Connect with us

Travel & Culture

Maldives celebrates 50 years of tourism, a sector undermined in the past

Avatar

Published

on

Fifty years ago, an Italian travel enthusiast, George Corbin visited the Maldives after crossing many hurdles. Some believed the little nation in the Indian Ocean was not worth visiting and though his colleagues and friends advised against it, Corbin took a chance. Today, the Maldives is marking the golden jubilee of an industry people believed would not have flourished all those years ago.

Not knowing how to travel to the Maldives, Corbin visited the closest embassy, the Maldives Embassy in Sri Lanka, where he was introduced to the then junior employee at the embassy, the current Minister of Health Ahmed Naseem. Since there were no air connections, Naseem and Corbin travelled to the Maldives on a cargo ship.

The arrival of Corbin marked the beginning of tourism in the Maldives. Reminiscing on the beginnings of tourism, a key pioneer of tourism in the Maldives, Mohamed Umar Manik said that meeting Corbin made him realise that the Maldives is a place where tourism can be developed. At that time, Corbin was seeking uninhabited islands where he could bring Italians to swim and fish. He said the enthusiasm and faith of Corbin gave encouragement to himself, Naseem, and Hussain Afeef.

Manik recalled not having any services such as banks, airports, or telephones back in the day, adding that only hand radios or Morse code were used to contact Colombo, Sri Lanka. He said many people did not believe that tourism could be expanded in the Maldives due to the natural formation and the lack of development of resources. Even experts from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said that tourism would never succeed because there were no facilities and no infrastructure, he added.

Meanwhile, Cobin returned home and the first group of tourists arrived on February 16, 1972, under the leadership of Umar Manik, Afeef and Naseem. The group of tourists arrived from Milan, Italy chartering a flight from Air Ceylon. A total of 22 tourists arrived on the maiden trip. They came and stayed at Maagiri, Lux Hood and Kaneeru Villa. They stayed in the Maldives for 12 days.

When the first group of tourists arrived in the Maldives, Naseem was abroad on a government trip. However, Naseem described the situation in which they had to serve tourists. He said that Afeef with others ran from one house to the other serving the tourists, taking cutlery from one house to the other when one team is finished, adding the courage they showed back in the day is an incomparable example.

The first group of tourists included some Italian journalists. They went back home and wrote about their experiences in the newspapers which is how most people came to know of the Maldives. After the trip, discussions to develop a resort in the Maldives commenced.

Speaking on a programme aired on PSM News, Mohamed Moosa said many challenges were faced by the industry over the years. He said he used to supply vegetables and other products to the resorts for Afeef.

When the first group of tourists arrived in the Maldives, Afeef said there were no modern facilities. However, they loved the experience which ensured the trust of foreign investors in the Maldives. The first resort in the country opened on October 3, 1972, in Vihamanaafushi, as Kurumba Village or Kurumba Maldives as it is known now. Kurumba Maldives is a 30-room resort with a bed capacity of 60.

Today, 50 years later, the Maldives has 170 resorts, 866 hotels and guesthouses, and 154 liveaboards registered in the Maldives which brings the total bed capacity to 59,601. Today, the Maldives is known to everyone and tourism has flourished with the passion, determination and hard work of its young and energetic Maldivian founders. Just as Corbin fell in love with the palm trees, turquoise sea and white sandy beaches, the Maldives has made it to the bucket list of everyone

Corbin said the Maldives are world known and among the best destinations, getting visitors of different nationalities and regions, thus being a very safe haven.

 

Source: psmnews

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Travel & Culture

Maldives Border Miles program surpass one million members

FI

Published

on

By

The Controller General of Maldives Immigration, Mohamed Ahmed Hussain (Hanafy), announced the achievement via a tweet on Monday.

In his tweet, he thanked the President of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, for his optimism in the swift economic recovery which helped boost the energy to start the World’s first destination loyalty program.

Maldives Border Miles, a destination loyalty program, was inaugurated back in December 2020, and is the first destination loyalty program in the world

Maldives Immigration initiated the Maldives Border Miles program to promote tourism.

This tourist loyalty program contains three tiers. Tourists who sign up for this program will accrue points based on how frequently they visit and how long they stay. For trips to commemorate important occasions, extra points will be given.

The categories in the program are Aida (bronze tier), Antara (silver tier), and Abaarana (gold tier). As members go through the levels, each tier will give the member rewards, such as services or other advantages, which will be exclusive to the mentioned tiers.

Source(s): Sun.mv

Continue Reading

Local

Maldivian Airlines introduced an ATR 72-600

FI

Published

on

By

By: Fathimath Lauza

Maldivian Airlines has introduced in an ATR aircraft for temporary use to fulfill peak season demand. The national airline has placed an order for three ATR aircraft.

Maldivian has brought in an ATR aircraft for temporary use in advance to put together for the peak season.

Aishath Jennifer, Deputy Managing Director of Island Aviation, which operates Maldivian, stated of the aircraft will be delivered through the second week of December.

The third ATR aircraft can be delivered during the first quarter of next year. Jennifer stated the aircraft, which are currently in temporary use, will be launched as soon as the ordered aircraft are available.

Island Aviation intends to use ATR aircraft on domestic and international flights.

In addition to the ATR aircraft, Maldivian is likewise working on a brand new long-haul aircraft. Maldivian presently has twenty one aircraft in its fleet. They consist of eleven sea planes and nine dash- eight aircraft

The flagship ATR is an aircraft that is famous amongst the various domestic air travel providers worldwide, specifically the ATR 72-600 series. It is likewise pretty famous within the Maldives, as being the primary type of aircraft used in the operations of Villa Air and Manta Air as well.

Maldivian Airlines additionally announced their intent to increase their ATR fleet in destiny with 72-600 and 42-600 collection aircraft. The statement was made by the Maldivian Airlines, coinciding with the date on which they celebrate 10 years on their jet aircraft operations.

Continue Reading

Travel & Culture

Kuwait Airways resumes flights to Maldives

FI

Published

on

By

By: Fathimath Lauza

Kuwait Airways, the national airline of Kuwait, has resumed flights to Maldives after the lockdown due to the coronavirus. The first flight of Kuwait Airways landed at the airport at 7:00 am today.

Kuwait Airways will operate two flights a week from Kuwait International Airport to Vellana International Airport. MACL confirmed that Kuwait Airways uses A320 aircraft for these flights.

Kuwait Airways has resumed flights to Maldives during the winter season, since Maldives is popular among tourists this season.

Continue Reading

Trending