The goal of diversifying tourism and ensuring a sustainable income for the Maldives is being pursued through the newly established Visitor Economy Council, chaired by President Dr Mohamed Muizzu, according to statements made by Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed today.
During the inaugural meeting of the President's Cabinet held yesterday, a new council of ministers was formed, distinct from the Economic Council and the Social Council, with President Dr Mohamed Muizzu at its helm.
Speaking at a press conference held at the President's Office to elucidate the functions of the council, Minister Saeed emphasized the pivotal role the Visitor Economy Council will play in shaping the country's economy.
Given the nation's heavy reliance on tourism, the President aims to diversify this sector significantly. To accomplish this objective, Minister Saeed outlined plans to introduce various tourism activities in the Maldives, with the council having the ultimate authority in making decisions related to these initiatives.
Minister Saeed stressed the strategic nature of the council, noting its focus on achieving both long-term and short-term targets. The current contribution of tourism to the economy stands at MVR 4.5 billion, and the aspiration is to increase this figure to MVR 6 billion through the concerted efforts of the council.
Members of the Council include;
- President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu (Chair)
- Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed
- Tourism Minister Ibrahim Faisal
- Education Minister Dr. Ismail Shafeeu
- Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Haleel
- Sports Minister Abdullah Rafiu
- Transport Minister Mohamed Ameen
- Higher Education Minister Dr. Mariyam Mariya
Minister Saeed highlighted the global trend of adopting the Visitor Economy Model, citing examples such as Australia, which intensified its pursuit of this model post-COVID-19. He pointed out that this model has been successfully employed in the UK and Dubai to diversify tourism.
Furthermore, the minister outlined plans to introduce various activities under the Visitor Economy Model to the Maldives, with sports tourism being a notable example. President Dr. Muizzu is particularly enthusiastic about integrating sports tourism into the country, with a focus on opportunities such as sailing.
In addition to sports tourism, the council aims to bring cultural tourism and higher education tourism to the Maldives, thereby broadening the spectrum of tourism offerings. Minister Saeed emphasized that this approach serves a dual purpose: providing world-class services to tourists while ensuring quality services for the Maldivian population.
President Dr. Muizzu has a vision for building a robust economy and turning the country into a developed nation with a sustainable financial flow during his tenure. Minister Saeed confirmed that the objectives of the Visitor Economy Council are in harmony with these overarching goals.