BY S VENKAT NARAYAN,
Our Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI, January 9: Wealthy Indians are flocking to Maldives for a holiday. Last year, they became that country’s top source market: 62,905 Indian tourists made it their holiday destination. They accounted for 11.3% of the total market share, according to the Indian High Commission in Male.
Maldives is one of the few countries open to international tourists during the Covid-19 pandemic. Five Indian cities have flights to Male with five airlines operating there under the air bubble formed between the two countries
Maldives had allowed international tourists from July 15, 2020 with free visa-on-arrival. The archipelago does not have mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival for foreign tourists.
“All tourists are required to submit an online health declaration form within 24 hours prior to departure… All tourists are required to hold a negative PCR test for Covid-19 conducted 96 hours prior the scheduled time of departure from the first port of embarkation en route to Maldives,” says the website of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), the national tourism office of the Maldives.
Since the country opened up, a lot of hotels and resorts have hosted rich and famous Indians, including Bollywood celebrities like Tiger Shroff, Tapsee Pannu, Katrina Kaif, Varun Dhawan, Neha Dhupia, Disha Patani, Eli Avram and Mouni Roy. Some of their posts on social media have given their followers a glimpse of this island country where you can truly sit back, relax and forget the pandemic.
It has helped boost business. “We have had several top celebrities from India holidaying in the Maldives. This assured others of the stringent safety measures we have taken,” says Thoyyib Mohamed, MD, Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).
Even before the pandemic, Maldives had begun emerging as a favourite destination for Indians. “The Indian market has shown significant growth over recent years and by the end of 2019 the growth was 83.5% with a market share of 9.7 % and ranked second biggest source market in terms of arrivals,” adds Mohamed.
The honeymoon market is especially big in the Maldives. “Our natural beauty, rich marine life and excellent hospitality makes us a hot spot for honeymooners. India is the world’s second largest wedding market globally, and many Indian tourists visit Maldives for their honeymoon.
“Based on the arrival figures of 2019, India is ranked in the second position of the highest performing markets to the Maldives. It is one of the key focused markets after the reopening of borders on 15th July 2020,” the MMPRC website says.
“All tourists are granted a 30-day free visa upon arrival. Quarantine upon arrival is not required. However, if the passenger has a fever, cough or shortness of breath on board the flight or upon arrival, it should be informed to the local health protection agency. All tourists must undergo thermal screening at the arrival terminal (and) wear masks,” it adds.
Seylan Bank offers amazing discounts for Avurudu
With Avurudu just around the corner, Seylan Bank PLC is offering amazing discounts to customers purchasing daily essentials, electronics, clothing, gifts, and more. The bank with a heart will celebrate the New Year with “Ratatama Super, Avurudu Offers with Seylan Cards” and “Seylan Tikiri – Season of Gifts and Laughter”.
The bank with a heart, commenced these exciting offers and promotions to provide the best Avurudu experience to its customers young and old, and to reward them for their continued loyalty to the bank, in the spirit of festivity.
“At Seylan Bank, we want to make your Avurudu an unforgettable experience,” said Gamika De Silva, Assistant General Manager, Marketing and Sales at Seylan Bank. “These two promotions underscore our customer-centric approach which focuses on providing products and services that enhance the overall customer experience and convenience, adding value to your experience with the Bank with a Heart.”
The Bank has partnered with leading supermarket chains on selected promotions; with Keells offering 30% off on fresh meat during the weekends, Cargills providing 20% off on total bills during selected weekends, Glomark offering 20% off on the total bill on every Sunday for a limited time, Laugfs Super providing 20% off on a range of goods on every Monday for a limited time, and Premasiri Supermarket offering 20% off on vegetables & 10% off on fruits on every Wednesday & Thursday during the promotion period.
OPPO launches Avurudu song to spread seasonal cheer
OPPO recently launched an Avurudu jingle ahead of the Sinhalese & Tamil New year. Sung by OPPO brand ambassador & The Voice coach Umaria Sinhawamsa, the song also features popular personalities including actor& singer Gayan Gunawardena and choreographer Ramod Malaka& his dance troupe, Cool Steps.
The visual for the song has been shot in a scenic village atmosphere & features a host of New Year traditions of great cultural significance. The video also features the newly launched fan-favorite OPPO F19 Pro which is on offer during the season. On the first day of sales alone, the F19 Pro recorded a 200% increase in sales compared to its predecessor F17 Pro.
CEO of OPPO Sri Lanka Bob Li said: “This project helped us to immerse into Sri Lankan culture better. In keeping with the spirit of the season, evolving & upgrading, OPPO has launched two concurrent promotions: ERABADU WASI from 2-13 April & OPPO SERVICE WASI from 5 – 18 April.”
SLIM elects new president and EXCO at 51st AGM
The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) held its 51st AGM, which saw the induction of its new President Thilanka Abeywardena, who will spearhead the Institute as its 43rd president. This appointment is a milestone in the history of the Institute as Ms. Abeywardena became the first ever female to hold the position of President.
The AGM was held on 7th April, 2021 at Marino Beach Hotel, Colombo. Both a new Council of Management as well as an Executive Committee were appointed during the meeting.
Thilanka currently holds the position of the CMO Lead, South East Asia Emerging Markets at Microsoft Sri Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. and leads marketing and communications across nine Asian countries; Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
The newly appointed Executive Committee comprises ten experienced marketing professionals:
SLIM is the apex body for Marketing in Sri Lanka and has been promoting marketing excellence and elevating the status of marketing since 1970.
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