activities of MMPRC, the head of the state-owned PR company said the biggest concern of MMPRC is the poor relationship it has had with Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) over the past years despite the increasing number of tourist arrivals. He remarked MACL plays the most important role in promoting tourism although MMPRC is officially mandated to run the marketing campaigns of the country. He further said MACL must operate direct flights to various destinations to attract more tourists.

Highlighting the increase of Indian tourist arrivals, Thoyyib said the result is the connectivity Maldives currently has with India, as three airlines fly directly to Maldives. Noting the challenges Middle Eastern airlines face, he said the recently launched scheduled trips of Gulf Air and Air Italy is an important milestone the country marks as it will increase the income the country generates. He said although the number of tourists from the Middle East has been low comparatively, the market still generates one of the biggest revenues to the country. He also discussed the need of more budget airlines in addition to the Malaysian budget airline, Air Asia to increase more connectivity in the South East Asia.

MMPRC is running various campaigns to market the Maldives as a destination. The company has participated in 24 fairs in various countries, fame trips in 33 countries and 5 joint promotions thus far this year.