As little as 50 years ago, the Maldives was nearly written off as a tourism destination due to the remote, inaccessible nature of its 1,200 tiny islands. Now, tourism leaders like Abdulla Ghiyas, former president of the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators, are hoping the country’s biggest disadvantage will become its greatest selling point. In a post-lockdown, pre-vaccine world, he believes the country’s one-island, one-resort set-up is perfectly suited for isolation and social distancing.
Abdulla talks to David about how the country is preparing for a planned reopening to foreign arrivals on 1 July. He acknowledges that some source markets will take longer than others to return, but says that, with the right cooperation from airlines, travel operators and foreign ministries, they can offer a safe and welcoming environment.