A one-year agreement signed between Singapore Airlines the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation to jointly promote tourism and boost visitor arrivals took effect on Sunday.
Under the deal, “each organisation will invest US$180,000 in cash and US$40,000 in kind to fund activities such as roadshows, joint marketing campaigns and familiarisation trips for media and travel industry representatives,” Singapore Airlines explained in a press statement.
“The activities are aimed at visitors from Australia, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the United States.”
Tourists from the six countries accounted for more than 30 percent of annual arrivals since 2017.
At present, Singapore Airlines and subsidiary SilkAir operate a total of 16 weekly services to Malé and offer connections to other destinations in their network.
“With nearly 140 destinations in more than 35 countries and territories in the SIA Group network, we are also well-placed to support the development of the Maldives’ tourism sector,” said Campbell Wilson, Singapore Airlines Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing.
Thoyyib Mohamed, MMPRC managing director, called the agreement a “huge step forward for us in our effort to promote the destination.”
“The campaign will address a key component of our strategy for 2019, and will cover promotions in six important target markets,” he said. “I have no doubt that our partnership with such a prestigious airline will create incredible synergy and help raise the profile of the destination Maldives … the sunny side of life.”
After reaching a record 1.4 million visitors in 2018, tourist arrivals reached nearly half a million in this year’s first quarter, 15 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
The new government is aiming for 1.5 million visitors this year, a target that was missed in previous years.
The annual tourism promotion budget has been increased threefold as pledged by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
The expansion of the country’s main international airport along with the opening of several new resorts is also expected to boost visitor numbers.