The Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Maldives have maintained a close working relationship at bilateral and multilateral levels. Within this context, it is believed that significant opportunities exist for enhanced cooperation in areas such as tourism, culture, trade and investment promotion. The area of tourism, in particular, is one in which Nigerians Travel Too (NTT) has considerable experience and expertise. Nigerians Travel Too (NTT) is the foremost tourism and travel experience provider, operating in both Nigeria and the UK. The company has been in existence for over 6 years and has provided innovative travel solutions for clients seeking experiences across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and The Americas.
IMTM is collaborating with our Nigerian Partner, Nigerians Travel Too (NTT) and accepted the proposal by the CEO, Ms Elizabeth Agboola to visit Maldives for a FAM trip to better understand the Maldivian market in order to sell the diverse Maldivian tourism products that currently exist. The team of 3 from NTT arrived in the Maldives on the 29th of March 2022 and will remain in the Maldives till 3rd of April 2022 to meet and discuss enhanced Tourism Promotion between Nigeria and the Maldives. The team will be meeting government authorities, promotional board, industry partners and associations. It is worthy to note that NTT operated the first direct leisure charter flight Charter Flights from Nigeria to Jamaica and Jordon.
Despite the setbacks faced during the year, the momentum in Maldives tourism has continued as the Maldives thrived to revive and recover tourism during the severe times of the global pandemic in 2021. The country was able to provide tourists with natural isolation and safety during the covid 19 pandemic due to its unique geographical structure making the process of isolating more convenient. However, during this difficult time, the need to explore other source markets became more apparent and crucial than ever and IMTM believes that Nigeria is a new market that can be introduced to the Maldives. Ms. Elizabeth Agboola, CEO of NTT said that this FAM trip organized by IMTM with the industry stakeholders was “Opening new frontiers for Tourism and Trade between Nigeria and The Maldives. For us @nttglobaldestinations , we pride ourselves in getting an in-depth knowledge of destinations we sell to enable us to serve our clients better”
Ms. Elizabeth further added “We were honoured to meet the Hon. Dr Abdulla Mausoom, Minister of Tourism of The Maldives, in Male today. Minister Mausoom extended a warm welcome to us and expressed his satisfaction with the prospects for growth of the Nigerian market especially as the Maldives celebrates their golden year of tourism.” Managing Director of IMTM, Ms. Shiuna Khalid and the NTT team met with the Minister of Tourism on 30th March 2022 to advance the dialogue with tourism authorities. On the same day, the NTT team also visited Villa Hotels and Resorts and met Mr. Mohamed Azmeel, Director of Sales and Ms. Ifasha, Senior Sales Manager to discuss opportunities to promote local Maldivian brands. Both IMTM and NTT teams visited the Maldives Association of Travel Industry as well. Ms. Elizabeth noted “We also paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Director of the oldest Tourism association in Maldives, Mr Rafil Mohammed. We got full insight around the destination and how they have remained successful for 50 years!” In the evening, IMTM and NTT team visited Maafushi to explore and understand the local island tourism concept and development in the Maldives. Both the team met with Mr. Danura, the Front Office Manager and Mr. Mohamed Xan, Sales and Marketing Manager of Kaani Hotel and Tours.
On 31st March 2022, IMTM and NTT met with Mr. Thoyyib Mohamed, CEO and Managing Director of MMPTC and his team which lead to an effective discussion to explore key areas of support including virtual training and B2B session for Tour Operators in Nigeria to learn about the Maldives, possibilities of a roadshow in the near future and familiarization for tour operators from their pool of over 200 agents who has signed up with NTT. Nigerians Travel Too is confident that it can leverage its tourism expertise in establishing a viable travel market between The Maldives and Nigeria. Both IMTM and NTT also met with Ms. Nasra Abdhulla, the Marketing Manager of Kaimoo Resort and Hotels to discuss opportunities to collaborate to promote their product to the Nigerian Market. Ms. Elizabeth stated that “Opportunities also exist for enhanced trade and cultural cooperation and these will be explored with stakeholders on both sides. @nttglobaldestinations looks forward to being an active partner in the promotion and strengthening of the relationship between both countries in the near future.”
IMTM would like to extend thanks and gratitude to the Minister of Tourism, CEO & MD of MMPRC, Kaimoo Hotels and Resorts, Kaani Hotels and Tours, Adaaran Group, Villa Hotels and Resorts, and Sun Siyam Group for the support provided to make it possible to invite and bring Nigerians Travel Too team to the Maldives.