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Sangeeta Saroj, a Goway IslandsEscapes Specialist, recently returned from the Maldives (with a stopover in Sri Lanka). Here, Sangeeta shares her insider’s tips on how to sell the exotic Maldives and why you should suggest this destination for your romance, luxury, and island hopping clientele.
Where are the Maldives and how do you get there?
Located in the Indian Ocean off the south-west coast of India, the Republic of the Maldives is one of the world’s most beautiful island destinations. It’s like a string of pearls, consisting of around 1200 atolls (islands), with over 120 secluded private island resorts to choose from. Once in Male, many properties are reached by a small seaplane transfer. These planes only operate in daylight, so it’s important to pay attention to arrival and departure flight times. Alternate modes of transportation are domestic flights and speedboat transfers. If your clients have limited time, it would be my recommendation to book them closer to the airport using properties that offer quick speedboat transfers.
Where did you stay in the Maldives?
I had the privilege of splitting my time between five of Goway’s preferred partners, Centara Ras Fushi, Komandoo Island Resort, Kuredu Islands Resort, Hurawalhi Resort, and Anantara Veli offering some very different but equally amazing experiences. However, for vacationers, I would recommend sticking with one property. Your clients will get better value (the longer you stay, the more you save), and you typically have to transfer via the airport to visit multiple resorts, which can be expensive.
What was your favourite experience while there?
I would have to say the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean were the highlight of my trip. Being able to jump into the water and snorkel directly from my overwater bungalow’s balcony was an awesome experience. I was also fortunate enough to experience a meal at Hurawalhi’s Undersea Restaurant which is an experience I would suggest pre-booking.
What is your advice for agents selling the Maldives to their clients?
Though I’d travelled a lot, I had never been to a place like the Maldives, and it is so important to qualify this to clients as it’s the number one thing when it comes to creating the perfect package to the Maldives. Knowing your client’s interests and budget is essential for recommending that perfect stay, as there are over 120 resorts to choose from. Between them, they offer everything from surfing, fishing, diving, snorkelling, nightlife and spas, so there is something for everyone. It is essential to know all this information from the start of the quoting process to ensure we are providing the best possible quote to meet your client’s needs. Getting an overall budget for your clients (including spending money) is extremely important as this is an upscale destination. Pre-purchasing meals, or buying an all-inclusive plan offers the best value and always my recommendation. Goway has preferred properties that we work with, and you can feel comfortable knowing we will make the best recommendation. The Maldives are also pretty far away, so I would suggest a stopover in a popular transit destination to break your client’s trip. I recommend doing this on the return home both to break up the long flight, and to make the transition back to work a little easier!
You can contact Sangeeta for any questions on the Maldives or for assistance in creating the perfect vacation package for your clients.
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