It is very encouraging to see MMPRC and Tourism stakeholders promoting the destination individually or collectively. With many countries slowly moving out of COVID guidelines, it is expected that tourist distribution too will get divided among many countries. It is a huge challenge for Maldives as the brand has already gone into the minds of the global tourism sector, sustaining the mindset will have to be done through continuous brand marketing.
While the efforts are being established by the stakeholders to sustain the Maldives share, it is important that the promise of an up end product is delivered, including external elements such as state of the art CIP lounge facility, TMA new terminal is being inaugurated. However the key is tackling the congestion on arrival and at departure of Velana. When a guest pays for a premium holiday, nobody wants an unpleasant arrival or even tiring departure after a good holiday. With the gradual build up of Japan and South Korea arrivals and expected China border opening, operations at Velana are not going to get any better.
With the very slow progress of the new terminal, the opening year might keep getting pushed. Expansion at the current terminal is limited. This situation surely requires highest priority attention as no airline or resort doesn’t want to deliver substandard service to their guests.
It is best that all stakeholders put their efforts and minds to think out of the box.
Situation should be looked at in a broader perspective. The Government of Maldives has spent considerable amounts of money to develop regional airports readily available for usage. If it happens, certainly the premium product which the destination is marketing will have some value addition. Once the stakeholders fix the convenient transfers from the regional airports to the resorts, I’m confident that more airlines will consider operating direct flights to those smaller locations!