Travel and Tourism is a sector which had continues growth despite the political, economic and other adversities. Supreme Court allowing President Trump’s travel ban to be fully enforced on residents of several mostly Muslim countries may hinder the tourism negatively in the U.S while it will be seen as an opportunity by other nations. Especially countries where the Muslim population is higher and Muslim lifestyles and practices are not frowned upon will have a window of opportunity to explore the potential billion-dollar market.
From the Maldives Perspective, there is a bright side to the story. Muslim travellers are exploring alternatives and South East Asia is in the spotlight. Not only the prominent Muslim countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia but also Japan have done the groundwork to welcome the trend.
The Maldives as a popular travel destination, a nation rich in Islamic heritage and culture, welcomes Islamic lifestyle & practices is at a great advantage to gain from this trend. With minimum infrastructure changes, implementing a well-planned and sustainable marketing plan to cater the segment, Maldives can expect a sizable proportion from the new market. It is also a good time to review Halal tourism and Dha’wa tourism concepts which have been in the discussion stage for decades.
The new markets’ expectation may go beyond the scope of tourism and in to areas such as education, employment and entertainment etc.. As the Maldives does not have much to offer in those areas it is a wise option to choose a market niche which includes tourism, halal tourism, hospitality education and research, marine and biodiversity research, sea sports and adventures and most importantly the nature’s gift “The Sunny Side of Life”.