Visit Maldives conducted a media familiarization (FAM) trip from the South African market from 14th until 20th June 2021. Targeting affluent readers in the South African market, the purpose of this FAM trip was to promote the destination as a safe haven for the travelers, highlighting the unique geographical formation of the Maldives as well as the safety measures in place.

Under this familiarization trip, 3 journalists representing three editorial groups arrived in Maldives. The media team represented some of the most widely read publications in the South African market including Sowetan Live and Nomad Africa Magazine. The publications have over a combined total of 300 million readers and will promote the Maldives through both print and online mediums, alongside supporting coverage on social media platforms.

The media team was hosted by Finolhu Maldives, Dusit Thani Maldives, and Hurawalhi Island Resort. During their week-long stay in Maldives, the media team experienced uniquely-Maldivian experiences such as a visit to the iconic Beach Bubble in Finolhu Maldives, snorkeling with Manta Rays at Dusit Thani and adrenaline-pumping water sports at Hurawalhi Island Resort. In addition to this, the team experienced local cuisine, spa and wellness facilities offered in Maldives, sustainability initiatives, and a variety of unique and memorable experiences offered in Maldives.

The media familiarization trip was conducted aligned with Visit Maldives’ strategy for the South African market to conduct focused advertising and promotion of Maldives’ individual products and unique

experiences. Visit Maldives is constantly working to maintain destination presence and promote Maldives as the most preferred and safe destination for the South African market. During April, Visit Maldives took part in World Travel Market Africa 2021. Activities in the pipeline for the South African market include more familiarization trips and a joint promotion with Air Seychelles.

As of 2nd June 2021, a total of 3,624 travelers have arrived in the Maldives from the South African market. With mass vaccination campaigns and easing of travel restrictions, it is hopeful that the arrival figure from the South African market will increase within the next few months. Maldives have welcomed a total of 457,747 travelers.

Maldives reopened its borders for tourists of all nationalities on 15th July 2020, with rigorous procedures in place to ensure the safety of tourists and tourism workers. Tourists are required to fill an online health declaration form within 24 hours prior to their departure, as well as have a negative PCR test result, conducted 96 hours prior to their departure

The administration of the COVID-19 vaccine was initiated on 1st February 2021 with the government of Maldives set to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to all citizens and residents of the country in the upcoming months. Visit Maldives together with the Ministry of Tourism launched the “I’m Vaccinated” campaign in order to share a positive message regarding the vaccination of staff working in the tourism sector as well as promoting the initiatives undertaken to ensure the Maldives remains one of the safest destinations in the world for travelers. The ultimate target is to make Maldives the destination with the first fully vaccinated tourism sector in the world. As of 1st June 2021, 96% of resort employees have received the first dose of the vaccine while 67% of the resort employees are fully vaccinated.

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