What impact do you anticipate the government's fifth tourism master plan, which prioritizes increasing bed nights and enhancing services, will have on the tourism industry?

PUBLISHED July 10, 2023

Ahmed Zubair Adam
Blue Horizon
Maldives is a leading destination in the tourism sector and as Maldives increase bed capacity, we need to increase our bed nights and focus on service delivery as well. The 5th tourism master plan should also be addressing the need for a strong international Maldives national carrier to achieve that goal. With so many International Airports developed in Maldives, we need to be looking at Maldives as a hub destination that connects Africa to the Far East and as a stopover holiday destination as well.
Master plans should be implemented and adopted well. Otherwise, the purpose of making master plans would be useless spending. Plans made in the last 20 years had development of marinas included and no efforts were made. The number of beds on boats increases year by year. But the challenges of anchoring become higher as the number grows. Meanwhile, the domestic air transport prices are absurdly high to conduct the business, which will also become a big issue to expand tourism to far atolls.
I believe increasing bed nights & enhancing services is going to be a good move as this will maintain a good occupancy rate. More importantly, we need to expand the National Carrier, Maldivian, to facilitate convenient transfer of tourists. I further believe a JV model with a market giant would be ideal, providing us with a swift result.
The 5th Tourism Master Plan (5TMP) is an ambitious and crucial plan to take the tourism industry to a new height. The 5TMP's primary focus is on increasing yield, occupancy rates and relying less on volume. This focus will allow greater improvement to the guest holiday experiences, maintain the high quality standard of Maldives brand and benefit every stakeholder in the industry (investors, workers, communities and support sectors). This focus will also allow better management of the impact on the environment and utilization of limited resources such as natural attractions, aviation capacity and human capital.