It’s safe to say this year has been one of the most difficult years the tourism industry has ever experienced. As a PR agency specialising in working with travel and lifestyle brands, we’ve certainly had our share of some of low points. However, we’ve thankfully had first-hand involvement of several of the highs.
So, to end the year on a positive note, we wanted to share our learnings on how the team at GEC PR has successfully handled the PR and Marketing for one of our destination clients, the Maldives Tourist Board.
Like every destination hugely dependant on tourism, the Maldives was immensely affected by the travel restrictions put in place this year. On-arrival tourist visas were suspended for almost four months until borders re-opened to international tourists on 15th July 2020, with a travel corridor put in place with the UK on 25th October 2020. It was therefore imperative all PR and marketing activity was focused around keeping the Maldives brand front-of-mind and helping to revive tourism once international travel resumed.
GEC PR ensured PR and marketing activity focused on positioning the destination as a ‘safe-haven’ due to the geographical layout of the country and the unique ‘one-island-one-resort’ concept. The GEC PR team, therefore:
- Focused on the topical – all creative work was planned on a short-term basis, with content and press release topics written around ideas relevant to the current travel climate such as the strapline of ‘Rediscover the Maldives’ and #VisitMaldivesLater
- Became even more proactive – media and trade partners were regularly contacted with news stories or updates relating to travel opening up across the destination including interviews secured for tourist board representatives with key trade and consumer publications.
- Embraced the virtual world – engaged consumers were targeted through virtual events held with mainstream platforms such as consumer magazine Wanderlust and private members club Girl About Travel, as well as events targeting travel and lifestyle focused content creators including Waypoint
- Diversified marketing activity – prominent media campaigns were carried out with a variety of target publications such as national newspapers, trade magazines and online platforms such as Travelzoo and Skyscanner promoting the Maldives as one of the most preferred destinations in the world
- Over £30,000 of coverage generated each month during the pandemic
- £1,327,538 of coverage generated in July alone
- The UK remained one of the leading markets in terms of tourist arrivals to the Maldives
- The Maldives celebrated the arrival of the 500,000th visitor for the year in December, ahead of the estimated date
- Marketing campaigns carried out with mainstream partners including Travelzoo, Skyscanner, TTG, The Times, The Guardian, Wanderlust Magazine, Girl About Travel and Qatar Airways