Maldives to develop 3,000 guesthouse beds in south

Maldives has announced plans to develop 3,000 beds in the southernmost Addu to cater to backpackers and budget travellers.

Mohamed Shahid, Managing Director of the newly created Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC), told local media on Sunday that a project is being planned to develop guesthouses in Addu. An investment forum will be held on April 22 to present the idea to potential investors, he added.

“Almost 150 investors as well as representatives from financial institutions will participate in this forum,” Shahid said.

The one-day investment forum will take place at the Equator Village city hotel in Addu.

Maldives, known world over for its upmarket tourism industry, has resorts in the hundreds spread across the archipelago. The industry has in recent years expanded to introduce more affordable segments, including guesthouses and liveaboards.

Despite several new resort developments and a boom in guesthouse tourism in the Maldives, Addu as a whole has lagged behind for years in attracting tourism-related investments. The relatively large atoll, which has unique geographical features compared to other parts of the island nation, is home to only two of the some 120 tourist resorts in the Maldives; Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa and Canareef Resort Maldives.

However, tourism in the south has recently received a much needed boost from the launch of direct flights to Gan International Airport by SriLankan Airlines. Neighbouring Sri Lanka’s flagship carrier, which is particularly popular amongst tourists who travel to the Maldives from Europe, currently operates four weekly flights to Gan from Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo and is expected to increase frequency on the route to six flights per week from September.

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