Gov't encourages more women to join tourism industry

Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed has encouraged more women to join the Maldives' tourism industry. He made the remark while speaking at the launching ceremony of the Women for Tourism programme included in the administration's 14-week roadmap.

At the ceremony, Minister Saeed said that the Maldives' tourism industry has been in existence for more than 50 years and now accounts for 40% of the economy. He also said that tourism began in 1972 but the Maldives has been offering its hospitality in the Indian Ocean for more than 2,000 years. He noted that women are mostly involved in providing hospitality and therefore the tourism industry and the beauty of the Maldives and would not be complete without women.

Additionally, Minister Saeed that approximately USD80 out of every USD100 in revenue generated by the Maldives is derived from tourism. Consequently, he pointed out that the absence of even 0.01 percent of the largest population group in the tourism sector would not foster industry growth. This underscores the principle behind the President's manifesto, which prioritizes creating more opportunities for women in the pursuit of industry development.

Furthermore, Minister Saeed acknowledged the challenges for women in the tourism industry such as working away from their home after starting a family. He assured that the government is working to find solutions to these issues, including building accommodation in certain areas and connecting them with a transport network.

The administration's roadmap for the first 14 weeks in office includes special mentorship programmes to bring women into the industry through the Women for Tourism programme. The programmes will be conducted for a period of three months and will be conducted twice a year.