بســم اللّـه الرّحمـن الرّحيــم
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen
The Minister of Tourism, the General Manager, and the team from the BBC.
First of all, let me welcome you all from abroad to our beautiful paradise. We will always remain a paradise. No matter what the environment is this beautiful country will always be a paradise, and you are witnessing it today, the beautiful paradise. If you look around from both sides you can see what a beautiful world we live in. And we are determined to make this a reality that god given wonders for this little country will always be looked after by generations and generations.
Today we are marking a wonderful day, a great day for this country, when the tourism industry is celebrating 40 years. I think this is a very opportune time for this agreement to be signed with BBC, BBC being one of the world’s best neutral or middle-ground media.
I’ve always said that, and many people in the Maldives have looked at the BBC and its media, and its announcements, and its news being very neutral and the truth. So for the Maldives to sign an agreement on marketing and advertising with BBC is certainly an achievement and a success.
I would like to congratulate the Maldivian tourism promotion, I’m sure it’s not a Maldivian Tourism Promotion Board anymore. But those who are involved in promoting the Maldives, especially Maleeh and his young team. I would like to congratulate you for the work you have done.
To come to this point of an agreement with a company it takes time, it takes money. And I understand that the heavy hands of the tourism industry, specially Mr Afeef and Mohamed Umar Maniku and the rest, have contributed to this success. Therefore I would like to say thank you to them as well.
And today when I stand here I also have certain memories that Mr Afeef was my first boss in the tourism industry. He was the General Manager and I was the Public Relations Manager. And that gives me a lot of pleasure to be here to see his success, his achievements.
I would also like to touch the point on introducing the international hotel chains to the country. That’s another milestone in the tourism industry. We all started working as Construction Managers, General Managers, Marketing Directors, and Human Resource Directors. But today we know that is not the right direction to go. So today we know that getting international hotel chains to this country will create a better Maldives and will be marketed well in the international world. And that’s what the steps were taken by the tourism industry professionals. And I congratulate all of them for that work, and especially Hilton is known all over the world.
It’s interesting to know that the General Manager today has been here for 10 years. I’m sure Maldives is a wonderful place; otherwise he would have not stayed for 10 years in this country. Believe me he has many opportunities
Anyway I would like to congratulate the BBC for joining us. And I hope that this signing is not just a short term signing, but the relationship with BBC marketing will continue. And I wish all the success for this day. And I hope this agreement will bring more tourists to the Maldives, as we all know that the tourists in the Maldives helped the economy of the country all across the board, not necessarily the wealthy or the affordable, but for everybody including the fishermen and all.
Thank you very much.