Letter on treatment of visitors

Dear Sir

Wake up – this is no way to treat your visitors! As a regular visitor to your beautiful country, I feel it’s time to let you know what many international visitors to the Maldives feel about your poor airport service.

Should foreign visitors to the Maldives be treated to such poor service at the important time of arriving and leaving the country – especially when there are many other equally beautiful island countries around the world where they can spend their holidays?

Passport Control – here there are often long and unpleasant delays and queues on arrival. To make matters worse the guest has to go through the gauntlet of the impolite passport control staff. How difficult is it for them to offer a greeting to the guest as they arrive at the passport counter? “Good afternoon” – “thank you” – “goodbye…” It’s so easy and so simple. The passport control staff need a lesson in basic manners and why it is important for the benefit of their country that guests are treated with basic courtesy.

Food – There is a self-service cafeteria at the International Terminal – (apparently owned by a Maldivian – Mr Hassan Bagir), where there are no pricing notices and where a cup of coffee will cost the same as the most expensive cities in the world, London or Paris.

The service in this cafe is poor and unpleasant, and one has to ask for change! No wonder there were no Maldivians eating or drinking at the tables of this cafeteria – it’s only the ignorant foreigner who is foolish enough to order food and drinks here.

Souvenir shop – where the Hindi Film is so loud you cannot think clearly and the staff have no other interest than to watch the Hindi film. The badly displayed stock includes Sharks Heads (I thought Shark Fishing in Maldives is meant to be banned?)

Customs and immigration – It’s still unbelievable that visitors coming to the Maldives from somewhere like Sri Lanka or Thailand will have any Buddhist statues in their possession confiscated. This is crazy when you have an excellent museum in Male’ displaying Buddhist statues – representing a period of Maldives history!

I would like to suggest to the Airport Authorities and the Ministry of Tourism: Wake up, this is no way to treat your visitors!

I hear a new airport is going to be built in the Maldives – there is little point unless there is an understanding why customer service and basic manners are important in the competitive business of tourism.

Concerned Visitor

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