MDP requests assistance of IDU to boost tourist arrivals to Maldives

Speaker of Parliament, former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed during a press conference on July 29, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Main ruling party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has requested the assistance of International Democratic Union (IDU) to boost tourist arrivals to Maldives.

IDU is an international alliance of center-right and conservative political parties. MDP has been a member of IDU since its early days.

MDP leader, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed hosted a press conference on Wednesday night, following a meeting of IDU’s executive committee.

Speaking at the press conference, the former Maldivian president said the executive committee meeting was also attended by senior MDP officials.

Nasheed said that MDP has presented a motion asking for the ruling parties among IDU’s member parties to lobby respective governments to ease restrictions on tourists to Maldives.

He noted that the ruling parties of the Unites States, Australia, Greece, Hungary, Norway and the United Kingdom are all IDU member parties.

Nasheed said that MDP’s motion has been forwarded to IDU’s Foreign Relations Committee, and that the committee will make its decision on Friday.

“I said that Maldives is heavily reliant on tourism, and that Maldives and the Maldivian people will suffer heavy losses if we aren’t able to revive our tourism industry soon,” he said.

“I believe they concurred they will undertake this work. So their Foreign Relations Committee will, God willing, make a decision.”

The meeting was also attended by Maldivian Foreign Affairs Minister Abdulla Shahid.

Nasheed said that the executive members were therefore able to clarify all necessary information through the Foreign Affairs Minister.

In response to a question by a reporter, Nasheed said he does not believe re-imposing a lockdown is the best course of action for the economy. He said the country’s borders need to be open in order to revive the tourism industry and restore it to its previous performance.

“Business sales can only enter when the drawers are open, when the shops are open,” he said.

“I believe that only by offering open service can we slowly but surely restore tourism to what it was.”