Local tourism to reach over 100 islands this year

Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom has stated that local tourism will reach over 100 islands by the end of the year. He made the remarks in an interview with International Maldives Travel Market (IMTM) Online regarding the statement he delivered at the High-Level Thematic Debate on Sustainable Tourism organised by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

In the interview, Minister Mausoom said the Ministry of Tourism has established a project called Tourism Diversity in Local Islands, which involves working with island councils. The minister said the councils have allowed local islands to have small hotels without restrictions such as the requirement to have a restaurant in the hotel or guesthouse, in the case that there are already restaurants nearby on the island. He also said that the government will reach tourism to over 100 islands by the end of the year, and expressed hope it will reach the remaining islands by 2023.

Furthermore, Minister Mausoom shed light on environmentally friendly community-based tourism and said the government has set a goal to facilitate community-based local tourism in all inhabited islands in the country by 2023, which is a decision that moves to integrate the culture, heritage, and ecosystems of these islands to the tourism product base, thereby allowing island communities to reap benefits of tourism directly.

Additionally, Minister Mausoom highlighted the importance of a transport network for guesthouses and hotels to receive business. He said the government has a transport plan which includes the introduction of new airports as well as other internal transport mechanisms, thereby facilitating both domestic and international tourism. He added that it will also aid the ministry’s aim to promote domestic tourism across all the atolls.