Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Gafoor has reiterated the importance of ensuring the safety of tourists in the Maldives through stricter safety measures.
In light of the recent suspected snorkelling incidents whereby one tourist died and another is still missing, Adheeb revealed to local media that efforts are underway to strengthen existing regulations to ensure such incidents are not repeated.
As of next month, Adheeb stated that preparations will be undertaken to initiate various activities in relation to tourist safety.
According the tourism minister, the industry had so far been based on the European market, where he said tourists were generally much more adept swimmers. However, he claimed that east Asians who were now dominating tourism numbers in the Maldives market were not so familiar with the ocean.
“Europeans are generally strong swimmers. But the ocean is a whole new experience for the Chinese. The level of excitement for them is very different. We have to take that into account and be more aware of it when we make arrangements,” Adheeb said.
Adheeb also stated that the tourism industry must evolve and adapt to the changing market, whilst also increasing ocean awareness for tourists. Additionally, existing regulations must be monitored and strengthened.
“If such incidents keep repeating it is a major concern. It will adversely affect our tourism. We need to change the services being provided with the market,” Adheeb told local media.