The pandemic has badly affected the major industries along with the tour and travel across the globe, whether it is domestic or international travel, everyone is packed in their home for the last few months. Now with a slight hope, it seems that there is some gradual recovery appearing in international tourism. Several tourist destinations are rising now. While domestic traveling has increased its pace and running well for some time. It appears that international travel will also get its pace soon.
After almost a four-month of the shutdown, one of the most famous holiday destinations in the world, the Maldives is now welcoming tourists around the globe with all safety initiatives. The Maldives is the paradise for passionate honeymooners and water sports enthusiasts. As of July 15, this island nation in the Indian Ocean has resumed international tourism. According to CNN Travel, it is stated that the global tourists including the US citizens neither have to go for a compulsory quarantine upon landing at Velana International Airport in the capital, Malè nor they require to provide proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19. Also, no new visa needed or any additional fees to be paid.
Easy connectivity to the Maldives via significant airlines
Currently, with the improvement in the aviation industry, it is possible to travel to the Maldives with different major airlines connecting through the Middle East. These include Emirates Airlines, which allows connections through Dubai from major global cities like London, Chicago, Toronto, and Sydney. The Qatar Airways also continued flights to the Maldives on July 15 out of Doha, allowing connections through major centers including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Sydney, New York, and Los Angeles. Fellow UAE carrier Etihad will resume flights from Abu Dhabi to the Maldives from July 16. Turkish Airlines is tentatively starting flights from July 17. Upon arrival, passengers are asked to fill in health declaration cards and a 30-day tourist visa will be provided.
The traveler who shows the symptoms of COVID-19 will be subjected to a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test at their own cost and sent to a selected zone for isolation.
Some more about the Maldives
The Maldives Island is a blend of 26 atolls, an archipelago of 1,000 islands decorated with several overwater and beachfront luxurious resorts, and spread across an area of 90,000 square kilometers. In the beginning, the global travelers will only be permitted on the resort islands and they need to book their entire stay in one registered establishment. Exemptions will only be made for transit arrangements, according to the Maldives government’s course of action. According to the owner of Maldivian resort and CEO and founder of Soneva, Sonu Shivdasani stated that the most important thing to take into consideration is that it depends not only on the Maldives but also on the lifting of travel limitations in different countries. It is not just desire but the ability. Currently, he owns two resorts in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi, and Soneva Jani.
Are all resorts open from July 15?
Maldives Tourism list accounts for a total of 156 resorts, out which 43 resorts are going to open on July 15th, the visitors who prefer to stay or those who visit the island later via private plane or yacht they will be served on that basis list of the resort which will remain open throughout the pandemic. After the end of July, a few more resorts are going to reopen following the next month of September and October 50 or more are intended to reopen.
The exclusive French hospitality group Accor has five Maldivian resorts and it is looking forward to opening the resorts most probably in the coming month of August. The Accor AGM (Area General Manager) of the Maldives John Bendtsen stated that we expect to resume Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort from 1st August, followed by Pullman Maldives Maamutaa Resort in September. Bendtsen also affirmed that in this most serious situation, the response of the visitors is much positive, so the remaining properties in the Maldives like Movenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, and Raffles Maldives Meradhoo will reopen from October 2020. As per him, the tourists who have already toured the Maldives earlier are more confident and they will possibly travel there in the 4th quarter of 2020.
For the health and safety of the visitors, the government is also issuing Safe Tourism Licenses to authorize tourists. Whether some resorts are actively implementing new measures to protect guests and staff. Visitors will be directed to undergo a COVID-19 test on the arrival at the private airport lounge before they get transferred to their resort. They will be transferred to their villa and are asked to remain there until the test results are collected. If the visitor’s report comes positive, then they will be isolated in their villa, under the trained nurses.
The Soneva resorts chain is one of the examples of the above. CEO Sonu Shivdasani also stated that the main goal of this chain is to make COVID free Private Island so that our guests can unwind and engage with the hosts freely without any concern of being infected. More enhanced protocols for cleaning and sanitation will be followed and Soneva will remain open during the pandemic and has been following the best practices recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Resuming the borders will benefit The Maldives
The Maldives heavily depended on tourism according to the World Bank and tourism holds two-thirds of the country’s GDP directly or indirectly. In the previous year, the Maldives tourism industry grew by 14.7% with total arrivals reaching a record of 1.7 million.
A statement passed in May by the minister of tourism, Ali Waheed stated that the result of the COVID-19 pandemic is more damaging than the tsunami that occurred in the year 2004 and the global financial crisis of the year 2008. Recently the Maldives has reported almost 2,000 confirmed cases and five life losses from COVID-19. One of the stunning and the world’s first-ever underwater hotel residence, The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island encountered zero tourist arrival since this March, it was the first time in 47 years of tourism history in the Maldives.
The director of global hospitality consulting firm Horwath HTL, Eunice Aw, Singapore stated via email that the tourism industry in the Maldives has proven to be flexible and it is hopping back fast from the earlier crises.
Tourism improvement has to be further strengthened by the resumption of international flights, mutual travel agreements with partner countries all these things will boost the travel industry.
However, resuming the borders is surely going to benefit The Maldives along with the holidaymakers.
For easy and convenient travel planning, you may browse through our collection of Maldives tour packages.