MALDIVES SAYS 140 NEW RESORT ISLANDS IN DEVELOPMENT
A total of 132 tourism projects involving 140 islands are being carried out across the Maldives, new government has announced.
Newly appointed tourism minister Ali Waheed told journalists on Friday that development of 54 out of the 140 islands had come to a halt due to several reasons. However, construction of resorts on 93 of the islands are underway, he noted.
Citing statistics from the ministry’s planning department, the minister said another 13 islands, four lagoons and two land plots had been put up for bids but are yet to be leased. Additional three islands had been approved by the President’s Office for tourism development but are pending gazette announcement, he added.
According to the minister, 144 resorts, 12 hotels, 508 guesthouses and 148 liveaboard vessels have been registered. The number of registered travel agencies and dive schools stand at 308 and 272 respectively.
Newly appointed tourism minister Ali Waheed. PHOTO/ PRESIDENT’S OFFICE
The new government had pledged to ramp up tourism promotion with new initiatives and more funding.
Authorities have come under fire from private organisations representing industry stakeholders such as the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) over the lack of effort and budget to promote the Maldives as a destination.
These concerns come as the world-famous holiday destination struggles to match an increased bed capacity.
Over the past few years, dozens of uninhabited islands have been leased to local and foreign resort developers. Several international brands have entered into the market, increasing the number of resorts in operation to more than 130. That number is set to increase as another 20 resorts are expected to open over the next two years.
Singapore’s Park Hotel Group has opened its first resort in the Maldives, while major international hotel chains such as AccorHotels have entered the Maldives with three openings, including Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi and Mӧvenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives as well as two in the pipeline. Brands like Hard Rock International, Capella Hotel Group, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Emaar Hospitality Group, Baglioni Hotels, Emerald Collection and Meliá Hotels International have announced their entry to the Maldives as well.
Existing international players are also upping their presence, with Marriott International launching Westin and JW Marriott in Maldives, Hilton Worldwide to re-introduce its top-end luxury brand Waldorf Astoria, Aitken Spence to introduce its Heritance brand, Minor Hotel Group to introduce its AVANI brand, Onyx Hospitality Group to introduce its OZO brand with its second property in the island nation, and LUX* Hotels and Resorts to open its second resort in the Maldives. Centara Hotels and Resorts has also signed a management agreement for its third resort in the tropical destination, while The Residence by Cenizaro has announced the launch of its second Maldivian property.
Leading local hotel groups, including Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts, Sun Siyam Resorts, and Crown and Champa Resorts, are also on an expansion drive.
Meanwhile, the first integrated tourism developments in the Maldives — Emboodhoo Lagoon project and Rah Falhu Huraa lagoon project — are underway.
Along with the new resort openings come the challenge of increasing demand from budget travellers who choose guesthouses over luxury resorts that the Maldives is known for. The guesthouse sector has rapidly expanded with over 500 guesthouses in operation today.
The previous government had announced new steps to maintain a structured growth in tourism, including a slowdown in leasing islands for resort development and increased marketing efforts in key markets such as China and the Middle East in order to reach an ambitious target of a record 1.5 million tourist arrivals this year.
Maldives had in September welcomed the one millionth visitor of 2018.
According to the latest figures, total arrivals for the past 10 months of the year increased by 7.3 percent to reach 1,207,852 compared to the 1,125,995 in the same period of last year.
新加坡的Park Hotel Group在馬爾代夫開設了第一家度假村，而AccorHotels等主要國際連鎖酒店已經進入馬爾代夫，開業三處，包括馬爾代夫庫德多美居度假酒店，馬爾代夫費爾蒙酒店Sirru Fen Fushi和M MaldvenpickResort Kuredhivaru Maldives以及兩家酒店。管道。 Hard Rock International，Capella Hotel Group，Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group，Emaar Hospitality Group，Baglioni Hotels，Emerald Collection和MeliáHotelsInternational等品牌也宣布進入馬爾代夫。
現有的國際參與者也紛紛加入其中，萬豪國際集團在馬爾代夫推出威斯汀和JW萬豪酒店，希爾頓全球重新推出其頂級奢侈品牌Waldorf Astoria，Aitken Spence，介紹其Heritance品牌，Minor Hotel Group推出其AVANI品牌，Onyx Hospitality Group將介紹其OZO品牌及其在該島國的第二家酒店，以及LUX * Hotels and Resorts在馬爾代夫開設其第二家度假村。 Centara Hotels and Resorts還簽署了其在熱帶目的地的第三個度假村的管理協議，而The Residence by Cenizaro宣布推出其第二個馬爾代夫物業。
領先的當地酒店集團，包括Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts，Sun Siyam Resorts，Crown和Champa Resorts，也在擴張。
與此同時，馬爾代夫首個綜合旅遊開發項目–Emboodhoo Lagoon項目和Rah Falhu Huraa潟湖項目正在進行中。