COVID-19 Coronavirus Update

Maldives welcomes 100,000th visitor since border reopening

18 December 2020 - Raajje

Maldives on Saturday welcomed the 100,000th visitor since border reopening.

While the country’s borders were closed on March 27 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they were reopened on July 15.

The 100,000th visitor arrived in the island nation on Saturday morning, and was given a grand welcome by the Ministry of Tourism, together with Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Maldives Immigration and Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL).

Minister of Tourism, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom said that 100,000th milestone was surpassed ahead of projections, and added that this is the result of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s “courageous decision to open the Maldives borders with a whole of government, whole of travel and tourism industry and whole of community approach to ensure this vital industry is set in motion with a strong focus on safety with the minimum possible inconvenience to tourists”.

While Jasmin Burki arrived from Switzerland via Emirates, MMPRC’s Managing Director Thoyyib Mohamed congratulated her and gave her a warm welcome. Thoyyib also gifted her with a holiday voucher, while a special gift was presented by the CEO and MD of MACL, as well as the Deputy Minister of Tourism.

Noting that he was “beyond thrilled” to welcome the 100,000th visitor, Thoyyib said this this is the result of “joint efforts and collaborations with everyone working in the tourism industry”.

He also assured that Maldives is “one of the safest countries to visit right now”, adding that they will continue to work “strategically in order for it to remain on top of the preferred tourist destinations”.

CEO and MD of MACL, Gordon Andrew Stewart said he was “impressed with how quickly the Maldives took fast and decisive action to combat the Covid-19 pandemic situation and maintain the sunny side of life, on the world stage”.

“Velana International Airport was awarded the ACI Health Accreditation Certificate, the 2nd Airport from Asia Pacific to achieve this. The Maldives was awarded the Safe Travel Stamp from UNWTO and the title of World’s Leading Destination by the World Travel Awards. Recognition of its premier destination status on the world stage. All this hard work has been rewarded with ever increasing numbers of passengers flying in every month since our borders reopened on the 15th July 2020”, Gordon Andrew Stewart, CEO and MD of MACL.

He added that the future “now looks brighter in the Maldives”.

Maldives welcomed a record breaking 1.7 million tourist arrivals in 2019, and a two million target was made for 2020. This all changed following the Covid-19 pandemic, which has taken a toll on the country’s tourism industry and in turn economy.

While arrivals were lower than expected following border reopening, a gradual increase has been seen recently with the country breaking the record of daily arrivals since the reopening on December 6; this includes a total of 3,006 tourists, whereas the air traffic movement on this date was 352.

The tourism minister recently announced that the country will be able to meet its target of 500,000 tourist arrivals by December 25; over 477,000 arrivals had been recorded by December 10.

While tourist establishments were allowed to restart operations in phases, all such facilities will have reopened by December 14, which is when the guesthouses and hotels in the greater Male’ region are allowed to reopen. Over 18 airlines are currently traveling to and from Maldives, from all around the globe.

Source: Raajje

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