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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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Experience the Thrill of Summer with the Family Fun Summer Package at Sheraton Maldives!

Summer is almost here and Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is inviting families to experience the breathtaking paradise of the Maldives. Travellers can now explore the thrill of summer and more at Sheraton Maldives with the ‘Family Fun Summer’ Package. If you were thinking about booking a family trip this one is perfect for you. With this amazing package children under 12 dine and stay for free! Families can also immerse themselves in a host of specially curated experiences. This includes educational kids club programs, coral propagation activities, as well as culinary and wellness journeys, all-embracing sustainable travel and catering to eco-conscious travellers.

Families planning a tropical getaway this summer can look forward to exciting adventures at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. The five-star resort welcomes families to explore the natural splendour of North Male Atoll on the private island of Furanafushi. Guests can choose from a range of premium villas and overwater bungalows that feature breathtaking views of the lush gardens, pristine white-sand beaches, shimmering blue lagoon, or the Indian Ocean.

Explore the Signature Side by Side Family Program this Summer

Guests can delve into the resort’s signature ‘Side by Side’ Family Program, designed to create memorable moments that bring families together. From cooking classes, mom and daughter face mask making, and Maldivian palm weaving to engaging fun games, ‘Side By Side’ promises cherished memories for families. The resort boasts seven restaurants and bars, each offering a variety of delectable menus sourced with fresh organic produce from Chef Garden and Furana Organic Garden, perfect for families.

A Touch of Sustainability with the Adopt a Coral Activity!

Guests are also invited to participate in the ‘Adopt A Coral’ – coral planting activity led by the resident Marine Biologist and learn about coral propagation to help grow new colonies in the resort’s lagoon. This program, part of Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy, allows guests to create meaningful travel experiences. Families can enjoy a guided snorkelling tour or join a dolphin cruise on a traditional Maldivian Cruise Dhoni.

Enjoy More with the Family Fun Summer Package

With the ‘Family Fun Summer’ package, guests can savour daily breakfasts and buffet dinners. This includes Feast Restaurant or you can enjoy three-course à la carte meals at select restaurants. Kids will receive a special welcome amenity, and children under 12 can stay and dine for free. Additionally, complimentary access to the Kid’s Club is provided for children ages 4 to 12. The resort is conveniently accessible by a complimentary 15-minute speedboat ride, ensuring a stress-free journey for families.

Guests can reserve their extraordinary summer retreat before May 31, 2024. This is valid for stays until September 30, 2024. With this, guests can enjoy other benefits such as daily breakfasts and dinners, and complimentary access to the gym and kids’ club. Moreover, guests can also enjoy non-motorized water sports activities. For more information, visit the website at www.sheratonmaldives.com or book the Family Fun Summer package here. Marriott Bonvoy members can seamlessly earn and redeem their points on stays and experiences at the resorts. 

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