2015 AGM Chairman’s Statement

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Honorable MATI members, Ladies and Gentlemen

Let me again welcome you to our 25th Annual General Meeting of MATI. It is perhaps fitting that we are meeting early this year in a time where the industry is facing challenges due to the decline of certain markets and currencies.
We have seen a very different start to 2015 in respect to market trends and booking patterns. Arrival numbers for the destination have decreased for January 2015 compared to January 2014. I believe that many of us have, or will be facing this challenge in the months to come. This is obviously not being helped by the knock-on effect from the currency exchange.
We are still fortunate that despite changes in flight patterns we continue to see stability in some of our core European markets. Moreover, we see that China remains strong which is also a positive, but we accept that we cannot expect the same growth that we have seen in the previous years.
We believe it is of utmost importance to keep our focus on supporting both established markets and new and developing segments. It is therefore vital that we continue, as a destination, to market and promote the Maldives continuously throughout this year especially in the light of the current downturn. We must urge the Government and MMPRC to participate and find opportunities and additional activities this year and to bear in mind that we are competing internationally against other strong destinations, which are in many cases more visible in the market that we are in.
We will also see the likely introduction of Green Tax. While we are again having to face the introduction of a new tax, we hope and urge the government to address some of the key environmental issues that we have raised over and again.
Our Secretary General will in his speech highlight some of the activities that we MATI undertaken this year including the development and launch of a new site which we will be continuing to work on throughout this coming year.

I wish you all the best for this year and thank you for your continued support.