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Maldives celebrates the first tourist arrival of Visit Maldives Year 2016

The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation together with Ministry of Tourism commenced the Visit Maldives Year 2016 (VMY2016) campaign on 1st January 2016 by welcoming the very first tourist to visit the country this year. In an event organised to honour and mark the first arrival of a tourist into the Maldives, the Acting Managing Director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Haris Mohamed awarded a free holiday from Outrigger Konotta to Kate Holmes from the UK.

Officials attended the ceremony from MMPRC and Ministry of Tourism, as well as a number of invitees from the industry. The first arrival flight to the Maldives was on Oman Air at 0650hrs.

In an event to celebrate the arrival of the very first tourist, a special stamp of the celebratory year was unveiled and this will be stamped in all passports along with the arrival stamp throughout 2016 as a token of the special campaign. Boduberu dancers accompanied the first tourist to the VIP arrival hall, where refreshments were served. The event showcased Maldivian tradition and uniqueness as all the staff of MMPRC and Ministry of Tourism were dressed in the Maldivian traditional dress. The tourism team in the Maldives will also be celebrating the arrival of every 500,000th visitor during the year 2016.

The Visit Maldives Year 2016 will be a year-long campaign to boost the tourism of the country, targeting a total of 1.5 million tourist arrivals during the year. A number of international and national events, competitions and awareness programmes will be carried out by Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation together with the wider Tourism Industry to display the richness of Maldives as a destination, and portray the Maldives as the exotic place it is to the world. The competitions and attractive prizes will showcase the reasons to visit the islands and experience the sunny side of life.

The first visitor of VMY2016 was a tourist from the UK, a major market for the Maldives. By the end of November 2015, the UK held 7.5% of the market arrival share with a total of 83,244 recorded. With tourism being the most important industry for these islands, the VMY2016 campaign is expected to strengthen and heighten the gains for the country, while creating unity within. The campaign will be celebrated nationwide, with many colourful events planned throughout the year.

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