Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed on Thursday revealed that currently, there are less than 1,000 tourists in Maldives, staying at 27 resorts across the country.
In a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the Maldivian government on March 28, stopped issuing on-arrival-visas and closed its borders to incoming tourists. However, tourists who had entered the country before the order came into effect were allowed to remain in the country until the end of their stay.
Government estimates show that the country will see a dramatic drop in tourist arrivals due to the global pandemic, and experience a shortfall of approximately USD 450 million (MVR 6.9 billion) in foreign currency due to COVID-19 economic slowdown,
Quoting ministry's records from Sunday, the minister stated that 938 tourists remained in the country.
The Minister went on to add that there were about 200 tourists unable to leave the country due to various reasons, adding that they were currently being taken care of by the Ministry.
Furthermore, Minister Ali Waheed noted that most of the tourists currently in Maldives did not wish to return to their own country, and wanted to remain here.
"At the moment, daily rates of most resorts are between USD 300 and 900. There are also private islands that are about 3000 USD per day".
Prior to COVID-19 economic slowdown, nightly room rates for 5-star resorts in Maldives ranged from USD 1500 to 3000, while a stay in a luxury private island sold for over USD 10,000 per night.
With global travel restrictions, the Maldivian tourism industry, which attributes to about 70 percent of the country’s GDP, was hit the hardest. Maldives’ economy continues to face severe repercussions due to these measures put in place following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Maldives presently records a total of 19 confirmed and six active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 13 recoveries. Four Maldivians remain positive in the country, while two others residing abroad have tested positive for the virus. Thus far, no local to local transmissions have been recorded.
Maldives presently records a total of 19 confirmed and six active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 13 recoveries. Four Maldivians remain positive in the country, while two others—one in the UK and another in Malaysia—have tested positive for the virus. Thus far, no local to local transmissions have been recorded.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 1.5 million people and claimed over 89,877 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 340,176 people have recovered.