His excellency Minister of Tourism, Ali Waheed has given an insight into the Impact of Tourism, Debt and Disaster Risk Management taken place due to the pandemic at the virtual seminar of Commonwealth held today.
Maldives is a country heavily dependent on the Tourism sector for the governments revenue. With the pandemic, for the first time in 47 years Maldives has recorded zero tourist arrival since March 2020. Being a small nation with tourism bringing in one third of the government revenue, it is estimated that the economic growth of Maldives may recede to a negative 26% in the worst case scenario. Leaving Maldives in the worst economical crisis compared to the 2004 Tsunami and 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
The government of Maldives is compiling a ” Guideline for Restarting Maldives Tourism ” having engaged in multiple discussion with the industries stakeholders and experts as it is impossible to keep the borders closed for an extended period of time. As planned and discussed , the government is pushing to activate the plan to restart tourism and open borders by July 2020.
We urge Commonwealth countries to open up borders without compromising safety. It’s time to build travellers confidence, towards an intra-commonwealth travel and tourism.”Ali Waheed, Minister of Tourism, Maldives
Controlling and managing the pandemic today is key for a progressive economy tomorrow. The best of efforts have been taken in place to control the pandemic and put in the maximum work in contributing to flatten the curve. 26 tourist establishment, which is nearly 3000 rooms has been utilized as quarantine and isolation facilities.
Environment challenges has always been a threat to Maldives. With the sea levels raising and Global warming, the government has a unique opportunity to go forward with green and inclusive policies for recovery. Moreover with immediate attention, the government is looking into the socio-economic impacts arised due to the pandemic. Rescuing business and bringing back the workforce to their jobs is one of the top priorities. With it strengthening local parity and women empowerment in the industry is been conducted.
For a nation such as Maldives heavily depending on tourism, recovering from crisis requires support. Commonwealth has been supportive to the Maldives since rejoining the association. Maldives urges Commonwealth countries to open up borders without compromising safety to provide and build travelers confidence, towards an intra-commonwealth travel and tourism.