India has contributed in numbers for tourist arrivals since the re-opening. Every Indian Celebrity has spent their vacation in Maldives. Social medias overwhelmed with pictures and posts. However, India’s largest film industry still haven’t chosen Maldives as a reasonable destination for movie shoots and big events such as IIFA, Filmfare etc, what can we do as a destination to capture that market? What’s lacking and what are the challenges?

PUBLISHED November 06, 2021

Aditya Raj Singh
Head of Sales
Amaya Kuda Rah, Maldives
Indian Film Industry is one of the biggest in world and very popular in every country. Even Chinese have seen 3 idiots thousands of times in Chinese language dubbing. The Govt should open some subsidies to the Indian Cinema and if we don't have the budget then Tourism Private Sector shall allocate some small budget but it has to come from Everyone, let's say 1000 USD from Every Hotel Half Yearly and USD 300 from the guesthouse and Safari Boats. This way we can lure the big producers to come to Maldives for Indian Film Shootings as it will give amazing opportunities to locals and open a new industry and that will give many free-lancing jobs. I request to the policy makers to work out a mechanism so that we can bring the business that goes to Europe Switzerland and other parts to Maldives. By doing this our Maldivian stars will get an opening to Bollywood which is need of the hour. I started working on this in 2015 and still working very closely with them so to get the maximum exposure about Maldives through the Celebrities.
In my opinion, there are many costs that are too high. Logistics are challenging due to geography and varieties of Landscape are limited. For events like IIFA, you need single venues which can seat huge crowds and also accommodation in vicinity. Otherwise, it becomes an operational nightmare for event organizers handling all these high-profile people in multiple places. Usually, the various levels of accommodation provided for film crew, the stars get premium and the rest based on their job, but in the islands probably the producer has to put all of them in the resort itself. But i seriously think Addu or a similar island other than the central atoll can change this and provide a good opportunity. As it’s connected with many islands and various segments of accommodations and large grounds for set up.
Interesting thought, there’s an event done in Mumbai by the organizers of SATTE. Where destinations take part and chase the film industry. But let me be honest, countries go after Indian Film Industry because when a film is done , then Indian starts traveling there. Does Maldives need that type of publicity ? It’s already well known in India. I know movies require a lot of support , lot of subsidy , a lot on complimentary. What is the incremental game the Maldives will have putting the movie production. Every Indian has been traveling to the Maldives, every celebrity has been hosted , honeymooners have come. I cannot see an incremental value in spending a million dollar and bringing an Indian Movie. It’s not going to get Maldives any more publicity which the country do not have.
As much as we would love to be a part of the Filmfare or IIfa there are a few challenges that we need to keep in mind and also how we can overcome those. -Venue big enough to host around 800-1000 people including celebrities and audience is currently not available. -Accommodation for approximately 500 people at a time in a vicinity close to the event venue with convenient transportation is a must. - If the venue is on the main island do we have accommodation to host celebrities on a main dry land like Addu (interconnected islands) or Fuvahmulah or Hanimaadhoo or any island which is big where you can drive. -If not then how do we manage 400-500 celebrities transport from the resort island to the event venue.? -Gala Dinner to be hosted for all the guest post award night , Will there be sponsors to host / sponsor the Gala event. As usually the host nations does it . These are some key pointers in my view. As I’ve been involved in shooting the movie “Kite” with Hrithik Roshan and later I did some South Indian movie shoots and some MICE in the Maldives. Maldives is beautiful and challenging due to its geography and high price.