The Maldives on Thursday announced that it will open guesthouses in nine of its residential islands for international tourists
The Maldives on Thursday announced that it will open guesthouses in nine of its residential islands for international tourists.
This was announced by the Health Emergency Operation Centre, the website en.sun reported.
All preparations have been made to open the islands in accordance with the health guidelines prescribed by the Health Protection Agency (HPA). The islands were closed for international tourists since March in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourism is one of the major sectors for the island nation’s economy and accounts for nearly two-thirds of its GDP. Maldives’ GDP is expected to contract by 8.5 percent in 2020, 13.9 percentage points lower than the pre-COVID -19 era, according to a World Bank report.
Tourism employs one-third of adult males and a quarter of females in the country and the travel restrictions due to the pandemic has adversely affected employment and household earnings.
The island nation reopened its borders in July to boost the tourism sector. It also promised facilities like visa on arrival, easy access to shores, and no quarantine for tourists.
The archipelago expects to welcome around 700,000 tourists by next year, the country’s finance minister announced.