Managing Director of the Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC) Abdulla Ziyath believes the government’s Thumburi integrated resort project will increase visitors to the Maldives by 150,000.
“The market had become quite stagnant, as there were not many new hotels on the way and we were becoming perceived as a place just for five-star tourists,” Ziyath told TTG while at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London.
“This addresses those issues and for the first time enables small businesses to invest; in fact we are actively discouraging the main existing resort owners from being a part of Thumburi”.
The government’s integrated resort project – or ‘vertical tourism’ – is designed to “responsibly diversify the tourism product of the Maldives”, says the MMPRC, after the rapid expansion of guest houses on inhabited islands under the presidency of Mohamed Nasheed between 2008 and 2012.
Some within the industry have expressed fears over the guest house’s impact on the Maldives image as a luxury travel destination, although critics of the new scheme say the multi-ownership guest house island concept will not bring the same benefit to local communities.
Ziyath spoke during the WTM, at which it unveiled the Thumburi project. The event features 146 representatives from 54 countries and is to conclude tomorrow.