Maldives crisis: Once known as ultimate holiday destination, tourists shun island nation
Feb 08,2018 , 04:18 PM IST
The ongoing political unrest in the Maldives has virtually destroyed the country's tourism industry with massive cancellations reported by tour groups and airlines.
There has been a sharp fall in the tourist inflow since President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency on Monday.
Many countries including China, the United States, India and European countries have issued travel alerts for their citizens.
The people of the Maldives, whose economy survives on tourism, are worried and are showing concerns over the sharp decline of tourist inflow.
Maldives Voice said in its tweet, "40% of Guest houses are facing cancellations and the percentage is increasing. Countries all around the world are warning the citizens from visiting us and Tourism sector is losing business more than ever. #MaldivesInCrisis #StateOfEmgergency".
Tourism is the largest economic industry in the Maldives as it plays an important role in earning foreign exchange revenues and generating employment in the tertiary sector of the country.
Travellers are feeling scared as the Maldivian police forces have arrested former Presidents, top judges, parliamentarians and board members of the Maldives tourism organisation.
Ismail Hameed, the managing editor of Floating Asia, said in his tweet, "Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) Board Member, Ibrahim Siyaadh Qasim has been arrested. This is the most senior tourism Organization in MALDIVES which represents all the big Hotels and resorts".
Small entrepreneurs associated with the tourism industry are also worried. A Maldivian tweeted, "This! Maldives heavily depend on tourism and every family is directly or indirectly related to it. All the families will be affected by such acts".
Every year, at the German travel mart, the Maldives used to have the biggest trade stand.However, in this year, due to the unrest, there was no presence and Germany is the biggest source of inbound tourists from the Maldives.
Nearly 1.4 million foreigners had visited the Maldives in 2017. The figures are expected to fall sharply this year, due to the ongoing unrest.