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Maldives’ Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture launched several activities on September 27 to mark World Tourism Day.

Based on the theme “Tourism and Biodiversity”, the Ministry in association with the tourism industry is to carry on the festivities until October 3.
Among the events to mark the auspicious event include an address by President Mohamed Nasheed, cultural performances, a "museum week", photo exhibition, art competition, TV quiz, and environmental cleanup programs. 

Maldives' ambassador to China, Ahmed Latheef, has said he welcomes investment from China on Maldives' resorts to boost development of tourism and is calling for more attention to be directed toward the country's battle against climate change.

"The Maldives and China have enjoyed excellent bilateral relations, and there are many areas that can be developed through Chinese involvement and engagement in the Maldives," Latheef said. "We would welcome initiatives from Chinese investors in the development of tourist resorts."
China's National Day holiday is drawing near, and it is expected that many Chinese will go to the Maldives. Statistics show that 41,511 Chinese tourists visited the Maldives in 2008, an increase of 15.4 percent over 2007. 

During a visit to New York to participate in the United Nations General assembly, Maldives Vice President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik has said that the Maldives wants to achieve economic development through environment friendly new technologies.

Speaking at Yale University, the Vice President said the biggest challenge faced by Maldives is the threat to the country’s security due to climate change. He said unpredictable oil prices and the prospect of higher oil prices over the long term meant shift to renewable energy was essential.
The Vice President stressed that the most important outcome of the Maldives’ plan to become carbon neutral in 10 years would be freedom from dependency on imported oil, along with environmental conservation in order to ensure an ecologically sustainable tourism industry which is the mainstay of the economy. 

President Mohamed Nasheed has conferred ‘State Dignitary’ title on Mr Mohamed Umar Maniku (Chaiman of Universal Enterprises/Resorts, Maldives) and Mr. Champa Hussain Afeef (Managing Director of Crown Tours Maldives & Crown & Champa Resorts, Maldives) in recognition of their invaluable service to the State. At a special function held on 16 September 2010 at the President’s Office, this is the first time the government has conferred the title on individuals recognizing their services outside the Government.

The President said as State was an expansive concept in the new Constitution, it was important to recognize the contributions by individuals to the State, and that both Mr Umar Maniku and Mr Afeef have made immense contributions to the development of the Maldives, especially in the tourism sector.
Mr Umar Maniku and Mr Afeef are among the pioneers of Maldives' tourism industry. After receiving the title, Mr Maniku and Mr Afeef thanked the government for recognizing their work, adding the recognition was a “great encouragement”.

 

Maldives is nominated for ‘Best Destination’ in the upcoming World Travel Awards.

ome 17 cities are nominated for the award including Abu Dhabi, Cancun (Mexico), Cape Town (South Africa), Istanbul (Turkey), New York, Miami, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney.
The awards take into consideration factors such as best airline, airport, beach destination, hotel, resort, car rental company, travel agency, conservation company, credit card for travelers, cruisers, and golf resort, and the winners get the opportunity to attract more tourists, and generate exposure and revenues. The results of the online voting by more than 180,000 tourism professionals is to be published on 7 November 2010 in London.

 

Kuoni has announced the launch of its own Facebook page, providing interactive opportunity for Kuoni to communicate with its customers and engage with the Kuoni brand in a new way.

One of the highlights of the new Kuoni Facebook page is Kuoni Recommends, where Kuoni's insider destination knowledge offers users expert reviews, tips and inspiration for their next holiday. Reviews can be found on destinations, experiences, hotels, local attractions, local restaurants and spas; everything travellers need to make a holiday extra special.
Award-winning Kuoni hotels and authentic experiences are hand-picked and each holiday is tailored to the individual customer. For further inspirational travel ideas, 'Facebookers' have access to i-travel, Kuoni's interactive online travel guide with up-to-date travel news and feature articles to peruse. Another feature that customers will have access to on the Facebook page is the Store Locator which assists customers in finding their nearest chic Kuoni travel store by simply entering their home postcode.
Kuoni has been voted the World's Leading Tour Operator at the World Travel Awards for 11 years in a row. The Daily Telegraph's Ultratravel and Daily Mail readers have voted them Britain's Best Large Tour Operator, and they've been Britain's Best Longhaul Tour Operator for the past 28 years, as voted by travel agents.
 

Maldives has made it to the 'Top 10' of world's best islands, voted in the 2010 Readers' Travel Awards annually organized by the British magazine Condé Nast Traveller.

Along with Maldives, Hong Kong, Sicily, Cyclades, Balearic Islands, Corsica and Cuba made the list of the 'best islands' which offer excellent food offers, lodging services, staff, attraction and entertainment.
The hospitality of its inhabitants, better landscapes, and the availability of fine, white sand, were also some of the criteria followed for voting. 

 

 

The Six Senses Eco Symposium at Soneva Fushi in the Maldives from 7-10 October 2010 is to have Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed and his advisor on climate change Mark Lynas as opening speakers from an exciting line up of guest speakers including leading consultants, environmentalists, international policy makers and visionaries.

President Nasheed has made worldwide headlines with his country’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2020. Mark Lynas’ bestselling book “Six Degrees: Our future on a hotter planet” won the prestigious Royal Society Prize for Science Books in 2007 and was turned into a documentary by National Geographic.
Practical examples of eco technology will be showcased at the Symposium to inspire the travel and tourism leaders attending. In addition to travel and tourism experts the Six Senses Eco Symposium has also attracted leading environmentalists and visionaries.
 

Soneva Gili has announced its sponsorship of the inaugural Maldivian offshoot of the internationally renowned Hay-on-Wye literary festival which is taking place in the Maldives from the 14-17 October 2010.

The Hay Festival Maldives will celebrate 2,000 years of Maldivian island culture and provide a platform for focusing international attention on the challenges faced by the archipelago due to climate change, bringing together international and local artists from the fields of literature, art, science, music, poetry and comedy.
The Festival will be staged on the Presidential retreat Aarah island near Male’, the Maldives capital.
 

State Tourism Minister Mohamed Thoyyib on Monday said that the Tourism Ministryis not aware of a Lithuanian company’s plans to set up an ‘Island of Blondes’ inMaldives where all employees will be blonde women. Earlier, Deputy TourismMinister Mamduh Waheed told local media that he was unaware of the proposedproject but noted that the Ministry of Tourism had no involvement innegotiations between operators and leaseholders.

However, the project, if true, is expected to encounter logistical difficultiesas Maldives’ labor laws require all resorts to have 50 percent local staff.Secretary General of the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), SimMohamed Ibrahim, said he thought the idea was “beyond a gimmick” and “so totallyspectacular and different a business model that it could very well succeed.”
Sim said he did not believe such a resort should encounter objectionsfrom the conservative establishment in the Maldives “because if [the country]objects by singling out a physical characteristic, we’re not going to attractanybody.” However, some opinion leaders have expressed reservations, statingthat such a project may be seen as supportive of racism, sexism, anddiscrimination.
 

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