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British Airways on Saturday said that it will put on more flights to bring people home from holiday destinations such as the Maldives, New York, Antigua/St Kitts, Barbados, Johannesburg, Dubai, Sharm El Sheikh, Mumbai, Bangkok and Hong Kong who have been stranded after the volcanic eruption in Iceland which earlier stopped flights in Europe.

British airspace reopened on Tuesday following almost a week of grounded flights, leaving people stuck in unfamiliar circumstances. Flights have resumed to Europe from all countries, although backlogs are still causing trouble. In Britain, BA has asked its passengers to consider giving up seats so the thousands of people still stranded after the volcanic ash disruption can get home during upcoming weekend.

Maldives has secured the membership of the 47-member United Nations Human Rights Council. The voice of small nations, especially the environmental effects being faced by small island nations such as Maldives would be represented in the Human Rights Council, once Maldives attains the membership in July, Maldives' Foreign Minister Dr. Ahmed Shaheed.

Shaheed has also earlier noted that the environment, on which Maldives' economic  mainstay tourism is based, is a human rights issue which if not addressed will lead to catastrophic consequences. He further noted that Maldives had also attained the membership of Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group in last November.

Maldives' President Mohamed Nasheed, a leading voice in the global fight against climate change, has been awarded “Champions of the Earth" - the United Nations’ most prestigious environmental prize. The President was awarded the prize, in the category of policy and leadership, during a ceremony in South Korea said.

Receiving the award, the President said it was in “recognition of the growing importance of the Maldives on the issue of global climate change.” “It goes to show that by doing the right thing, a small country can make a big impact on the world stage,” the President said. Maldives’ economy is based mainly on tourism and the President has already kick-started programs to make the country carbon neutral in 10 years.
“President Nasheed is not only an articulate voice for the vulnerable and the poor facing the challenges of global warming, but a politician who is showcasing to the rest of the world how a transition to climate neutrality can be achieved and how all nations, no matter how big or how small, can contribute,” the Head of the United Nations Environment Program, Achim Steiner told a press conference announcing the award, during the ‘Business for the Environment’ Global Summit in Seoul. Previous "Champions of the Earth" award winners include former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore, and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark.

Maldives has been awarded as the “Best Diving Area” and “Best Dreaming Area” in the Dive & Travel Awards 2010 held during the Marine Diving Fair, Tokyo, Japan from 02 – 04th April 2010. The voting was carried out amongst the readers of both magazines targeted to divers; “Travel Diver” and “Marine Diving” , based on the “Reader’s Choice Award.”

Maldives won the “Best Diving Area” after competing with the world famous dive favourites Palau and Ishigaakee Island. The competitors for the “Best Dreaming Area” include Palau and French Polynesia. The awards were collected by the Maldives High Commissioner to Japan, Hon. Mr. Amir Khaleel.
Apart from the above “Island Safari Royal” and “Soleil” from the Maldives won 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the “Best Liveaboard” category. Marine Dive Fair remains as the largest fair held in Japan targeted to the divers creating an opportunity to decide and arrange their dive holidays.

Parliament has sanctioned a Bill on Taxing Goods and Services Provided by Tourist Hotels. Speaker Abdulla Shahid said the Bill was submitted to a Committee consisting of all the MPs, as it was a scheduled bill. The Chair will notify the members of a date to hold the debate, he added. While some MPs approved the proposal to introduce a Tourism Tax, members having stakes in the industry spoke against it saying it was “not advisable in the current situation” as such a move would “affect the public.”

Tourism was the most heavily taxed sector and impacts on industries should be considered while implementing economic policies, the MPs added. On Monday 68 out of the 70 members present voted to send the Bill to a Committee, while only two MPs abstained.

Maldives has broken its tourist arrival record -- 67,478 -- set in January 2010 by marking a record arrival of 77,000 tourists in February 2010. This is a 14-percent increase between the two months.

Last year during February, the Tourism Ministry recorded 58,520 arrivals. Hence, the February 2010 record marks a 31.7 percent increase compared to the year-ago period.
Tourism generally fares well for Asia during the month of February, but this is an unprecedented boom to Maldives’ tourism at a time of world economic crisis, authorities said. 

For the first time in over 30 years of Maldives’ tourism, Chines arrivals overtook the traditional European market in February 2010 Earlier, the top contributing tourist markets either were Italy or the United Kingdom.

Figures released by the Tourism Ministry showed that 13,345 Chines tourists were recorded, making China the second most important marke for the Maldives during the year 2010. This represents 13.4 percent o all arrivals for the month of February 2010 as well.
Last month, 12,003 Italian tourists were recorded with British arrivals recorded at 10,422.

We are pleased to inform you that we in collaboration with Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) will be taking part in the forthcoming ATM 2010 to be held in Dubai, UAE from the 04th to 07th May 2010.

If you wish to arrange appointments, please contact us via e-mail to sales@crowntoursmaldives.com
Furthermore, we would highly appreciate if you could take some time off your busy schedule to visit us at:
Dubai International Convention and Exhibitor Centre, UAE
Dates: 04th to 07th March 2010
Maldives Stand Number: AS 460 Hall No: 07
Crown Tours Participants:
Director Marketing: Mr. Ally Ahmed
Manager Reservations: Mr. Adam Shakir
Operations Manager: Mr. Saud Yoosuf
It would be our pleasure to welcome you at our stand and offer you any assistance required!

Packaging holidays specifically to clients’ discriminatory needs helped give a vital boost to tourism in Maldives, officials said. Najmullah Shareef, Senior Marketing Officer of Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB), also said that the record tourist arrivals during the first two months of this year were also due to the commencing of British Airways and Oman Air to the Maldives.

Shareef went on to praise the Chinese government’s open-doors policy, contributing to much economic development in the Asian giant, resulting in an increase of outbound Chinese travelers. Last month, China overtook Europe as Maldives’ top tourist market. “Because resorts are now giving tourists many incentives, we can expect such a positive trend for the future as well,” elaborated Shareef.
He quoted tour operators as predicting impressive improvements to Maldives’ tourism in the coming months, as many operators have also pledged to continue with chartered flights to Maldives.

Emirates, the airline of choice of the people of Bangladesh, has unveiled attractive business class fares to 12 destinations and economy class fares to 26 destinations including the Maldives. The airline announced the special fares for its customers in connection with the three-day Dhaka Travel Mart-2010 at the Dhaka Sheraton Hotel. Emirates Holidays, the tour operating arm of Emirates airline, is also offering attractive packages to Dubai, Jordan, France, Austria, Egypt and Mauritius, which are considered to be the most favored holiday destinations for Bangladeshi travelers.

Husain Al Safi, Emirates' Acting Area Manager Bangladesh, said: "From time to time Emirates offers exclusive fares for its valued customers. For the Dhaka Travel Mart 2010 we have ensured that the cities considered for the special fares represent some of the favourite destinations among Bangladeshi travelers."
Maldives is currently seeking to expand its international market, with more excursions planned into Asian economies. "The only way to withstand international impacts on tourism and to avoid 'off peak tourist seasons' is to widen our market base," a Maldives' travel agent said.


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