Guesthouses will contribute to over 50 percent of the total tourism industry bed capacity within the next 10 years, says President of Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), Abdulla Giyas Riyaz.
Speaking at the MATATO Maldives Travel Awards 2018 – Guesthouse Edition held at Farukolhufushi Heritage Island at Hulhumale’ last Friday night, Giyas said Maldives has 42,362 beds registered for tourists out of which 8,099 beds are at guesthouses.
“Guesthouses contribute to 19 percent of total bed capacity at Maldives. Hulhumale’ alone has 83 guesthouses and 1,750 beds, which is 22 percent of the guesthouse bed capacity,” said Giyas.
Hulhumale’ is followed by Maafushi, which contributes to 13 percent of total bed capacity of the guesthouse industry with 44 guesthouses and 1,026 beds, says Giyas.
Giyas said he expects the figure to increase with the opening of the Sinamale’ Bridge and development of Hulhumale’ Phase II.
“These are very interesting statistics. The guesthouse industry is nearing only its 10th year. But this is currently the most rapidly developing tourism sector in the country,” said Giyas.
“I predict guesthouses will contribute to over 50 percent of total bed capacity in the entire tourism industry over the next 10 years.”
He said the development of guesthouse businesses is a global trend.
Taking the example of neighboring Sri Lanka, Giyas said 60 percent of tourists to the country stay at guesthouses or home stays. While, 40 percent of tourists who visit Indian Ocean nation Seychelles also stay at such accommodations.
“The demand is increasing for this industry as more new low-cost airlines launch operations to different destinations. This is a huge change to the industry. This change will remain sustained,” said Giyas.
The MATATO MTA 2018 – Guesthouse Edition – Leading Guesthouse Award went to Reveries Diving Village, located at L. Gan.