Discussions have been held with China to strengthen the tourism industry as the Maldives attempts to overcome the economic impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was during a meeting between Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom and the Chinese Ambassador to Maldives Zhang Lizhong, on Monday.
Ministry of Tourism revealed that the discussions at the meeting focused on further enhancing the cooperation in travel and tourism between both nations.
Ambassador Lizhong said that he was briefed on Maldives’ progress in Covid-19 response, as well as on the challenges in tourism and measures imposed to ensure the safety of tourists.
He assured China’s “close cooperation for the recovery of tourism.”
Maldives most lucrative industry, the tourism industry was on standstill for nearly four months after the country closed borders on March 27 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Borders were reopened on July 15, and tourist arrivals have been lower than anticipated, and Minister Mausoom previously said that the number is expected to reach 120,000 by December.
The country welcomed a record breaking 1.7 million tourist arrivals in 2019, and a two million target was made for 2020. However, following the pandemic, this was reduced to 850,000 and current forecasts place that number at120,000 visitors.