MMPRC CEO Highlights Record Growth and Sustainability on BBC’s CEO Edit

In a recent interview with BBC’s CEO Edit programme, Ms Fathmath Thaufeeq, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/ Visit Maldives), offered valuable insights into the Maldives’ flourishing tourism industry, the nation’s focus on diversification, and its steadfast commitment to environmental and economic sustainability.

Ms Thaufeeq began by highlighting the remarkable success of the Maldives tourism sector this year. “In the past four months, we have crossed over 25% of our targeted tourist arrivals for the year, which is over 500,000,” she stated. This impressive achievement indicates a strong first quarter, surpassing 25% of the ambitious goal of welcoming 2 million tourists in 2024.

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She elaborated on the evolving image of the Maldives, noting, “[The Maldives] is a lot more than the sun, sea, and sand. We have natural wetlands, we have local experiences through boutique hotels and guesthouses, and we are very much focused on expanding the focus of the tourism industry.” This shift aims to attract a broader range of tourists seeking unique experiences, emphasising the diversity of options available, from luxurious one-island resorts to adventurous liveaboards, city hotels, and local-island guesthouses.

Addressing the crucial issue of sustainable development, Ms Thaufeeq affirmed Visit Maldives’ commitment to environmental protection. “We make sure that the public and the tourists are very well aware of how much we are focused on protecting the environment. We make sure that everyone is aware of the guidelines, and we work hand in hand with stakeholders and the tourism ministry to maintain and sustain our environment.”

Ms Thaufeeq also underscored the economic significance of tourism for the Maldives, stating, “The [Maldives] tourism industry catering 80% of our revenue means it directly and indirectly affects the people on the islands.” She highlighted the various segments of the tourism industry, including boutique hotels and guesthouses on inhabited islands, which promote community-based tourism and ensure that the benefits of tourism reach local residents. “Tourists get to experience the local lifestyles, cuisines […] maintaining and sustaining the livelihoods of the locals,” she added.

Looking to the future, Ms Thaufeeq outlined her vision for sustainable tourism development, driven by innovative solutions and data-driven methodologies. “In the long run, we are very focused on building a very sustainable strategy using new technologies and tools over the next 10 years,” she affirmed, reiterating the Maldives’ dedication to fostering sustainable tourism experiences.

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