بســم اللّـه الرّحمـن الرّحيــم
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen - Good Morning and welcome to the Republic of the Maldives!
It is indeed an honour to be here today, in this magnificent setting and under such wonderful circumstances – to commemorate the opening of the first ever Dusit Thani resort in the Maldives.
May I take this opportunity to welcome the Honourable Ministers and government officials to the grand opening of the Dusit Thani Maldives.
I would also like to extend a very warm welcome to Dusit Thani International’s board of directors, stakeholders, investors and other distinguished guests. I hope that you all enjoy your stay in our beautiful country, and this is the first of many visits to the Maldives.
I would be remiss if I did not personally thank Mr Khun Chanin Dovavanik, CEO of Dusit International, and Mr Chatri Sophonpanich Chairman of Dusit Thani Plc. who have made a significant investment in our country; we are honoured to welcome such a prestigious and well established brand to our country.
The Republic of the Maldives will not only benefit from economic gains and job creation as a result of Dusit International’s investment but equally if not more important is the legacy afforded by the educational opportunities that Dusit International will introduce to this country.
The group has created a blue print to develop their well established and highly successful hospitality college in the Maldives. This is a major milestone for the tourism industry and it is imperative in order to continue to maintain high standards and opportunities for all Maldivians. Tourism today is the single largest contributor to the national economy, representing some 30% of our GDP. Strengthening of our tourism education infrastructure will allow us to ensure that the Maldives remains the leading global luxury tourism destination.
Indeed, Dusit Thani Maldives has much to offer I congratulate you on opening this beautiful resort in record time along with your unwavering commitment to creating future opportunities for our community, for many years to come.
Overall, the Republic of the Maldives is home to just over 328,000 people – although we are spread over 200 of our 1,185 islands. The tourism sector has never been more buoyant and we are on target to achieve our goal of our 100,000,0th tourist arrival this year. Indeed the number of visitors from Southeast Asia alone – particularly Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia – increased by almost 14% in the first half of this year. We look forward to this trend continuing with the opening of Dusit Thani Maldives, a well-known and respected Asian brand with deep Thai roots.
In closing, may I thank Dusit International for their commitment to enhancing the tourism infrastructure of the Maldives. I hope you will all join me in congratulating Dusit Thani on the occasion of your grand opening today and I wish you great success in the future.