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MMPRC to host virtual conference for tourism bodies

Fathmath Shaahunaz
09 April 2020, MVT 09:14
Maldives' stall at FITUR International Tourism Fair in Madrid, Spain, during January 2020. PHOTO/ MMPRC
Fathmath Shaahunaz
09 April 2020, MVT 09:14

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) will initiate a series of online conferences with various tourism bodies to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the country.

In the spirit of adhering to isolation and social distancing measures in place, MMPRC will conduct the virtual conference over the coming days, to discuss the repercussions of the virus pandemic on the Maldivian tourism industry and solutions to overcome the challenges.

Industry experts will also take part in these sessions to impart their knowledge, experience and opinion.

Maldives economy is heavily reliant on its tourism sector. As over 70 percent of the country’s GDP is attributed to revenue generated by the tourism industry, Maldives’ economy continues to face severe repercussions due to travel restrictions imposed over the COVID-19 outbreak.

The government stopped issuing on-arrival visa from March 27 onwards, bringing the tourism industry to a halt. As a result, it is estimated that the country will face a shortfall of approximately USD 450 million (MVR 6.9 billion) in foreign currency.

In a move to support the economic sector, the administration has also introduced an MVR 2.5 billion stimulus package, from which tourist resorts will receive loans of up to MVR 7.71 million each. The loans will be issued from Bank of Maldives (BML) at an interest rate of six percent, with a six-month grace period, to be repaid within three years.

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