Tourism Ministry has announced that the 'Visit Maldives' branding will be printed on the jerseys of a European football club.
Speaking to the press before departing to London for the World Travel Market (WTM) on Thursday, Minister Ali Waheed said Maldives will be promoted on Spain's Celta De Vigo's jerseys, practice kits and stadium as their official sponsor. The sponsorship package costs over US$ 900,000 per year, said the minister.
The three-year partnership between Maldives and Celta De Vigo will cost a total of US$ 2.7 million, inclusive of taxes. Currently ranked at the 18th position in the Relegation Zone of the Spanish league, the agreement will be signed with the club on November 4 at an international press conference, said the Minister.
The minister said with the new agreement, the Maldives will reach new heights in tourism promotion.
"I believe this is a great opportunity for promotion at an effective price. We are reaching new levels of tourism promotion in Maldivian history", the minister said.
Minister Waheed said Celta De Vigo will be sporting the kit with 'Visit Maldives' logo when they play against Barcelona on November 11th.
"I would like to note that the 'Visit Maldives' logo will be featured on the official jerseys of the players and staff uniforms as the official sponsor and official tourist destination. All jerseys in retail stores and the buses used to transport the team will also feature the 'Visit Maldives' logo", said Minister Waheed.
While a large number of tourists visit the Maldives from Spain, the minister expressed hope that the new promotional activities would increase the number of tourist arrivals from the country.
Celta De Vigo is a Spanish professional football club based in Vigo, Galicia, currently playing in La Liga. While advertising countries on jerseys of European football clubs is common, this is the first time the Maldives will be promoted this way.