On October 28, 2021, International Maldives Travel Market successfully concluded its fourth edition. The fair was held from 26-28 October 2021, virtually on the IMTMAir platform. IMTM 2021 was inaugurated by the Minister of Tourism, Honorable Dr. Abdulla Mausoom in a virtual ceremony held on the IMTMAir platform.
The Managing Director of IMTM, Ms. Shiuna Khalid, said “We have come to the conclusion of the fair and I should say that overall, the IMTM 2021 travel and trade fair held virtually went well with over 100 participants joining online. Of course, there were a few unexpected technical glitches that the team responded to on time. Some participants were not familiar with how to navigate through the platform and the team took the time to make it easy for them to access. Online feedback was gathered from participants via direct messages and face to face meetings. This feedback will be used for future improvement of the IMTMAir platform.”
Over the past one a half year the event industry has changed dramatically and events that are usually attended by thousands of people were postponed and some went virtual. While we may see a return to live events in the last few months of this year, it is unlikely they will be exactly the same as they were before. “There is still a long way to go for users to fully comprehend and embrace digital solutions for travel and trade events. Of course, the virtual experience is not the same as the physical exhibition experience. And we are excited to plan and organize IMTM 2022 to be held physically in the Maldives next year.” Ms. Shiuna indicated that there is no denying the impact that physical presence in an event has.
Ms, Shiuna emphasized the important role of the participants and their support to such events to provide an excellent opportunity to assess opinions from clients and determine the market potential. She stated “I strongly urge the industry stakeholders and partners to highlight the importance of their support and participation to make the exhibition a pleasant experience for all. We expect more than just a registration for the event. We want to see each and every property engaged from the very beginning and allow us to bring onboard plausible buyers from different parts of the world. Accommodation providers and International Buyers go hand in hand when it comes to making the travel and trade fair a success. It is imperative for both parties to collaborate in order to make fruitful and meaningful connections during the event.”
Every year, thousands gather to travel and trade shows around the world to share knowledge, meet industry experts, build business relationships and of course, sell their products and services. Whether you have something to show, someone to meet, or something to learn, travel and trade shows can be an excellent way to do it. Ms. Shiuna reaffirmed the determination of the IMTM Team to excel in the future to bring IMTM B2B travel and trade fair exhibition and said “As a woman working in the tourism industry especially working towards promoting marketing, events and the travel, we are adamant on bringing a cost-effective platform to the accommodation providers especially community-based tourism providers. IMTM team will continue and strive to defy the challenges that we may face and we are hopeful for a brighter future in the event industry.”
Ms. Shiuna went on to express appreciation and gratitude towards the parties that partnered with IMTM 2021 by stating “I would like to thank MMPRC and the team, Ministry of Tourism, Capital Travel & Tours, Astrabon, Lily Hotels, Exalto Emirates, Sun Ocean Maldives Financial Review, and Sri Lankan for being our key partners of IMTM 2021! I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for believing in our efforts to make the Maldives the most preferred MICE destination.”
International Maldives Travel Market (IMTM), is a B2B travel and trade fair that brings together international buyers (Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Destination Management Companies, and PR Companies) from around the world to liaise with the local accommodation providers (Resorts, Hotels, Guesthouses, Liveaboards, Dive Centers, Local Tour Operators, and Travel Agents) of the Maldives. The main purpose of bringing IMTM to the Maldivian tourism industry was due to observations indicating that most of the tourism stakeholders do not attend International Travel and Trade Fairs held in other countries as a major collective. In addition, major travel and trade fairs do not ensure a proportional representation between Resorts, Liveaboards and Guesthouses. Thus, the IMTM fair was established to provide a cost-effective platform with opportunities to promote the properties of accommodation providers whilst generating leads when they meet International Buyers from different parts of the world here in the Maldives.
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