Stakeholders gather to discuss challenges in Maldives tourism industry

Stakeholders of the Maldives’ tourism industry gathered on Thursday to deliberate on pressing issues and challenges faced by the multi-billion-dollar industry.

The Maldives Tourism Conference 2019, organised as part of the ongoing celebrations of World Tourism Day, takes place at Crossroads Maldives, the first and largest integrated tourist destination in the Maldives.

Tourism minister Ali Waheed told the attendees that his government will develop and expand the industry with the collaboration of everyone involved. The recently concluded inspection of all tourist facilities was one such initiative to address the issues faced by the industry, he added.

The minister assured his government’s support to ensure that the Maldives remains one of the world’s safest and most peaceful destinations for global travellers.

“The threat of terrorism is everywhere in the world. However, our aim is to maintain our reputation as one of the safest countries in the world,” Waheed said, during the inauguration ceremony of the conference Thursday morning.

Tourism pioneer Mohamed Umar ‘MU’ Maniku, Chairman of Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), highlighted the efforts being done to develop and nurture local talent in the industry.

“We have understood that there are opportunities even for traditional craftsman and artisans within the industry. We have also teamed up with Maldives Association of HR Professionals to conduct programmes for students,” Maniku, who leads Universal Enterprises and Universal Resorts, one of the largest conglomerates and resort operators in the Maldives, said.

The one-day conference is focused on four key areas: terrorism and security in global tourism; environmental protection and sustainability; social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction through tourism; opportunities for local craftsmen and artists in the tourism industry.

This conference wraps up the World Tourism Day 2019 celebrations in the Maldives which saw the island nation breaking a world record.

The Maldives on Tuesday broke the world record for the most people freediving simultaneously. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih joined 520 others in simultaneous freediving off the lagoon of Baros Maldives resort, staying underwater for around 30 seconds.

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