Covid-19 impacts on tourism

Maldives needs Commonwealth's support in Covid-19 recovery efforts: minister

  • Controlling and managing the pandemic is key for a progressive economy for tomorrow.
  • Maldives is determined to address the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, swiftly
  • Government is currently in discussion with the relevant stakeholders to compile a “Guideline for Restarting Maldives Tourism”

K. Male' 2020 May 28 | Thu 01:26 local 3,585

Tourism Minister Ali Waheed - Tourism Ministry

Maldives needs the Commonwealth's support in the Covid-19 recovery efforts, says Tourism Minister Ali Waheed.

The minister made the statement while participating in the Commonwealth’s Virtual Seminar on the Impact of Tourism, Debt and Disaster Risk Management on Wednesday.

Noting that the island nation is experiencing a standstill in tourist arrivals for the first time in 47 years of tourism, Waheed said that the country has "experienced zero tourist arrival since this March, which is more devastating than the 2004 Tsunami and 2008 Global Financial Crisis".

He stressed that the Maldives is “heavily dependent” on tourism and the industry accounts for one third of the total government revenue and stressed that it needs the Commonwealth's support to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are glad that we are back in the commonwealth. We thank the support given to us by the organization and its member states during previous tough times. Once again for a nation that is heavily dependent on tourism, we need your support in our road to recovery

~ Ali Waheed, Minister of Tourism

As a vulnerable tropical island, Maldives is determined to address the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, swiftly.

Authorities have also anticipated the economic growth of the Maldives to drop to a negative 26% in the worst case scenario, said Waheed.

Further, he added in his statement that the tourism industry has utilized 26 tourist establishments, nearly 3,000 rooms for quarantine and isolation purposes to assist the government’s efforts to flatten the curve.

Waheed added that “controlling” and “managing” the pandemic is key for a progressive economy for tomorrow.

The government is currently in discussion with the relevant stakeholders to compile a “Guideline for Restarting Maldives Tourism” from July onward, as the Maldives cannot “keep our borders closed for long”.

The government has a unique opportunity to go forward with green and inclusive policies for recovery. It is a good chance to integrate policies on climate change. Rescuing the businesses and bringing back the workforce back to their jobs is on top of our agenda. Also we will use this opportunity to strengthen the local parity and women empowerment in our industry”

~ Ali Waheed, Minister of Tourism

The minister stressed on the importance of remaining united, focus on common grounds to achieve common targets to defeat the common invisible enemy and the need to be innovative and “pragmatic” in this regard.

Waheed concluded his statement by urging Commonwealth countries to open up borders "without compromising the safety" and added that "it is time to build the confidence of zealous travelers, towards an intra-commonwealth travel and tourism".

Last updated at: 1 month ago | Reviewed by: Aishath Shaany

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