Maldives stand voted as third best stand in ITB Berlin Fair

Monday, 16 March 2009 13:18

Maldives stand has been voted as having the third best stand at ITB Berlin Fair, among the participating Asian countries.

In the first place was Koeran stand, which had obtained the first position last year as well and in second position was Malayisa. Over 1000 stands from different Asian countries were taken in to consideration. Maldives has successfully obtained the third position three times in the past 10 years.

ITB Berlin Fair was held from 11 to 15 March. A high level delegation, including tourism minister Dr. Ahmed Ali Sawaad and several industry stake holders attended the fair. Maldives contingent included 176 participants from 76 industry sources. Some 180 countries participated in the fair this year.

Despite government and industry’s best efforts to promote Maldives tourism, the global economic down turn has drastically affected the Maldives tourism industry causing a drastic reduction in number of arrivals. In January alone the number of arrivals saw a 4.8 percent reduction as compared to January last year. The number of German tourists’ arrivals came down as much as 10.6 percent.

Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) has forecasted 20 percent decline in tourist arrivals this year. The government in order to offset anticipated decline has launched a major program to woo more tourist arrivals. In this regard President Nasheed during his recent visit to Italy has met with several key Italian tour operators in an attempt to woo more Italian tourists to Maldives. Some 5000 more Italians are expected this year as a direct result of President Nasheed’s initiatives.


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