The Maldives is getting ready to welcome tourists again and ease its border restrictions, announcing a phased re-opening of the islands from July 2020.
The country decided to suspend arrival visas soon after recording the first cases of Covid-19. A lockdown was imposed in the Greater Male Area, with the first instance of community transmission recorded on 15th April. However, with the number of cases reaching a manageable rate, and with strengthened precautionary measures, the Government eased restrictions internally on 28th May - almost six weeks after the lockdown was imposed.
The Government has been working tirelessly to re-commence tourist operations, with stringent safety guidelines put in place to safeguard the health and well-being of visitors to the country and those who work in the industry. As a result, they are preparing to gradually reopen the country’s borders in July.
The tourism sector in the Maldives is in the process of establishing the necessary protocols to suit the ‘new normal’. Work on protection, mitigation, and management of Covid-19 began as early as January this year. A National Coronavirus Taskforce was constituted by the President and an all-Government effort was launched with multi-agency participation. The Health Protection Agency has been leading the effort with the support of the National Disaster Management Authority, in close consultation with the World Health Organization.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, a first draft of the safety guidelines relating to the commencement of tourism was circulated among stakeholders, for which comments are being received. Guidelines will be finalised and shared with the industry after consultation with all stakeholders.
The Ministry has announced that the final version of the new guidelines does not include any new taxes or charges that will be imposed on visitors arriving to the country once the borders reopen. The Ministry also emphasised that the country's top priority would be to ensure the safety of visitors.
“The Maldives is a string of 1196 islands scattered across the ocean. Heavily reliant on the tourism sector, Maldives is famous for its unique one-island-one-resort concept,” said Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (Maldives Tourism).
“The isolated nature of the islands provides visitors with an ideal opportunity to enjoy its beautiful surroundings safely and comfortably, and the Maldivian people look forward to welcoming visitors to our idyllic shores again in the near future,” Mr Mohamed continued.
About Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation
Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) is the government body mandated with the promotion of Maldives as a tourist destination. The functions of MMPRC encompasses the full spectrum of marketing and public relations activities including research, surveys, master plans, campaigns, advertising and exposure through traditional media, public relations firms in other countries and the evolving new media.
The corporation has its presence all over the world with engagement based on studies of market potential. Every year, MMPRC promotes Maldives in multiple fares and roadshows (37 in 2019), with targeted campaigns among multiple other activities abroad and home. MMPRC is committed to positioning and maintaining Maldives amongst the top travel destinations in the world.
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