The Maldives to extend visas of stranded Ukrainian tourists; worried about war effect on tourist flow
The Maldives has announced that it was planning to extend visas of Ukrainian tourists who got stranded in the archipelago as commercial flights canceled their operations to Ukraine after the conflict broke out last week
The Maldives has announced that it was planning to extend visas of Ukrainian tourists who got stranded in the archipelago as commercial flights canceled their operations to Ukraine after the conflict broke out last week.
Tourism Minister Abdullah Mausoom said that officials were working on plans to grant visa extensions to Ukrainians who could not return to their home country back. Arrangements are also being made to facilitate their travel to neighboring countries, he added.
“They are departing to Ukraine and neighboring countries via different airlines. We are handling administrative arrangements for those who wish to depart from the Maldives in collaboration with Immigration and Foreign Ministry,” Mausoom was quoted as saying by Sun news.
The Maldives, an attractive luxury tourist destination, known for its white sunny beaches and island resorts in the Indian Ocean, is a popular tourist destination for both Russians and Ukrainians. Currently, the tourism minister said, over 8000 Russians and around 800 Ukrainians are in the Maldives.
Authorities said Ukrainians wishing to stay for a longer duration will require cheaper places to stay.
“What we are doing now is, they may perhaps need a cheaper place to stay if they are to stay longer. So we are checking the rates industry-wide to see what to offer them,” Mausoom said.
Officials are also anticipating a potential loss to tourist flow from Russia, the Maldives’ second-biggest source market after India, as the harsh sanctions announced by several western countries would hurt the Russian economy in the days to come. On Monday, the Russian rouble lost 40 percent of its value in comparison to the US dollar.
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