World Tourism Day: Rethink and Rebuild. By Aminath Ishrath
As the world is bouncing back steadily from the impact of Covid-19, we must pause to reflect on what this pandemic has taught the resilient forces behind the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Businesses of all scales were hit by unimaginable blows and we truly felt the woes of the actual people behind the sector, and the livelihoods of the families that were impacted in return.
In his official message on World Tourism Day 2021, UNWTO’s Secretary General Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili stated, “World Tourism Day 2021 highlights the power of ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’. By celebrating this day, we state our commitment that, as tourism grows, the benefits that come will be felt at every level of our broad and diverse sector, from the biggest airline to the smallest family business. Today, we reaffirm our pledge that, as we move forward and work to build a more prosperous and peaceful world through tourism, we will not leave anyone behind.”
When the world went into a full lockdown, we realized the true potential of the industry to drive the economy of every single country. With this year’s theme in mind, rebuilding should focus on inclusivity and not leaving anyone behind. Responsible policies must be put in place for the industry to survive any further economic or financial shocks, and to sustain the success of the industry and protect the most vulnerable groups in society.
To mark the day here in Maldives, a Jet-ski marathon tour from North to South of the country is taking place and the riders arrived in Male’ city last Friday. The tour started from Thuraakunu on Monday and is expected to finish at Addu tomorrow. The riders were welcomed by the Tourism Minister and other state officials when they arrived in Male’. By the end of the tour, the jet ski riders would have visited 20 islands in total.
Maldives is also gearing up to enter the Golden Jubilee year of tourism next year. 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of the tourism and hospitality industry for this small island nation. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Tourism introduced the official logo to be used next year to celebrate the jubilee activities. So far, the Maldives has seen over 840,000 tourist arrivals this year, with India, Russia and Germany dominating as top markets.