Maldives participates in the 5th virtual meeting of the Technical Group of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Tourism Crisis Committee.
The meeting was held in a virtual setting on March 22, 2021. As the representing chair of the UNWTO Commission of South Asia, Minister of Tourism Dr Abdulla Mausoom participated in the meeting along with the Ministry’s Senior Executive Director Ali Razzaan.
Minister Dr Mausoom discussed on setting a new scenario to work on the recovery of tourism and ensuring safe travel means by introducing vaccinations e-certificates. With the e-certificate as proof of vaccination, travel will be made less restricted for travellers.
He further shared the collective effort of the Government, Ministry of Tourism and the Health sector in minimizing the impact of COVID-19 while working for the best solutions to move forward during the meeting.
UNWTO has also published an international code for the protection of guests. It will provide guidance to countries worldwide on how to help tourists affected by emergencies, including but not limited to health emergencies, informed the organization.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “We can only restart tourism if we restore trust in travel. People want to feel safe and looked after when they travel. And the Code for the Protection of Tourists will provide this, based on the collaboration of the global tourism sector and governments.”
The Tourism Ministry and Health Protection Agency of the Maldives (HPA) started vaccination drives in resorts on February 14, 2021. The first vaccination center in a resort opened in Bandos Island Resort & Spa. The government prioritized 10,000 doses from the first shipment of vaccination doses for the frontliner workers in the tourism industry.
Maldives reopened borders to all nationalities from July 15, 2020. All visitors are granted a 30-day free on-arrival visa with a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country. While there is no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival, tourists traveling to Maldives are required to complete an online health declaration form and provide a negative PCR test result taken at least 96 hours prior to their departure. The negative PCR test result must be attached while completing Traveler Health Declaration form, which has to be submitted online via IMUGA (www.imuga.immigration.gov.mv), by all arriving passengers before arrival (but not exceeding 24 hours before arrival time).
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