How Addicted to Maldives’ Director turned passion into a career

How Addicted to Maldives’ Director turned passion into a career

When asked about the best part of her job, Di Lechner didn’t give an obvious answer. “It made me feel like a dreamer.”

For many, the highlight of running a travel agency dedicated to the Maldives will be frequent visits to one of the most popular destinations on the planet – right there, of course – but Addicted to Maldives It goes deeper than that, says the director and co-founder.

“Receiving happy photos from clients while on vacation brings me a lot of joy,” says Lechner. “Clients are so excited to visit and it pays to be able to turn their dream vacation into reality.”

A dream vacation was just the beginning of Lechner’s addiction. In 2008, she and husband Paul honeymooned in the island nation; fittingly, it was love at first sight. “From the moment we landed, we fell in love and knew we would be back,” she said. “We were able to get out of the stress of life and reconnect.”

That feeling called out to the couple for the next few years, and soon they were returning regularly to explore the different resorts and atolls. “During the planning stages of these trips, we realised there were no ‘Maldives experts’ in Australia who could turn to us for help or advice,” she said. “As we spend more time there, we’re learning more about destinations and personal reports to the point that we’re educating travel agents to book our tours.”

Thus, Australia’s top destination management company “Indulge in the Maldives” was born.

Make travel easy

Logically, the Maldives is a challenge for even the most experienced holiday makers, and Lechner stressed that those trying to book their own trip to the archipelago online may encounter any number of stumbling blocks.

“It’s a resort destination country, so it’s important to get it right and tick all the boxes,” she said. “There are hundreds of accommodation providers in the Maldives, so narrowing down can be tricky and time-consuming.”

By getting to know their customers, Lechner and the Addicted to Maldives team have a clear understanding of their needs, wants and budgets. “We’re very focused on that to make sure what we’re booking is ideal,” she said. “While the resort’s brochures and pictures look and sound good, we leverage our experience and superior knowledge of the destination and product. Distinguish the tiny details that make a huge difference.”

There is also the journey, which is not just a flight and a taxi to a hotel. Landing in the capital Male is just the beginning. “Transfers are not only expensive, but difficult—think domestic flights, seaplanes and speedboats,” Lechner said. “If you’re not happy with your accommodation, it’s not just a matter of hopping on a tuk-tuk and moving.”

This is where Lechner’s experience and passion really stand out. “We know which villas offer the best sunrise and sunset views; we know which side of each island offers more privacy; we know where reefs thrive and sustainability is a true business pillar, not marketing gimmick,” she said. “That nuance can’t be found by scrolling through Instagram, TripAdvisor, or website copy.”

Once a client and a resort get engaged, marriage is inevitable. Back then, Addicted to Maldives leveraged its strong partnerships with resorts and operators to ensure smooth travel, meeting and in many cases exceeding expectations.

Do what you like

Addicted to Maldives

“After traveling to the Maldives for 15 years and doing business there for seven years, we have built some strong relationships in the region,” Lechner said. “We can connect clients with the perfect butler, recommend the right spa therapist, or connect them with a chef we know will surprise them.”

The breadth of the Maldives resort offering means the Addicted to Maldives team has its job to do, but Lechner says it’s all part of her passion. “The Maldives is one of those unique destinations, and it can be anything you want: a tumultuous beach escape, a high-octane adrenaline adventure or a wellness retreat. It’s perfect for couples and families,” she says .

Being able to turn a passion into a career isn’t a luxury everyone has, but neither is visiting the Maldives. Lechner has both, and he doesn’t take either for granted. “Part of the reason this is such a unique and desirable destination is its stunning natural beauty,” Lechner said.

“Every time I send a client there, I relive the unparalleled feeling of visiting the most special destination in the world for the first time. That’s why I love what I do.”

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