|Published online: June 6, 2017||$US5.00|
This article explores the issues faced by guesthouse tourism in the Maldives, which is currently at its infancy stage. Tourism has become one of the major economic pipelines of the country since operations began in the 1970s. In line with the recent launching of the Maldives Ambassador Program (MAP), the Maldives is going to be promoted not only as a holiday destination but as a world-class destination that will fully support the Maldives as a luxury tourism destination. This is one of the initiatives that will indirectly lead to a perception that the Maldives is a very expansive destination, especially considering the growing infrastructure specifically focused on accommodating tourists’ demands for premium holidays. As a world-renowned destination for luxury vacations, the Maldives entertains few to no middle- and low-budget tourists, which has indirectly made guesthouse operations a foreign concept to tourists. A change of government in 2008 has led to the introduction of guesthouse tourism as a means to make profits of tourism available to and reachable by the locals. The new government made amendments to the Tourism Act in January 2008. These new changes will further allow the local communities to venture into guesthouse business operations. The rapid expansion of Maldivian tourism market has created the right circumstances for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) like guesthouses to grow their business by adopting the newest marketing communication trends. Therefore, with the proper methods of advertising and better exposure to the idea of budget tourism, these guesthouse businesses can be highlighted as an affordable means to experience the Maldives with its authenticity intact. This study explores the adaptation and effectiveness of e-marketing for guesthouse tourism in the Maldives through the collection of data from Kaafu Atoll, the capital of the Maldives, using theoretical and snowball sampling techniques, where information is acquired through audio-recorded interview sessions. The interviews were carried out in four islands in Kaafu Atoll, covering a total of five guesthouses. The findings of this research are significant for promoting and increasing the visibility of guesthouse tourism in the Maldives through the exploration of e-marketing implementation.
|Keywords:||Guesthouse, e-Marketing, Management Support, Technological Competency, Perceived Benefits|
Senior Lecturer, School of Business, Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Student, Tourism Management, Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Lecturer, School of Business, Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia