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Maldives to undertake middle-class tourism projects, says pres

Fathmath Shaahunaz
27 September 2016, MVT 15:12
President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom (R) with tourism minister Moosa Zameer. FILE PHOTO: PRESIDENT'S OFFICE
Fathmath Shaahunaz
27 September 2016, MVT 15:12

The Maldives government plans to commence several projects targeting middle-class tourism, announced the president on Tuesday.

In his speech on the occasion of World Tourism Day, President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom disclosed that a company named “Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation” has been founded to introduce and manage middle-class tourism in the archipelago. He stated that the corporation was created to increase the number of entities that derives direct benefit from tourism.

“The government is facilitating all that can be done to provide the advantages and benefits of the tourism sector to the Maldives and its citizens,” said the president.

While President Yameen has avowed to expand middle-class tourism, the guesthouse industry of the Maldives has been on the rise. With over 390 guesthouses currently operated across the island nation, statistics show an exponential increase in the number of visitors opting to spend their vacations at guesthouses.

With the increase of public investment in the guesthouse sector, the government has also decided to develop an integrated resort in Laamu atoll as part of the state’s guesthouse policy. However, the project is yet to be underway.

President Yameen also noted the government’s efforts to expand and develop tourism in general in the Maldives. He cited the four newly opened resorts and nine more to be unveiled before the end of this year as testimony to the state’s work. The president also highlighted the ongoing development of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport to a state-of-the-art airport that can cater to 7.5 million passengers annually.

The president added that the Maldives is an exemplary example of tourism development. He urged the operatives of the tourism sector to advance travel and transport in the archipelago to further develop tourism.

“With the establishment of such resources, I guarantee that the number of tourists to the Maldives will increase, God willing, and reveal its benefits.”

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