Minister of Tourism Honorable Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has revealed ambitious plans to reach 2 million tourist arrivals to Maldives by the year 2023; this year will mark the 50th anniversary of the tourism industry.
Speaking at the TTM Travel Summit 2020, he also stressed the importance of developing local island tourism and promoting it through the joint work of relevant parties involved in the industry. A website specifically targeted for this has been launched under the name “islands.mv”. The website will pave the way for providing detailed information about islands in Maldives, cultural attractions, heritage sites, ecological features, Maldivian cuisine and diving/snorkeling spots accessible nearby the specific island. Island councils will act as the marketing body for the island and will work closely with the guesthouses to attract more tourists.
The Minister commented on the creativity of the industry partners and how the ministry wishes to give them room to develop marketing tools and strategies to further enhance the tourist arrival numbers. He stressed upon the importance of being locally present on all platforms which boost the destination presence and provide a path for more connection between Maldives and potential visitors.
According to the Minister, the international connectivity will be diverted to the Southern and Northern airports instead of the central area. With the newly developed domestic airports, including the most recently established Hoarafushi Airport, it has become easier to link transport routes. The government is currently working on establishing a domestic transport network in Thiladhunmathi. “Moreover, the capacity of the Velana International Airport will be increased by 2020.”
The Minister commended the workforce of the industry and stated that their aim is to empower them through a program where they can attend a few modules specially structured for them. This will allow them to grab new job opportunities in the coming years.
He also expressed that in the future, the Ministry will venture into niche areas such as cultural and ecological tourism due to the emergence of “social impact travel” integrated by current travelers; 2020 has become the age for “socially conscious travelers”.
Maldives has recorded over 440,197 tourist arrivals so far this year, with over 56,000 arrivals since the reopening of borders in July; the top market arrivals are Russia and India. The Ministry, together with relevant stakeholders, continue to work alongside to market and promote the travel and tourism industry in Maldives.
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