Maldives announces diplomatic corps meeting to strengthen tourism promotion

Maldives has announced a rare conference of its diplomatic corps to find new avenues to promote the country’s tourism industry abroad.

In a statement, foreign ministry said on Sunday that the two-day conference would begin on Wednesday in capital Male, and would be attended by heads of missions stationed across the world. The conference’s theme is “Promoting Destination Maldives,” which revolves around promoting the country as a tourism destination, but also as a destination for foreign Investments and economic projects to enhance growth in the Maldives, it added.

“The main objectives during the sessions will be focused on devising ways to overcome the challenges faced, and methodologies to strengthen the administration and coordination between Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the missions abroad, to perfect the diplomatic practices to attract foreign investors and tourists,” the statement read.

This is the first annual gathering of the heads of missions in 10 years.

After years of double-digit growth in tourism, which is the country’s main economic activity, the Maldives has observed a slowdown in growth. Tourist arrivals have crossed the one million milestone and is on course to reach 1.5 million by the end of this year, but the country has been struggling to create demand amidst a significant increase in bed capacity.

Government has come under fire from private organisations representing industry stakeholders such as the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) over the lack of effort and budget to promote the Maldives as a destination.

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