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COVID-19 cases must decrease for tourist arrivals to increase: Tourism Minister

Shahudha Mohamed
27 August 2020, MVT 21:06
Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
27 August 2020, MVT 21:06

Recently appointed Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom, stated on Wednesday, that the number of COVID-19 infections recorded in Maldives must be reduced for tourist arrivals to increase.

Speaking at a programme broadcastd by local station RaajjeTV, he noted that the number of tourist arrivals decreased after the borders were reopened on July 15, but said that these numbers will increase if Maldivians collectively work towards controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Mausoom expressed hopes that the number of days that guests spend in Maldives will increase although the arrival numbers are low, resulting in more dollars being injected to the economy.

Tourism Ministry estimates that Maldives will see approximately 120,000 tourist arrivals in the remaining months of 2020. However, Mausoom highlighted that this would require cooperation from tourist facilities as well.

Since competition is high in the global tourism sector, Mausoom suggested that lowering the rates of tourist facilities can be a step towards attracting more visitors.

"I suggest everyone to maintain the prices at a reasonable level without lowering them in a way that will harm the industry", he said.

Although Maldives is currently only providing services for tourists on resorts and liveaboards, Mausoom added that discussions were underway to reopen guesthouses on inhabited islands for tourists in the future.