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2011 Travel Trends for Maldives

by AG

Another year, another roller coaster of threats and opportunities and I sit here today after two weeks of piling through dozens of websites and newsletters on what the Travel Gurus and Pundits predict & forecast as travel trends for 2011.

It would always be easy knowing the answers or so-called secrets before the rumbling begins and that’s how my mission began.

Many would agree that in 2010 the key trend was more trips but shorter length of stay and careful spending. Our friends at various online last minute travel portals saw unprecedented growth varying from 100-300%. All-inclusive has been redefined and even luxury products been proactively associated as all-inclusive products.

In Maldives we saw 20.7% growth in total tourist arrivals versus 2009 with figures at 791,917 tourists while 2009 was 655,852. Thanks to our friends mainly in China for this increase as today for the first time in our tourism history China is the largest source market for Maldives with figures at 118,961 and about 100% growth from previous year.

In 2011, we anticipate opening of at least more than five new properties thereby increasing our bed capacity. Adding to this will be the Governments vision of mid- market guest houses that will also be creating its direction in a new greater market for Maldives.

Said this, we see an emergence of a local carrier mainly to service traffic from China and as far as Chinese market is concerned this is just the beginning and 2011 sure to see further record breaking arrivals from this market and region.

There is undoubtedly a lot of excitement in terms of growth from Asian market but not forgetting that 2010 saw a little growth in terms of economy in Europe and given these economies are headed towards recovery. Pundits predict that most optimistic for 2011 are Russians, Austrian, Swedes and Belgians, while Germans and British are the least confident among major outbound markets.

And emergence of South American market cannot be ignored either as many predicts that future could be from this region. And given air travel is been depended on growth from low cost carriers bridging and is a fast growing trend.

The immense growth in Sri Lanka would surely have positive affects on Maldives as multi-centre holidays is certainly a top trend to consider.

‘Indian outbound market ready to take off in 2011’ has been the headlines in many blogs and reports. And we saw charters to Gan late last year and 2011 will surely see low cost carriers from India and region help boost tourists at more affordable options from these markets.

Finally, technology is said to play a more vital role in 2011 with more distribution channels with affordable technology readily available in the market. And Social media has prompted the emergence of a new breed of confident, empowered and savvy travellers, thus this might be something to watch out more.

In conclusion, we could end of the day have all the secrets or answers but we don’t know how to use them when and where, we would still be in the same place. Trends in my opinion are set by our customers and if we pay bit more attention to them and listen more carefully to them we would learn more from them than any report or pundits/ gurus review.
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