The Ministry of Tourism has held discussions with 15 islands in Raa Atoll to expand local tourism as part of the Tourism Diversification and Localisation Programme launched to develop tourism in inhabited islands.
The tourism ministry said the main purpose of the meetings is to expand local tourism in the islands and facilitate direct benefits of tourism to the residents of the islands. The ministry commenced trips to the atolls in August 2021 to assess the tourism situation of the islands and discuss ways to take local tourism to the next level. During the visits, officials from the ministry met with island councils, women's development committees (WDCs), and tourist facilities. The latest meetings were held in Raa Atoll and the trips were headed by Minister of Tourism Dr. Abdulla Mausoom.
Speaking about the trip to Raa Atoll, Minister Mausoom said he visited 15 islands to familiarise the public with local tourism and how to identify the challenges faced by the residents. He said the results of these trips are slowly being seen and the aim is to provide more islands that want to begin local tourism with the assistance of the ministry.
During the meetings, discussions mainly focus on the possibility of local councils developing tourism in the islands with the latest amendments to the decentralisation system, the plans of the councils to expand tourism in the islands and the areas councils require assistance from the ministry.
The tourism ministry is expected to make visits to all 189 inhabited islands as part of the programme.