Addu’s tourism hindered by transport issues : Mayor

Addu City Mayor Abdullah Sodiq (Sobe) | Photo: Sun

Male’, Maldives – Addu City Mayor Abdullah Sodiq (Sobe) has said that Addu’s local tourism’s low development rate is attributable to transport issues in the area.

After Guesthouses outside Male’ were allowed to resume services at the end of October, Addu City opened some of it’s guesthouses hoping to restart the previously flourishing local tourism.

In an interview to local news outlet “Vaguthu”, Sobe said that since guesthouse services were allowed to resume, he isn’t certain that even 50 tourists have arrived to Addu.

He pointed out that this was mainly due to difficulties travelling to the city, explaining that most tourists arrived to Addu through direct flights by SriLankan Airlines, who currently have ceased operations to Gan International Airport indefinitely.

Sobe noted that the Sri Lankan border has not reopened since its initial closure early in the pandemic, which has had adverse affects on Addu tourism as numerous guests transit through the country when visiting Addu City.

The Mayor indicated that SriLankan airline’s delay in resuming operations to Addu maybe due to the fact that 2 of the 3 resorts in the city are closed. With Equator Village, South Palm and a handful of guesthouses in operation, the city only has half of the 1200 tourist beds that were available pre-pandemic.

To solve this, Sobe highlighted the government’s plans to operate sea-planes to the city beginning next month, albeit at a loss and added that the national airline, Maldivian is prepared to start this service.

Mayor Sobe remains optimistic that tourism in the area will improve, citing the recent win by the Maldives at the World Travel Awards 2020, as the World’s Leading Destination to be of a great help in achieving this.