President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Sunday stated that thousands of new job opportunities have emerged in the Maldives' tourism industry over the last four years. The President made this remark while speaking at the ceremony held to commemorate the 1st National Tourism Day.
The President stated that 33 new resorts and 471 guesthouses opened in the Maldives between November 17, 2018 and September 20, 2022. He said that these 8,385 rooms, or 16,783 beds created thousands of jobs in tourism-related sectors. As of the end of September 2022, President Solih revealed that the Maldives had 166 resorts, three yacht marinas, 13 hotels, 721 guesthouses, four 'home-stay' guesthouses, 147 tourist vessels, and seven registered bareboats. The President stated that there are currently 57,436 tourist beds in the Maldives.
Highlighting the administration's efforts to expand tourism, the President stated that the administration's policy was to diversify the industry through partnerships with the private sector. He said that the aim was to expand tourism throughout the country, and noted the expansion of Hanimaadhoo Airport, Velana International Airport, and Gan International Airport. He also said that the development of airports, expansion of the seaplane network, and connecting the atolls across the country via Raajje Transport Link (RTL) ferries would boost opportunities for island tourism.
In his speech, the President reflected on how the tourism industry began and flourished in the Maldives. He thanked the Maldives tourism industry's pioneers for their endeavours and said that tourism had become the primary driving force of the Maldivian economy. He also stated that it was the responsibility of every citizen to uphold the unique Maldivian qualities that tourists come from far and wide to enjoy. The President identified genuine Maldivian hospitality as well as the Maldives' peace and tranquillity as important qualities valued by tourists and prompted all citizens to be mindful of these values.
First Lady Fazna Ahmed, Vice President Faisal Naseem, prominent government officials, tourism industry pioneers, and leaders of the tourism sector attended the event.
At the event, the President launched the Maldives Tourism Awards and presented awards to six recipients. Vice President Faisal Naseem also presented the awards to recipients.
The President had declared 3rd October as National Tourism Day. The day commemorates the opening of the first resort, Kurumba Village, on Vihamanafushi island, Kaafu Atoll, in 1972.