Maldives works on diversifying the tourism industry

Monday, 17 October 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed says that his government is exploring several new approaches and different avenues to promote the Maldives as a tourist destination.

He was highlighting the new venture to boost the mid-market tourism in the archipelago, an approach surprisingly new to it. For over thirty years now the country has only concentrated on high-end clients with luxury resorts of top-notch quality. However, when the potential of new markets such as China, India and the Middle East was proved thanks to an exponential increase in incoming tourists, the need to reshape and readjust the tourism industry became clear.

The government is now implementing economic and policy measures to reinvigorate the middle income tourism sector and to attract middle-income holiday makers to the Maldives. President Nasheed detailed the work during a meeting with leading French travel and tour operators on expanding the tourism sector to cater to clienteles of all income ranges.

The possibility of this venture becoming a resounding success is very high, with backpackers already finding the Maldives an attractive destination. The president said that “people perceive the Maldives as a dream”, which leads to tour operators and airlines believing that Maldives is reserved for the wealthy, a country that caters specifically to luxury markets. The meeting was meant to boil down this belief, and spread the message that the country is open to all tourist markets. President Nasheed stated that the Government and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture are willing to work together with airline representatives to facilitate the operation of cheaper transportation in the Maldives.

This is believed to be a monumental step in expanding the travel & tourism sector here.

Also present at the meeting was Ambassador-at-Large Mahir, who supported the idea. He said diversification of the tourism market is needed, as is stationing a promotional arm in France to promote the archipelago. He suggested that tour operators needed to come down to the Maldives to get a clearer picture of the Maldives as an ideal tourist destination for both luxury and mid-market tourism.