Maldives welcomed the 100,000th visitor to the Maldives pavilion at the Milano Expo by the end of August.
Expo Milano 2015 is a universal Exhibition that Milan, Italy is hosting from May 1 to October 31, 2015. Over this 6-month period, Milan will become a global meeting point where more than 140 participating countries converge with presence of participating countries, international and non-governmental organizations. The Expo expects to welcome 20 million visitors to its 1.1 million square meters within the 6-month period.
Maldives is represented in its own 60-square-meter stand designed in a contemporary style with video ceiling and Maldivian cultural items and pictures showing the beauty of the country. Activities such as fun games for kids, Maldivian folk storytelling, Maldivian food tasting and dissemination of destination information together with the giving away of brochures and souvenirs are being conducted daily at the stand. Furthermore, weekly panel discussions will be hosted by the Maldives with focus on dedicated topics such as climate change, sharks/dolphins and corals.
In addition, Maldives celebrated the National day at the expo on August 10, 2015. National Day is an opportunity given to all exhibiting countries to be the focus of the entire expo on their designated “national day.” Maldives National day was celebrated with a flag hoisting ceremony and colorful activities throughout the day. Maldives held grand celebrations in Milan to commemorate the national day with colorful cultural performances at the Expo and other important public areas of the city. Mr. Abdulla Ziyath, Managing Director of MMPRC was the head of the delegation for the Maldives national day celebrations.
Maldives received increased interest from the visitors during and after the national day which is one of the main reasons for Maldives to cross the 100,000th visitor at the Maldives stand.
Italy being one of the most important traditional markets to the Maldives holds great potentiality for positive growth figures. Arrivals to Maldives have been steady with an arrival of 57,862 in 2014. By the month July 2015, the market recorded a total of 38,392 visitors which is an increase of 7.7% compared to July 2014. Italy holds 5.4% of the market share.
Participation in such a mega event is will help increase exposure to the Maldives and promote the Visit Maldives year 2016 which will in turn help reach this year’s target of 1.4 million tourists.