Managing Director of Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC), Mohamed Raaidh has participated, as a speaker, in the international webinar organized by Island Innovation, under the theme “Islands Responses to COVID-19”,
In addition to Mohamed Raaidh, Honourable Vittus Qujaukitsoq, Minister of Finance and Mineral Resources of Government of Greenland, Co-Director Dr. Francesco Sindico, University of Strathclyde, Dr. Daniel Trigg, President of Lanzarote Business and Residents Association, Ms. Tahirah Banks, Thoughtful Digital Agency, were speakers at the webinar.
In his speech, Mohamed Raaidh shed light on how Covid-19 would affect the Maldivian tourism landscape and the things that need to be done to recover and resume tourism.
Referring to local pandemic statistics, he forecast international and local air travel to resume in July 2020, however for tourist arrivals to begin only in November 2020. Noting that August, September and October were off-peak dates even under normal circumstances, Raaidh revealed that industry experts predict an adequate number of tourism arrivals between November to February. Bookings are already being made in resorts and especially guesthouses for the duration, he added.
He, however, advised caution for the “new normal” that would follow the Covid-19 pandemic, while detailing some highlights.
In his regard, Raaidh stressed on the importance of disseminating information about the natural beauty of Maldives via Virtual Reality (VR), the importance of opting for VR technologies that would allow people to experience the natural beauty of Maldives in their living rooms, rather than at crowded travel exhibitions and fairs; improving the quality of healthcare available in Maldivian resorts to include at least a doctor and a nurse along with resources to administer primary care for ailments such as Covid-19, providing room isolation facilities in resorts to some extent.
In addition to that Raaidh stressed on the need to establish quality healthcare in at least one island in every region, and improving the quality of healthcare along with resources to administer primary care for ailments such as Covid-19 without having to medevac patients to Malé and the establishment of a mechanism for health screening; introducing health visa or health insurance for visitors, while local tourism expands nationwide.
In his speech, Raaidh emphasized the importance advertising the destination in line with the theme #loveyourlocal and prioritizing local businesses and local products in tourism. Referring to the slump that small scale businesses and freelancers are facing currently, Raaidh said that the pillars of sustainable development can be best achieved in a tourism model that sees development that incorporates local products and local businesses.