Maldives elected chair of UNWTO Commission for South Asia
Maldives has been elected as chair of World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) Commission for South Asia for the forthcoming biennium.
The 2020-2022 chairmanship election took place on Tuesday at the 57th meeting of the UNWTO Commission For South Asia in Bhutanese capital Thimphu. The Maldives is represented at the meeting by state tourism minister Dr Ahmed Salih.
The result of the vote will be ratified during the UNWTO’s 23rd General Assembly to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia on September 9.
The last time Maldives had served as chair of the commission was during the 1995-1997 period.
UNWTO Commission for South Asia is one of six regional commissions established in 1975 as subsidiary organs of the General Assembly. These regional commissions normally meet once a year. They enable member states to maintain contact with one another and with the secretariat between sessions of the General Assembly, to which they submit their proposals and convey their concerns.
Each commission elects one chairman and its vice-chairman from amongst its members for a term of two years commencing from one session to the next session of the General Assembly.
The UNWTO Commission for South Asia consists of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Maldives has one of the most dynamic and active tourism industries amongst all member states of the commission. The multi-billion dollar tourism industry of the island nation is known world over for offering the highest quality of tourism products, best in class service, impeccable natural beauty, holistic experiences and more.
Official figures show that 144 resorts, 12 hotels, 508 guesthouses and 148 liveaboard vessels are registered in the Maldives. The number of registered travel agencies and dive schools stand at 308 and 272 respectively.
Government had earlier said that a total of 132 tourism projects involving 140 islands are being carried out across the Maldives.
Meanwhile, Maldives welcomed a record 1.4 million tourists in 2018 — a 6.8 per cent increase from the 1,389,542 tourists that chose to holiday in the Maldives in 2017. Other factors such as average duration of stay, bed nights and occupancy also posted positive growth in 2018.