The case of the Maldives is unique. Despite the fact that the country lost more than half of its visitors, the authorities are still content with last year’s numbers.
The Maldives archipelago, located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, has seen its visitors reduced by almost 70%. However, it still retained almost half a million tourists in 2020, showing great success during the coronavirus pandemic. The country went from 1.7 million visitors to just over 550,000, but these are still good figures compared to the rest of the world.
Standing Out from the Crowd
Just three months after the spring lockdown, the Maldives decided to reopen its borders in July, and did so for travelers from all over the world. The decision was, above all, economic, since tourism accounts for 28% of the country’s GDP; but some features of this country allowed it to overcome the problems that COVID-19 has posed for the tourism industry.
One of the most important features is that the Maldives archipelago consists of more than 1,000 islands with many hotels and holiday resorts. This means that, in the event of a confirmed coronavirus case, people can be easily isolated to avoid the spread among the rest of the population. Also, some luxury hotels carry out their own coronavirus tests to better protect customers.
Thoyyib Mohamed, managing director of the Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation, the country’s national tourism authority, said that “the biggest advantage is the unique geographical features of Maldives. We promoted the destination as a safe haven to the tourists,” adding that the implementation of strict hygiene protocols allowed travelers to enjoy their vacations and get away from the pandemic.