Going to the Maldives is a dream for everyone that loves paradise destinations. Not only for honeymooners even for very experienced travel writers from all over the world. There was a little confusion about the event taking place or not, but not a single travel writer bailed out as everyone desperately wanted to be included in this amazing event held on such a unique location in the world. The Maldives is a dream destination and although it was my second time visiting this unique country I was excited to board my flight from Europe with Qatar Airways on my way to paradise.

Arriving at Male International Airport

This is the most amazing airport in the world. May be not in terms of how spectacular the architecture looks or how huge it is, it is all about how unique this airport is in its kind. As you know Maldives is made up out of thousands of islands and so is the airport, basically a small long island with a runway. So what happens when you arrive? I guess you can already imagine you are not walking out to find a taxi! ;)

As soon as I arrived there was a team from Maldives TV waiting for me and the other bloggers on the flight with Qatar Airways from Doha and we were redirected to a special Airport arrival Lounge. We handed in our passports to someone who would complete the immigration process for us while we were welcomed with drinks and snacks. It didn’t take long after my arrival to give an interview for Maldives TV about what my expectation were for the Travel Writers’ Conference and my stay in the Maldives.

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Male Airport developments

As said before the international airport in Maldives is a unique one. Every hotel or resort has its own booth at Male Airport and every passenger arriving has to announce him or herself at their hotel booth. These people will then arrange either a boat transfer or a seaplane away from the airport island. You can’t just walk out of the airport and arrange a boat yourself. Boat transfers to resort islands are mandatory to book with your hotel booking and be aware they are not cheap at all! Local boats only go to local islands!

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Things are slowly changing though since Maldives opened up the local islands for tourism a couple years ago. Guesthouses on local islands are popping up which attracts budget travelers as well. The tourism industry in Maldives wants to grow with 400% over the next years and many development projects have started already. At the end of 2018 it will be possible to get a normal taxi to the capital Male as a kilometers long bridge is under construction between Male Island and the Airport Island. A local boat from the airport island to Male is only like 10 minutes and cost $1,50.

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With all these upcoming changes in the Tourism sector Male Airport is working hard towards future developments as well and is reconstructing its airport to cater to the expected growth in tourism in the next years.

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Staying at Adaaran Hudhuranfushi

For me it was my second time in the Maldives and I had seen both worlds. Last year I stayed 4 days on a local island to experience the local island life but also stayed in an ultra luxurious resort, read about it in my Shangri La Villingili Maldives blog. There were about 20 bloggers and travel writers invited but unfortunately we were all staying on different islands. I was lucky to stay at the all inclusive surf resort Adaaran Hudhuranfushi with the legendary Filipino team and famous Instagrammers and YouTubers @avelovin and @psimonmyway.

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This resort might not be the most luxurious in the Maldives but damn we had a great time here and that is more worth than anything. I was not bothered I wasn’t granted one of those famous Maldivian overwater bungalows, I was already blessed we had alcohol included and were having some shots before we went to bed. :)

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Every night I ended up drinking with the Filipino team and some of other bloggers while during the day we were able to surf, jetski, fly board, get massages and go for fishing. Because I value fitness and traveling I had to go for a gym session and of course also set up a photo shoot for some breakfast shots. Love doing that! I am working on a blog post about all my breakfast shots that will be released soon...

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Staying at the Adaaran Hudhuuranfushi was very laid-back, good fun and uncomplicated. This island is not a high-end luxurious resort but great fun for those travelers that want to enjoy the beauty of the Maldives and all its activities for an affordable price. I would also recommend this island if you are traveling with a group of friends or families. I also stay in the sister property of the Hudhuuranfushi, a resort close to Male: Adaaran Prestige Vadoo Water Bungalows.

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This island is not only famous for its beautiful beaches.

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Surfing at Adaaran Hudhuranfushi is very popular.

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Public speaking at the World Travel Writers’ Conference

It sounds scary to speak on stage knowing that a couple hundred eyes are watching you, but if you know you will be speaking about a topic related to your passion then it will all be fluent. Being invited for the first World Travel Writers’ Conference hosted by Maldives TV was very flattering and a unique chance to show myself to a Maldivian audience and make great connections for the future. The conference was held on Bandos Island, the second resort in Maldivian history that opened its doors to tourists. It was great to discuss the future developments in the Maldivian tourism industry on stage with some influential people in the business and discuss how we travel writers are able to contribute and help them realize their goals. Thanks again to Maldives TV for inviting me. It would be a pleasure to come back next year.

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Liz Carlson from @youngadventuress giving her inspiring keynote speach.

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Gala dinner at Adaaran Hudhuranfushi

The closing gala dinner was luckily on the same island I was staying at but not for all the other attendees. It was really funny to see how a little boat came from the open sea to dock at our island and drop off a handful of very well dressed people. This is so typical Maldives, so funny. During the gala dinner the sponsors of the World Travel Writers’ Conference were honored and we were awarded for coming to Maldives as well. It did not take long to get everyone up from their chairs, as islanders know how to get a party started! As it was time to leave everyone had to get back into their boats and disappear on the pitch black horizon! Maldives TV thank you again for such an amazing event.

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Thanks for keeping up with Traveltomtom.

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After the World Travel Writers’ Conference I stayed another two weeks in paradise and checked the following resorts out for you: Hotel Jen, Kurumba Maldives, Kuramathi Island Resort, Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Lux South Ari Atoll and Naladhu Private Island. Last year I already ticked off a honeymoon destination in the most southern island in Maldives, read about it in my Shangri La Villingili blog. But my new favorite resorts in Maldives is Lux South Ari Atoll.

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