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Re-Discover Maldives – The Sunny Side of Life

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Borders are open, resorts are opening their doors – It's time to re-discover the Maldives

Borders are open, resorts are opening their doors – It’s time to re-discover Maldives! On 15th July 2020, Maldives opened its borders to international visitors, 110 days after closing the borders as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19. The government made the decision to reopen the borders, fully confident in the safety measures and preparations in place to ensure the protection of all visitors and people working in the tourism sector, including those in the resorts.

The Maldives is an archipelago of dispersed coral islands which provides for natural isolation. The signature “one-island-one-resort” concept means that visitors to the country are based in their respective resorts. Together, these unique arrangements make it easier for visitors to maintain social distancing, whilst enjoying a truly safe and isolated holiday. Moreover, all resort facilities operating in this phase have been regulated to ensure that they are in line with the COVID-19 tourism guidelines to guarantee the safety of tourists throughout their stay in the country.

COVID-19 facilities with testing, isolation, and hospitalization capabilities have been established in six regions across the Maldives. Response measures, guidelines, and protocols have been prepared and put in place, on par with international standards and requirements.

The COVID-19 cases are predominantly based in the capital city of Male’. The population of the Maldives is 557,000, whereas this number includes an estimate of Maldives’ large resident population of undocumented expatriate workers. Over 227,000 live in the Greater Male’ Area alone. The population density in Male’ City is vastly higher than any of the other islands in the country. It is, therefore, important that the country’s COVID-19 risk status be assessed in light of this population density in the urban areas and the geographical dispersal of the cases in the country.

From April to July, the Maldives managed to contain cases within the first few weeks of the outbreak through swift and stringent measures. A gradual easing of measures was introduced in July to allow economic activity to resume. Similar to other countries, the easing of measures in Male’ has led to a rise in the number of cases, but strict inter-island travel restrictions remain in order to limit the spread of the virus to other islands.

Guesthouse tourism which was due to resume in August has also been delayed as an extra precaution. As a result of a resurgence in cases in Male’, additional restrictions have been implemented in the capital city and on travel from Male’ to other islands. Out of the remaining 188 inhabited islands, just 9 islands have active cases, with an average of one case in each of those islands. Presently, a select number of resorts and liveaboards are open for tourism.

Tourism is the backbone of the Maldives’ economy and accounts for a majority share of employment for the Maldivian labor force. The industry’s roots have spread to the very heart of the island homes of the Maldives. Tourism also contributes to over a quarter of the country’s GDP and is the source of over two-thirds of the country’s foreign currency income.

COVID-19 has had an immense impact on the socio-economic lives of Maldivians and all those associated with its tourism industry. Any sudden changes to the Maldives’ risk level has a significant impact on the industry’s ability to attract visitors and therefore, the rest of the economy.

Tourists have always chosen to visit the Maldives because of the confidence they have in receiving what they dreamt of; the privacy that the country provides to every tourist in the resort, untouched natural beauty, and trusted personalized services provided in the resorts. The COVID-19 tourism regulations and the geographical dispersal of cases in the country, in addition to the naturally isolated environments provided by our islands, are what we believe make Maldives the ideal COVID-19 safe holiday destination.

Feature image by W Maldives
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Latest

Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives Announces New Leadership Appointments

Meet the newest leadership appointments at Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll.

Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives introduces Steven D’Souza as Director of Food & Beverages, and Tammy Gan as Assistant Director of Branding & Marketing.

Steven D’Souza – Director of Food & Beverages

Originally from India, Steve brings over 18 years of experience within the hospitality Industry. Having achieved a Bachelor of Hotel Management degree, Steve has accumulated invaluable pre-opening resort experiences. Steve has worked across three continents and served as the Food and Beverage division Head at Cap Jaluca, A Belmond Hotel in Anguilla.

When it comes to the Maldives, Steve has worked at The Nautilus Maldives, Niyama Private Island Maldives, and Anantara Kihavah Maldives. Additionally, Steven has also worked in Anantara in Thailand, Raffles Hotels Canouan Island, Buccament Bay Spa and Resort in St. Vincent & Grenadines, and Sheraton Jumeirah in Dubai.

At Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll, Steve will be reporting directly to the General Manager. He has been tasked with spearheading the F&B operations, prioritizing revenue growth, waste minimization, and regulatory compliance, as well as enhancing guest satisfaction through elevated service standards.

Tammy Gan – Assistant Director of Branding & marketing

Tammy, who is originally from Singapore joins Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll with over 14 years of Marketing and Branding experience in the hospitality sector. Throughout her career, Tammy has worked in countries across Southeast Asia to the Middle East as well as the Maldives. Prior to this, Tammy held the position of Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at The Nautilus Maldives. Additionally, she held roles in esteemed properties like Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, Laguna Banyan Tree Limited in Phuket, Anantara Hotels Resorts & Spa in UAE, and Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.

In her new role, Tammy will report to the Director of Sales & Marketing. Here, she will oversee the strategic development and execution of marketing and communications plans for Finolhu and . HERE brands. Additionally, her role also encompasses brand enhancement, market analysis, advertising initiatives, resource allocation optimisation, as well as nurturing innovative branding and communication strategies through collaboration with external agencies.

I’m thrilled to welcome Steven and Tammy to Seaside Finolhu. I am confident that their expertise will help enhance our brand and elavate our dining experiences, ensuring unforgettable memoments for our guests, comments Steven Phillips – General Manager, Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll.

Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives is owned and managed by the Seaside Collection. The resort consists of 125 beachfront and overwater villas, four restaurants and an array of activities for guests to enjoy every day! Recently, the resort took groundbreaking measures to offer its employees more opportunities by signing an MoU with the Maldives National University. The MoU with Finolhu and MNU ensures the employees have opportunities to pursue further education and grow in the industry.

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