President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said protecting the environment is imperative for sustainable tourism. The president made the statement in his address to the Maldivian people on the occasion of World Tourism Day.
Speaking on the occasion of World Tourism Day, President Solih said the lifeblood of Maldives tourism is of the natural beauty of the isles and its diversity. Stressing on the importance of environmental conservation for the sustainability of the tourism industry in Maldives, the president added that it is the national duty of every individual to protect the environment. He commended the efforts by all industry professionals, investors and non-governmental organisations for the progress of the industry.
President Solih accentuated the purpose of celebrating World Tourism Day is to create awareness amongst the public on the progress of tourism industry, to identify the challenges faced by the industry and to work towards finding comprehensive solutions by working in tandem with the international community.
Furthermore, the president noted that sustainable tourism encompasses peace and harmony, emphasising the sole reason for popularity among tourists rests upon the attributes of seclusion and solitude from being on an isolated geographic isle within the waters of the Indian Ocean territory.
“Tourism in the Maldives was initiated 47 years ago, with only 60 beds. A handful of courageous Maldivian businessmen set many challenges upon themselves, setting a clear example for generations to come. Today, the Maldives holds 567 guesthouses, 154 safari vessels, 149 resorts and 10 tourist hotels. With a total of 47,114 beds accommodated within these facilities, Maldives is a world-renowned brand,” the President said. He added Maldives should make use of its popularity to invest in opportunities that benefit individuals and that undertaking different tourism concepts would help to achieve the target.
“Maldives must also explore popular tourism products that are quickly gaining traction among the international community. Products such as commercial tourism, cultural and traditional tourism, sports tourism and medical tourism are products gaining popularity among travellers. I’m confident that there are many such products that we can offer to our tourist market,” he said.