Maldives, the Sunny Side of Life has always been synonymous with luxury travel. Maldives is well known around the world as an expensive paradise for vacationers or investors with deep pockets. In reality we have evolved and now we can offer the world a wide variety to fit anybody’s budget.
Since the inception of tourism in 1972 Maldives is famous for its white sandy beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters. One island, one resort concept offered the resort island experience for travellers and this has been the industry norm for years.
Then came the Safari Boats, the vacation on a boat with value added snorkeling and diving experiences in addition to customised surfing packages.
The modern day revolution came in 2009 when government approved guesthouses to be operated in inhabited islands and it has taken a life of its own. From 1996 – 2009 as per Ministry of Tourism official statistics, there were an average 22 Guest houses operated only in Male’.
Unknown to majority of Snowflakes, Millennial’s and Generation X, Baby boomers would tell you that guesthouses are not new to the Maldives and they were one aspect of tourism when the Maldivian Tourism Industry was at its infancy. Until 1984 guesthouses operated around Maldives when policy was revised to promote the resort market allowing limited possibilities geographically (only in Male’) for a guesthouse to be registered and operated as a tourist establishment.
Guesthouses are back and they are coming back with a Bang. The growth picked up traction in 2012 when the number of guesthouses almost doubled to 75 from 38 in 2011. As of January 2018, there are 465 guesthouses and 7,473 beds in operation around the Maldives.
“How to travel the Maldives on a Budget: Its possible!” by Lauren or “Rock the Maldives on a Budget with 10 First Hand Travel Tips” by Alexis Zahner are some of the many articles making noise about Budget travel in the Maldives. 29 percent of travelers to Maldives in 2017 stated that the internet was the source of information to discover about Maldives and with present day technology, an Instagram post can do marvels to reach a wider audience than through traditional channels. According to the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), 67 percent of US traveler’s have used the Internet to search for information on destinations or check prices or schedules.
Some travel writers have even come up with their own experience or packages – GSR (Guest House, Safari and Resort). Everything Maldives has to offer in one holiday and within your budget. Travellers have been enjoying the local island experience in a guesthouse, hop on a Safari Boat and cruise the oceans with stargazing on private white sandy beaches, and to sum it all enjoy the indulgence of a resort island where you are made to feel special with a tailor made service, the best Maldives has for offer, all in one trip.
Swift inter-island transport has been possible with the development of transportation facilities in the Maldives, otherwise going from place to place is a daunting task when your are 90 percent surrounded by water. Take a Sea Plane or a Domestic Flight or a Speed Boat Ferry, there are several means to get around the Maldives to reach your destination. According to Maldives Visitor Survey Feb 2017, 75% of all visitors who arrived to Velanaa International Airport (VIA) reached their place of stay from the Airport within one hour. Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) and Maldivian are the two service providers of Seaplanes. Covering all operating resort destinations among the both TMA has a fleet of 48 seaplanes and Maldivian 11 seaplanes respectively. Fly in through one of the 3 International Airports and reach your destination from one of the 9 domestic Airports on Flyme or Maldivian to a waiting boat transfer as a final mean of transport before beginning your Maldives adventure. With the influx of tourist resorts and guest houses Maldivian government has initiated a USD 400 million dollar project to increase the capacity of Velana International Airport to cater for the masses with 1,389,542 tourists arriving to Maldives in the year 2017 to that of 61,531 in the year 2009. Bed capacity is increasing and we need bigger, better and swift facilities to ease the influx of tourists.
In the year 1996 Maldives had 73 operating resorts and today that number has grown to 131 as of Jan 2018. The resort market has been growing steadily with new concepts and varieties to offer. Full board packages to half board or Breakfast only, choose your pick and refine your pick with an ultra luxury selection or an all inclusive dive village style resort. Maldives offers upmarket to middle market when it comes to room rates. Stay in the top notch Velaa Private Island in Noonu Atoll during Christmas period for USD 9,500 per night in a Romantic Pool Residence or choose to stay in Equator Village in Addu Atoll for USD 160 in a Standard Room during October just before the season kicks off.
The one island, one resort concept is progressing into township concepts. The “Emboodhoo Lagoon: Crossroads” project in Emboodhoo Falhu by Singha Estate of Thailand is a 9 island tourism development project which includes a Yatch Marina, Duty Free Zone and world famous brands such as Hard Rock Hotel and Hilton Worldwide on islands connected by walkways. Singha Estate plans to invest a total USD 311.5 million for the project with initial Phase 1 underway to develop 3 islands. All 9 islands in the lagoon are reclaimed from the sea and white sandy beaches can pop up anywhere these days.
Develop a barren untouched island into a Robinson Crusoe style getaway or reclaim an island into your ideal shape out of the sea to develop a world-class luxury resort. Tourism contributed MVR 14 billion to the countries GDP in the year 2016. An average of 8 resorts are scheduled to open annually in the coming years. Owning a resort in the Maldives is like having a rare bottle of wine in your cellar. As it ages the price and resell value increases.
We can talk about the flaring figures till the cows come home. What is important is what does this mean for the world of Hospitality? The Maldives is not only luxury resorts that you can only dream about, taking permanent residence in your bucket list or wish list. We are luxury to middle market Resorts, City Hotels, Safari Boats and Guests Houses that offer a wide variety of services that can sometimes match that of a high end resort. Just scroll down and take your pick, traveller or Investor we offer you a variety that will fit your budget.