Maldives revises 2021 tourist arrivals target to 1.5 mln

The Maldivian government has revised tourism arrival projections from one million to 1.5 million in 2021 due to the island nation’s early Covid-19 vaccination programme, the tourism minister announced last week.

Speaking in Parliament, tourism minister Abdulla Mausoom said the inoculation programme could help boost the tourism sector.

Mausoom said that efforts were made to develop tourist facilities in the north and south of the country, including two new resorts in the island of Addu and the beginning of chartered flights to the Gan International Airport.

The Maldives has allowed 614 tourist facilities to resume operations under health protocols, representing a total bed capacity of over 43,000.

The tourism sector is one of the island nation’s main source of income. It is also the country’s biggest foreign currency earner and the single largest contributor to the GDP.

Maldives reopened its borders to foreign tourists on July 15, 2020, after it remained suspended for a few months in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the border reopening, 30-day free on-arrival visa is issued to all tourists with a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country.

There is no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival, but tourists have to complete an online health declaration form and provide a negative PCR test result taken at least 96 hours prior to their departure.

Visitors with symptoms of the Covid-19 respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or those travelling with someone who has similar symptoms are also tested at their own expense.

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