Tourism Minister Ali Waheed has revealed that Maldives will be hopefully opening its borders in the 3rd quarter of 2020 in order to continue with tourism industry related activities.
During CNNs segment, "Quest Means Business" anchored by Richard Quest, Minister Waheed said that as soon as the current COVID-19 situation in the country improves, Maldives will be welcoming back tourists around July September 2020.
Minister Waheed also added that there are hundreds of tourists still unable to return home in Maldives. The government is providing for those who cannot afford to continue staying at resorts. Waheed said, "We believe they are like locals, they are the people who have brought this country to where it is now."
The industry will only be re-opened after implementation of appropriate measures in resorts and airports according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, said Minister.
Ensuring that tourists will be returning back to a safe paradise, Waheed revealed that required surveys are being conducted at airports and resorts. In addition, the resulting documents will be presented to Cabinet and Peoples Majilis this month discussing the opening of borders.
With the halt of Maldives most profited travel and tourism industry, experts forecast the country to bear a great percentage of economic loss from the South Asian countries amidst pandemic.
Majority of the airline industry has been shut-down due the growing number of virus-infected cases worldwide. Hence, airlines are rolling out new policies aimed at strengthening health measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 amongst passengers and crew.
Similarly, various hotel brands and travel agencies have expressed support in donations and accommodation for the healthcare professionals working at the frontlines fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.