Regarded as the epitome of luxury tourism in South Asia, Maldives, with its over 1000 coral islands has emerged as a ‘premier’ brand. Tourism remains the largest economic industry in the country.
To keep up with the tourism demand, which is expected to cross 1.5 million in 2019, the Government has been undergoing renovation of its key airport and actively encouraging new luxury resorts. International brands like Waldorf Astoria, Pullman, Westin and Hard Rock Café have recently opened in the archipelago.
With over 135 resorts and 10 major hotels along with numerous guest houses, the occupancy rate in the country however has remained stagnant for the last few years. While China, Germany, the UK, Italy and India has consistently been the top five source market, in recent times Maldives has seen a surge in tourist arrivals from South Korea.
A long stay destination, where average length of stay is over 6 days, hotels for years have depended on tour operators and travel agents for bookings. However, with the increase in supply of rooms and change in guest booking behavior, hotels have been adapting to online travel.
Global OTAs like Booking.com, Expedia and Agoda has become quite popular with hotelieres. Booking.com, for instance, has 795 properties listed, Expedia has close to 700 hotels and guest houses in Maldives listed on its channel.
As online distribution evolves, hotels are increasingly adjusting to changes in market dynamics. While GDS remains their most popular channels, they are opening up to OTA and metasearch as well.
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