The Maldives is a stunning, exotic, tropical, island destination that sports world famous beaches and light blue water that looks almost unreal. Most countries rely on exporting the materials or consumables they have a comparative advantage in and for the Maldives, it’s their trademark sun n’ sand. Tourism in the Maldives is like a brand unto itself. So it is no surprise that the country is in pretty dire straits due to the ongoing pandemic with lockdowns and restrictions imposed on international travel. However, Maldivian tourism officials are trying to pull out a rabbit, or rather a fish out of their hats to revive the country’s troubled economy.
“The main idea of tourism being open is to provide a reasonably safe tourism with minimum inconvenience,” Maldivian Tourism Minister Abdulla Mausoom said in an interview. “So once the country gets vaccinated, then we will move on to ‘3V’ tourism.”
90% and counting of the frontline workers of the Tourism sector have had their jabs as well as more than half of the entire population. This is where the tiny nature of the country’s population – just a little over half a million people – comes into play. People can get their doses and cases can be monitored relatively easily due to this.
Tourism accounts for a whopping 28% percent of the total GDP of the country. Because of the pandemic, just over 550,000 people visited the country last year, a massive reduction from the over 1.8 million people that visited in 2019.
The country is receiving most of its doses from India and China and is also registered on the WHO’s Covax Program which is meant for poorer countries that do not have adequate healthcare infrastructure. Due to all these factors, it seems very ambitious for the Maldives to undertake this program. But the country has felt the need to give potential tourists incentives other than just it’s beautiful beaches and tropical scenery because that isn’t enough at this point to convince people to risk the health of themselves and their families. So trying to send a message to tourists that they might actually be better off if they visit because they can get vaccinated and enjoy a vacation at a breathtaking destination is actually a smart move on their part.
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