The tourism industry in the Maldives has developed beyond resorts in the last few years as local islands took the initiative to market themselves as tourist hotspots to visit when travelling to the Maldives. With the introduction of guest house tourism in 2010, the tourism industry took a whole new aspect to how people see the Maldives.
It was no longer just a beautiful resort that you need to add to your bucket list to see the most amazing sunsets, now it was also this small island nation with so much food and culture to explore as well as different historic sites on the islands.
This new aspect in the industry allowed islands to showcase the unique beauty of each island of the Maldives while acting as a major source of income to those islands that marketed themselves just right. Islands such as Maafushi or even those further away from the capital such as Fuvahmulah or Addu have managed to become tourist hotspots for tourists who are interested in exploring beyond resorts.
These islands still provide luxurious bed & breakfasts, hotels or if you are looking for a cheaper option homestay, while also fulfilling the excitement of enjoying different watersports such as fishing or kayaking. The diversity of what islands have to offer when in comparison to resorts at a much more affordable rate is the winning point for the tourism industry in the islands.
However, when it comes to marketing to tourist markets, these local islands do not receive nearly as much exposure as resorts. The Maldives is usually marketed as a whole destination, but to those who want to book a stay, resorts most often would be the first option that they would see on the internet or from famous influencers or bloggers would be the most luxurious resorts in Maldives.
Things, however, might be changing when it comes to marketing islands to tourists as Addu was marketed as a travel destination that is accessible by Sri Lankan airlines during the OTM travel trade show hosted in September 2022.
OTM is one of the largest international gatherings of travel trade buyers and professionals in India that allows international travel trade to meet tourism professionals face-to-face and establish long-term business relations from all over the world.
This is the first time Addu city has been marketed as a destination in a foreign trade show, and resorts as well as other businesses involved in the Addu tourism industry attended.
Such trade shows are one of the most helpful ways to tap into new markets and for other countries to discover beautiful destinations that are still waiting for their turn to shine in the tourism industry. Islands being marketed in such tradeshows will give islanders a great opportunity to showcase the true beauty of Maldivian heritage while also stabilizing the economies of local islands of the Maldives.