Male’, Maldives – Minister of Tourism, Dr Abdulla Mausoom has told that the government was discussing with China on bringing Chinese tourists to Maldives when the Chinese borders reopen.
Maldives was not on the priority list for the countries to which China would allow travels when they reopen their borders while the neighboring Sri Lanka was on the list of these countries. Minister Dr. Mausoom has said that he has very high hopes that Maldives would be in this approved countries list when the Chinese borders reopen and that he is confident that tourists would be coming to Maldives when they were visiting Sri Lanka.
He also stated that the tourism relationship between Maldives and China was very strong and that China would surely be willing to do the things requested by the Maldives. Minister also added that they were looking at the possibility of arranging flights from Sri Lanka to Maldives to bring those Chinese tourists who want to come to Maldives but that he would prefer to bring Chinese tourists directly from China.
Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom and the Chinese Ambassador to Maldives Zhang Lizhong had held a meeting to discuss about the cooperation of the two countries this Monday as well. The discussions of the meeting were focused on the further enhancement of the cooperation between the two countries in the travel and tourism sector. In the meeting the Chinese Ambassador was briefed on Maldives’ progress in Covid-19 response, as well as on the challenges in tourism and measures imposed to ensure the safety of tourists and the ambassador had assured the cooperation of China for the recovery of the industry in Maldives.
Chinese tourists are the largest contributor to the Maldivian tourism industry with 284,000 tourists out of the total 1.7 million tourists who visited Maldives in 2019 alone. This is more than the total number of tourists which had visited the neighboring Sri Lanka in 2017. Since the borders opened 26,720 tourists have come to Maldives until October 14. The government has also allowed guesthouses to start operating since yesterday onward.