Vice President Faisal Naseem says the current administration aims to make the Maldives a more accessible and inclusive tourist destination for all.

The Vice President made these remarks while speaking at the opening of the "UNWTO Global Summit on Community-based Tourism," held at CROSSROADS Maldives. The Summit, jointly organized by the Ministry of Tourism and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), would feature discussions on the contribution of community-based tourism to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the accompanying challenges and opportunities.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice President shed light on the history of Maldives’ tourism and the various obstacles tourism pioneers had to overcome to revolutionize the Maldivian economy.

Giving an overview of the current efforts to boost tourism further, the Vice President remarked that the administration has rapidly scaled up infrastructural development. The Vice President added that over the last three and a half years, the administration had opened 426 tourism facilities, increasing the capacity by over 14,000 beds.

He also noted that there are currently 107 resorts in various phases of development across the country, with 22 new properties expected to open by the end of 2023. He went on to say that the capacity would expand by approximately 5,000 beds due to these additions.

The two-day summit features several keynote speakers/ Photo: The President's Office

The Vice President also emphasized the Covid-19-led downturn in the Maldives’ tourism sector and economy.

He lauded President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s vision and leadership in guiding the Maldives towards resilience and recovery. He noted that, although the road to recovery is long and building a resilient economy will be challenging, we must maximize the potential of our tourism industry for inclusive development.

The Vice President stated that we must do more to support our collective efforts to protect the environment and to adopt innovative approaches to using and sharing the benefits of innovation in a fair and equitable manner across our communities.