Tourism has been at the forefront of Maldives for the past 44 years since 1972 and has gone onto being a leading brand in world tourism. Avas Media reports that the Maldives has
The CEO of Maldives Getaways, Dr Hussain Sunny Umar outlined that the Maldives is the best location in the world to bring ‘Halal’ tourism for being a 100% Muslim country. And while countries such as Korea is promoting their tourism as ‘Halal Korea’, the Maldives has a much better opportunity in promoting ‘Halal’ tourism as the Maldives is also an attraction for Indonesian and Malaysian tourists being one of the largest Muslim populations in the world. Moreover, some Muslims fear that they might mistakenly eat food that is not Halal while there is no such fear in the Maldives as such foods are kept separate and labelled for easier identification. Hence, if such a resort is built, it will become successful.
The latest resort project as a ‘Halal’ tourism product by ADK company and a Turkey company in the Maldives was initiated on Gaakoshibee island which came to a halt without completion. Also, the Maldives does not put any effort into promoting ‘Halal’ tourism even though it is the most trending profitable business worldwide.
Added to that, Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) in 2015 had been 117 million Muslims which is estimated to increase to 168 million by 2020 where the ‘Halal’ tourism market will be valued at USD 200 billion while the spending power of ‘Halal’ tourism is estimated to reach USD 3 trillion by 2021. During 2010, 9% of world tourism was ‘Halal’ tourism where the Muslim tourists spend USD 90 billion which rose to USD 126 billion by having 13% of world tourism sector in 2013. Hence, investments in the sector are also increasing due to the rapid growth rate.
The Managing Director of Lets Go Maldives, Mr Ahmed Riyaz stated that the ‘Halal’ tourism market is really important to the Maldives. Such as we can develop a Dry Resort based on an Islamic concept specialized for families to spend holidays which is a good market with a lot of attraction.
Dr Sunny also stated that the company has promoted the guesthouse industry since its first day till date without much support from the government which has led to the great success of guesthouses while the safari business is also reaching greater heights. He concluded that these developments are suitable examples of success where the ‘Halal’ tourism can also be developed like in Thailand but with better planning and advertisements for which the company is always ready to provide any support possible.
Therefore, the Maldives needs to increase its efforts to develop ‘Halal’ tourism in the Maldives. The hard work of the Maldivian community is visible through the success and rapid development of tourism since 1972. Hence, as the industry is ready with potential investors, Islamic resorts can be built in the paradise-like Maldives with proper support from the government which can lead to greater success in the tourism industry in the coming years.