Maldives Targets 2 Million Visitors in 2024 with Sustainable Tourism Focus

As the Maldives attends ITB Berlin 2024, key figures within the nation’s tourism sector have demonstrated a commitment to responsible development and diversification of its world-renowned travel offerings. This focus aims to reinforce the sustainability and inclusivity of tourism while maintaining the Maldives’ allure as a premier destination.

Minister of Tourism Ibrahim Faisal highlighted a drive towards a richer visitor experience in line with the nation’s eco-tourism framework. “We’re exploring the exciting potential of sports tourism, MICE, wellness, and medical tourism,” he said while acknowledging the continued significance of European markets. The Minister also emphasized the expansion of community-based tourism, noting the availability of 14,000 guesthouse beds across the archipelago which offer a unique opportunity to engage with local culture.

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Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/ Visit Maldives) Chairperson Ayesha Nurain Janah stressed the organization’s focus on sustainable tourism that benefits all. She noted the exploration of innovative solutions like floating villas and the use of recycled materials in tourism projects. “Our commitment to responsible tourism remains resolute across environmental, socioeconomic, and good governance,” she stated.

CEO & MD of MMPRC, Fathmath Thaufeeq, reported remarkable post-pandemic recovery, surpassing 2019 figures with 1.8 million visitors in 2023. She outlined efforts to promote new tourism segments, emphasizing cultural, sports, and medical tourism. Furthermore, she noted plans for transit hotels in Male and Hulhumale to cater to short-stay travellers and stopovers.

CEO & MD Thaufeeq also highlighted development efforts in the southern atolls, with a focus on empowering local communities. The ongoing initiative includes a dedicated website segment promoting the diverse offerings of each atoll. Additionally, she highlighted a special government program focused on increasing the number of women employed within the tourism sector.

The collective message from Maldivian tourism leaders is clear: the island nation seeks to maintain its position as a coveted destination while ensuring that development benefits local communities, respects the environment, and caters to the evolving interests of global travellers.

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