Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) and representatives from the Tourism Industry participated in the Marine Diving Fair held in Japan, Tokyo from 7-9 April 2006. The Deputy Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation of Maldives, Mr. Abdul Hameed Zakariyya officially inaugurated this event. Over 30 participants represented Maldives tourism during in this fair.
Maldives received some prestigious Dive & Travel Awards at the Marine Diving Fair. These include three awards representing the Maldives as destination and five awards won by two resorts in the Maldives. As a destination, the Maldives won “Best Resort Area – Overseas”, “Best Dreaming Area” and “Best Diving Area”. Coco Palm Dunikolhu won “Best Resort hotel Overseas”, “Best over water bungalows”, “Best Beach” and “Best Snorkelling (Second Place)”. Olhuveli Beach & Spa won an award in the best beach category.
The travel trade and consumers with specific interests in diving visited this fair. The fair organiser, the Marine Art Centre of Japan, estimated that nearly 50,000 people would visit this fair.
Maldives Tourism Promotion Board and its Public Relations representative (JTB Corp) in Japan also organised a seminar on “Maldives Tourism Product” on 10 April 2006. The invitees for this seminar included tour operators, travel agents and land operators from Japan and Travel trade from the Maldives.
Japan remains the number one market from Asia and hold fifth position overall to the destination. Japanese visitors shared 4.7% of the tourist arrivals to the Maldives by March 2006.