Answers provided by the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC)
1.We wonder if tourists will arrive immediately when the borders are reopened?
We are aware that bookings are coming for the period immediately after opening as well, even though MMPRC does not collect data on bookings for individual resorts.
However, several tour operators and travel agencies complain that the period between the announcement of the border opening date and the actual date itself is too short for substantial bookings to be received for the first few weeks that follow the opening up of our borders.
Information from flight bookings data have shown that some markets are looking at booking travel to the Maldives. Surveys conducted recently by several travel magazines list Maldives amongst the top destinations to travel as travel resumes, is an indication that tourists definitely have Maldives on their mind.
2.What are the initiatives taken by the Maldives Government on strategic bilateral discussion with key source markets that are willing to accept safe tourism and travel during the reopening phases?
The government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working with various strategic source market countries to establish an understanding of the current situation of the pandemic in the Maldives and the measures that have been taken to ensure safe tourism once the borders are open. This includes discussions with a range of countries including China and Germany.
3.Is there any plan to identify key cities across neighboring countries and create a smooth travel corridor with minimal travel restrictions?
Similar to the response above, we have planned that as part of our strategy for recovery. In terms of establishing safe corridors for travel, our planned focus is not only for cities in the largest source markets, but also for cities in regional countries. However, some of the cities that have been identified for the establishment of safe corridors in the region, such as Singapore and major cities in India have not achieved a level of control of the pandemic yet, that is safe for us to establish such corridors. We will start implementing our regional plan as the pandemic eases in the regional markets. Also, air connectivity between these markets will be a key factor.
4.Owing to the oversupply in resort accommodation during the reopening phases, it could lead to unhealthy price war between resorts owing to the scarcity in demand. Will there be any strategy to address that?
This has been predicted by tourism experts the world over, in our discussions with them over the course of the pandemic. The advice is that this is not the right time to reduce the rates and that once reduced it may be an uphill battle to take it back up. As the government is not involved in any way or form, in controlling the rates charged by resorts, associations such as yours are best placed to form a united front in order to ensure that a price war is avoided during this time of difficulty. MMPRC will provide whatever assistance we can within our mandate in such an arrangement between resorts.