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Maldives commences major destination rebranding initiative

Friday, November 05, 2010
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The Republic of the Maldives is set to undergo a comprehensive destination branding evolution to enhance the Indian Ocean island nation’s global image and broaden its appeal to wider markets.

Commencing immediately, the rebranding will culminate in the development of a new logo, slogan, advertising strategy and worldwide campaign set to launch in 2011.

“The Maldives is a vibrant, thriving destination that is embracing its heritage while continuing to transition into a 21st-century nation. We aim to unite all of the country’s unique natural, cultural and historical attributes and enliven them with fresh dynamism to position the Maldives as the must-see destination of our time for all travellers,” said Thoyyib Mohamed, Minister of State for Tourism.

Spearheaded by the Maldives Tourism Promotion Board, the initiative will focus on enhancing the positioning of the nation’s tourism product, strengthening its image in established key source markets while broadening its appeal to wider audiences and emerging niche markets.

“The Maldives is far more than just sun and sea. This is a nation rich with a distinct culture, fascinating history, dynamic people, and of course, pristine natural beauty. The new face of the Maldives will give travellers from across the spectrum even more reasons to come and experience a truly diverse array of island experiences,” said Simon Hawkins, consultant to the Maldives Tourism and Promotion Board.

Key to the rebranding initiative was the selection of an external brand strategy and communications agency to carry out the brand evolution and develop the communications strategy. Through a global tender process that drew responses from agencies across the globe, Bangkok-based travel and tourism branding specialist agency KEEN was selected to develop the country’s new identity.

“As a long-term partner of the Maldivian tourism industry, KEEN is delighted to embark on this journey to sculpt the image of the new Maldives and present it to the world. We aim to channel our collective passion for this truly unique nation towards continuing its success story, creating a brand infused with all the warmth and beauty for which the Maldives is beloved, and harmonising this image with the country’s national vision,” said KEEN CEO David Keen.

While evolution of the country’s tourism positioning will be a central driver of the rebranding process, the Maldives will also seek to present itself as a destination offering a wider array of opportunities for business and investment, with the goal of spurring development and building a national image that its people will embrace with pride.

“Continuing to identify and develop our nation’s unique tourism potential is fundamental to achieving the sustainable growth targets we have set as a nation. Tourism lays a strong foundation for development, increasing business and income-generating opportunities for our people, attracting foreign investment, and developing modern and energy-efficient infrastructure that will have long-term cascading benefits for all levels of society,” said the Minister of State for Tourism.

About the Maldives
The Maldives is an archipelago nation of 1,190 islands in the Indian Ocean renowned for its pristine beaches and island environment. Annual GDP growth has averaged 7.5% over the last 15 years, and is largely led by two major economic drivers – tourism and fishing. Europe and Asia are the nation’s primary tourism source markets, led by UK, Italy, China, France, Germany, and Japan. Total tourism arrivals for 2009 totalled approximately 680,000.

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