Discussions held on increasing tourist arrivals from India

Maldivian Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom (L) and Indian High Commissioner to Maldives Sunjay Sudhir (R) during a meeting on September 9, 2020. (Photo/Tourism Ministry)

Maldivian Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom and Indian High Commissioner to Maldives Sunjay Sudhir have engaged in discussions regarding increasing tourist arrivals to Maldives from India.

The discussions took place at the Tourism Ministry this Wednesday.

In addition to discussing increasing tourist arrivals from India, Maumoom and Sudhir also engaged in discussions regarding networking between Indian investors and Maldivian small and medium enterprises, and human resource development for the tourism sector.

Maldives and India established an air travel bubble in August; designed primarily to boost tourist arrivals from India, and to facilitate travel for Maldivians seeking medical treatment from India.

Under this air travel bubble, Air India currently operates a weekly Delhi-Trivandrum- Male’ flight, while IndiGo operates two weekly Kochi-Male’ flights. Meanwhile, Maldivian Airlines is scheduled to launch two weekly Trivandrum-Male’ flights coming Thursday, which will increase total flights operating between Maldives and India to five flights per week.

The meeting between Mausoom and Sudhir comes after the Indian High Commission issued a statement earlier this week, expressing India’s commitment to increasing flights between the two countries to support the Maldivian tourism sector and assist the country mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“India hopes that with 5 flights per week between India and Maldives, regular flow of Indian tourists to the Maldives will resume, demonstrating on ground India’s firm commitment to supporting the Maldivian tourism sector and thereby the economy,” said the Indian High Commission in its statement.

Discussions on boosting tourist arrivals from India comes with Maldives scheduled to reopen guesthouses located in residential islands outside of the greater Male’ region on October 15, providing tourists with an alternative to resorts and liveaboards.

Maldives has ramped up health safety measures ahead of guesthouse reopening by mandating negative PCR results for tourist arrivals.