The Maldives: A Tourism Success Story for 40 Years

Working together with international organizations including UNWTO has been a key factor in 40 years of successful tourism in the Maldives, said Deputy Minister of Tourism Mohamed Maleeh Jamal during his recent visit to Madrid for the Feria Internacional de Turismo (FITUR).

The island nation, which has a population of just over 320 000, has been a UNWTO Member State since 1981. This year, as part of nation-wide events to celebrate 40 years of tourism in the Maldives, the country will host UNWTO´s World Tourism Day, an annual celebration held on the 27th September which raises awareness of the importance of tourism, its social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution it can make to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

¨In 40 years of tourism in the Maldives we have witnessed many changes and developments, ¨ said Deputy Minister Jamal during a meeting with UNWTO officials.

¨Most recently, we have seen a shift in the market – these days about 60% of our visitors come from Europe and 24% come from China. We also have many repeat clients and new infrastructure developments as well as the recently implemented tourism law. Another phenomenon has been the attention paid to domestic tourism.¨

Domestic tourism is one sector which has attracted increased attention in the industry in recent years, with UNWTO´s Regional Programme for Asia and the Pacific producing a study on the subject which is due to be released shortly. This study, bringing together contributions of fifteen countries in the Asia Pacific Region, will be a key resource in better understanding the importance of domestic tourism in the Asia-Pacific context.

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