Maldives to showcase traditional handicrafts to mark World Tourism Day

Maldives tourism ministry has announced plans to organise a local handicraft exhibition, as part of the activities being carried out to mark the World Tourism Day.

In a statement, the ministry said the exhibition would be held at the island of Thulusdhoo in Kaafu atoll on December 16 and 17.

According to the ministry, the theme of the exhibition is ‘Sustainable Tourism and Maldives Tradition’, and is aimed at strengthening the livelihoods of home based workers as well as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The exhibition will showcase traditional talents, products, handicrafts and food items along with live cooking stations and traditional music performances, it added.

The ministry invited tourist establishments across the country to participate in the exhibition by sending senior officials as well as guests to witness the show of Maldivian culture and traditions.

“This event would create exposure of the Maldivian culture and tradition for the visiting tourists and encourage locals to sell their products directly. This will also create a platform for the tourist establishments and locals for future opportunities,” the statement read.

In the past, Maldivian craftsmanship had a regional reputation of excellence reaching as far as the Arab nations.

Traditionally handicraft in the Maldives included mat weaving, embroidery, coir making and lacquer work. It is believed that each of these skills were confined to certain geographic regions, atolls or islands.

World Tourism Day has been celebrated since 1980 on September 27, the day on which the statutes of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) entered into force. Peace and dialogue, energy, accessibility, and world heritage have been some of the topics tackled as part of the 37 previous editions of the day.

The theme of this year’s World Tourism Day is ‘Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development’. Celebrated in line with the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the day will be dedicated to exploring the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Maldives tourism ministry has been organising several activities to mark this year’s World Tourism Day, including exposure trips for students and photography competitions.

Photo: Four Seasons Resort Maldives

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