Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer has said that despite the tourism sector being affected by 1st February 2018 Supreme Court ruling and the declaration of state of emergency that followed, he believes the sector will recover rapidly.
Minister Zameer, speaking in the press conference aimed at foreign reporters, further said that the state of emergency currently declared in the Maldives is rather unique compared to that in other countries.
“This state of emergency is focused on the capital city. There are no major demonstrations here” claimed Minister Zameer.
Tourism Minister acknowledged the cancellation of tourist bookings but reiterated the resilience of the nation’s tourism sector.
“When the conflicts started last month, tourism sector was affected substantially. Tourists had trouble grasping the actual situation here,” said Minister Zameer.
Minister Zameer highlighted how tourism sector bounced back from the devastation of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. He further stated that approximately 30 PR agencies are presently working across the globe promoting Maldives’ tourism.
“For example, if a tourist hears about the state of emergency they will reconsider visiting the Maldives. But, tour operators explain the concept of our state of emergency to the tourist. Tourists will realize that this state of emergency will not affect them in the resorts only when it is explained to them,” said Minister Zameer.
Associations and organizations in the tourism sector had previously warned that the tourism sector may decline due to the conflicts that occurred in February, given that February falls in the peak season of Maldivian tourism.
Statistics published by Ministry of Tourism show that by the end of February 2018, 144, 286 tourists had visited the Maldives. This is an increase of 16.3 percent from the same period in 2017. European markets still accounted for the highest arrivals followed by the Asia Pacific market.