Maldives: Success around the corner

MALE, The Maldives, 9 February 2021: Total recovery of the Maldives’ tourism industry is likely by mid-year, the country’s Minister of Tourism, Abdulla Mausoom tweeted on Monday.

He was commenting on the arrival of 4,300 tourists on Sunday a daily peak for the island’s tourism industry that last week reported 92,103 visits in January alone. By the first week of February, the running total for the year rose to 99,397 arrivals.

The minister tweeted “ total recovery of the tourism industry of the Maldives is very likely especially with the nation-wide Covid-19 vaccination programme.”

Arriving visitors are PCR tested for Covid-19, and the ministry reported the positive Covid-19 infection rate stood at just 0.09% “making the Maldives one of the safest destinations in the world.”

Tourism industry employees are already being vaccinated as the immunisation programme rolls out.

Compared with Thailand, one of Maldives competitors in the luxury beach resort holiday market, the small Indian Ocean nation successfully reopened tourism and is now vaccinating the populace. Thailand is still dithering over whether it can start vaccinations in June and attempts to kickstart tourism recovery have so far fallen well short of ambitions.

But the Maldives, a drop in the ocean compared with Thailand’s close to 40 million visits in 2019, seems to have discovered a working formula for keeping tourism alive until unhindered travel can resume globally.