Maldivian agents currently lack legal authority: MATATO

The Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has stated that Maldivian agents currently lack legal authority. The statement was made during a press conference where MATATO presented the findings of a survey report.

During the press conference, MATATO highlighted the prevalence of foreign travel agents in the tourism industry and called for a legal resolution. The association claimed that foreigners are establishing agencies in the Maldives under the name of a Maldivian citizen and exploiting the situation, particularly as the number of local agents are on the rise.

Additionally, MATATO underscored that the challenges could be effectively addressed by the government, but a satisfactory solution has yet to be reached. The issue has been a cause for concern among travel agents, as highlighted in the report released earlier in June, which outlined various concerns related to the tourism industry.

Furthermore, MATATO pointed out that the market share of Maldivian travel agents is increasing with the reopening of the Maldivian border after the COVID-19 pandemic. As, MATATO urged for special attention to be directed towards supporting businesses based in the Maldives rather than favoring foreign agents. The association's stance reflects a call for a more robust legal framework and regulatory measures to safeguard the interests of local travel agents in the country.