Recent consumer trend studies have consistently revealed that 2023 will bring a major uptick in outbound travel from India. According to a Kayak YouGov survey, international flight searches by Indians shot up by 168 per cent for April-November, 2022, versus 2019, with value for money being a main consideration for vacations this year.
“The Maldives has remained a key destination of choice for Indian travellers, and India has maintained one of the top spots in terms of tourist arrivals into the country,” said Althaf Mohamed Ali, Chief Operating Officer of Pulse Hotels & Resorts.
According to him, multiple pertinent reasons have contributed to these growing numbers from India over the years, including visa-free entry for up to 90 days, proximity, excellent daily connectivity via multiple airline carriers, and, most significantly, diversity in travel and hospitality offerings for a range of budgets.
“As the Maldivian government aims for higher tourist arrivals pegged at 1.8 million in 2023, the latest year-end monthly arrival numbers for December 2022 further validate the importance of India as the leading source market. Indian travellers took the highest market share with 14.4 per cent of total arrival numbers to the destination. We foresee the travel demand continuing to grow from India to the Maldives for various travel interests such as multigenerational family holidays, honeymoons and couples travel, solo travel or groups of friends, corporate MICE travel, destination weddings and beyond,” he said.Established in 2015, Pulse Hotels & Resorts is a global hospitality development company with a diverse portfolio and distinctive hotel concepts. Ali shared that while Kandima focusses on affordable luxury, its island resort concept is perfectly suited for the Indian traveller and positioned as a stylish and game-changing lifestyle destination.
Last year, Pulse opened another inspiring island resort called Nova Maldives based on a modern all-inclusive community concept. The Nautilus is an ultra-luxury private island resort and bohemian hideaway catering to high-end travellers to the Maldives.
“Across all our properties personalisation and individualisation take precedence, and the prime focus is to consistently provide guests with playful activities, tailored, responsible and smart offerings merged with the latest technology and stylish environments,” he said.
With regard to future projections, Ali said, “2022 was focussed on consolidating the occupancy which saw an appreciable growth in 2021 given the fact the Maldives was the only destination open for travel in a post pandemic era. We are optimistic in forecasting a 10 per cent YoY growth in 2023 as we are making a concerted effort in establishing Kandima as per the premier destination for MICE travel to the Maldives.”
Bleisure is another important segment that Kandima is focussing on. “In 2023, we expect a wider emphasis on increasingly personalised corporate travel, focusing on a healthy mix of leisure components and group activities that brings people together,” said Ali.
“Corporate offsites are great opportunities to build strong teams by combining business travel and leisure time. At Kandima, companies can curate themed MICE stays for their employees and CXOs, with a range of activities such as wellness, underwater adventure, private dining with authentic Maldivian experiences and more,” he shared.
Looking forward to 2023, cost effective travel for groups with experiential benefits is the way to go, says Ali. “ Travellers in 2023 will certainly be more thoughtful about making the most of their travel budget,” he said, adding, “Indian travellers are attracted to great offers that offer value for money through discounts, alternatively, they are expected to plan trips much in advance to clinch a better package or stay benefits.”
With this in mind, Kandima currently offers attractive packages including Half Board, transfers, accommodations and other exciting inclusions for travel from 11th January 2023 to 30th September 2023.