This section is intended to update and inform you of key initiatives and activities conducted by MATI during the 3rd Quarter of 2019.
Please note that the following is not a comprehensive list of all of our activities, but those which we believe to be the most significant.
Booking Holdings changed the commission structure of Booking.com on the 1st of July 2019 to include service charge and transfers in commissionable items.
As the Employment Act of Maldives requires all Service Charge collected, to be distributed to the employees, with an allowance to deduct a maximum of 1% as administrative fee. It was found that the commission on Service Charge was not allowed under Maldivian Laws.
Furthermore as transfers to tourist resorts and hotels are mostly provided by third parties with very little margin. Applying a commission on such third party services would become a heavy burden to the properties.
Hence, MATI raised these concerns on behalf of its members directly with Booking Holdings as well as the Ministry of Tourism.
MATI participated in an emergency meeting held by the Ministry of Tourism on the 24th of September 2019 with regard to the collapse of Thomas Cook (TC) to discuss mitigation measures.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of Tourism, the Minister of Economic Development, the Minister of Finance, senior representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MMPRC and the President’s Office.
Following the meeting, MATI worked with the Ministry of Tourism and other governmental organisations that included setting up of a help desk at the International Airport, advisory on the official website of the Ministry of Tourism, coordinating with TC’s guests currently in Maldives to help them return to their respective country and allowing them to complete their holiday with negotiated terms.
Furthermore, raised concerns with regard to the losses encountered by the resorts, especially the T-GST and green tax paid for checked-out bookings of TC, the full payments of which would not be recovered. MATI requested a tax concession / rebate to be offered by the government, to alleviate these losses.
Furthermore, MATI requested the government for an increase in the Destination Marketing budget to help counter the lost bookings for the upcoming festive and high-season.
As per the request of the Ministry of Economic Development (MoED), MATI met with the Salary and Wages Advisory Board of MoED on the 27th of August 2019 to discuss the formulation of a national minimum wage.
Topics discussed included economic implications, feasibility, structure of the minimum wage and holistic factors to consider when formulating a national minimum wage.
Close to 70 participants from various resorts, travel agencies and other hospitality related organizations participated in the 8-hour workshop held at Champa Central Hotel on the 1st of September 2019.
The workshop delivered information and insights related to effective modern digital marketing strategies as well as upcoming digital marketing trends and google analytics.
MATI was granted Affiliate Membership of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on the 11th of September 2019 by the 23rd UNWTO General Assembly, held in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
MATI is the first ever organization to become a UNWTO Affiliate member from the Republic of Maldives.
The Affiliate Members of UNWTO are tourism related organizations that works closely with UNWTO to promote the development of the global tourism industry in a sustainable and responsible manner.
As an affiliate member of UNWTO, MATI plans to enhance efforts to promote the sustainable development of the Maldivian Tourism Industry and also assist UNWTO in achieving its goals and objectives.
The ‘’Traditional Stone Carving Course’’ was an initiative of MATI designed to assist in the revival of traditional stone carving. It aimed to offer a viable foundation for Maldivians interested in practising the art of traditional stone carving.
A ceremony to celebrate the successful conclusion of the course was held at the National Museum. The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon. Yumna Maumoon and the Secretary General of MATI, Mr. Ahmed Nazeer.
Furthermore, senior officials of the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Ministry of Environment, TVET Authority and MATI attended the function as well.
The function included a presentation and display of the work carried out by the students of the course as well as handing out of course completion certificates
The course, initially set to run for 2 months was extended for a 3rd month as per the requests of the participants and finished on the 30th of September 2019. MATI hopes to continue the course, which was a first of its kind and take in a second batch in 2020.