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MALDIVES: Joining the Bandwagon

“Our concept for the resort is to offer value for everyone, as this is the ultimate luxury,” said Evgenia Boyankova,

director of sales and marketing, The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives, noting that the product offering at the five-star property allows it to cater to varied segments, rather than exclusively to honeymooners.

According to Boyankova, the resort welcomed over 23,000 guests in 2015, including couples as well as families enjoying wholesome activities on the island. In fact, approximately half of the hotel’s visitors in 2015 were families, up from 40 percent in 2014, indicating remarkable growth in a short period.

Shedding the light on the changing patterns, Graham Kiy, general manager, Jumeirah Vittaveli, posited that even though the property has seen a rise in the family segment, this trend is market dependent and is encompassed with couples.

“The Asian market continues to consist mostly of honeymooners, with the exception of family travel from China for major holidays. Family travel is increasing from the UAE, the UK and Russia, [and there was]a small growth in families travelling from Germany, Austria and Switzerland,” elaborated Kiy, further adding that the resort offers suitable amenities to serve both segments.

Though families seem to be the key emerging market for high-end products and services in the Maldives, the shift in patterns has opened a gateway to alternative sources of business as well.

W Retreat & Spa – Maldives, which hosted almost 42,000 travellers in 2015, implements a no child policy for kids under 10. Consequently, the resort is marketed as an exclusive escape for honeymooners, couples and solo guests.

According to Paul Yui, complex director, sales and marketing, W Retreat & Spa – Maldives and Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, the former hotel, which underwent a complete renovation of its facilities in an effort to attract more leisure and business visitors, is keen on targeting what he described as the late Gen X traveller who is typically in the early 30s, educated and less likely to have children, and has a penchant for design, fashion and music.

Whereas the latter property, which aims to offer the ultimate destination vacation experience, provides a range of excursions and activities.

Kiy also put forth the notion that the country holds strong potential for business travel as well, concerning large corporations organising incentive visits.

Whatever may be the case, the Maldives remains a sought-after location, boasting the ability to garner the broad luxury market, seamlessly adapting to changing demographics, making a top destination for a breadth of travellers.