Maldives, Indonesia seek closer cooperation in tourism

Maldives and Indonesia has agreed to improve bilateral relations, especially in tourism.

After meeting his Maldivian counterpart Mohamed Asim in Jakarta on Wednesday, Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi told journalists that discussions were held to promote tourism between the two countries. Indonesia and Maldives will share their experience in developing the tourism sector and their promotion strategies, he added.

“Maldives is famous for its tourism and Indonesia also has a huge potential in the tourism sector,” Marsudi said.

Both ministers also discussed the opportunity to improve connectivity between the two countries.

Currently there are no direct flights between the Maldives and Indonesia. Travellers have to use Malaysia or Singapore-based carriers with transit points to travel between the two countries.

Official figures show that 4,886 Indonesian tourists visited the Maldives in 2016 — a 41.5 percent rise over the 3,452 the previous year. That growth has continued this year as well, with arrivals from Indonesia increasing by 39 percent to reach 2,102 in the first five months of the year compared to the 1,512 in the same period of last year.

Meanwhile, Indonesia, especially its tourist hotspot island of Bali, is slowly getting on the radar of Maldivian leisure travellers.

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