As with any tourism business in Maldives, the access to tourists is a key deciding factor on the success or failure for the tourism in the Southern zone of Maldives. We are relying mostly on domestic transfers from Velana International Airport to the Southern zone. There are a number of significant issues including the high price of the domestic transfers, lack of flight schedule in advance, last minute changes to the flight timings, and other difficulties in working with local carriers. Key issue which the local carriers point out is the lack of sufficient tourist traffic to bring down the cost and to have regular frequent flights. Sufficient traffic would only come when there are a good number of beds and the investment to have this bed inventory is dependent on tourist arrival at a cheap rate. This leads to a catch-22 situation.
Currently the Ministry of Tourism is working very hard on solving this issue through bringing together all relevant parties involved including domestic flight operators, travel agents, Atoll and Island Councilors, Parliamentarians representing Southern Zone and property developers including resorts, guesthouses and liveaboards. The government is also focusing on bringing international charter flights and scheduled flights directly to the Southern zone. Having international flights landing at GAN airport combined with the seaplane operation from GAN catering to the southern atolls could be the answer to make the Southern zone a success.