Resorts concerned about “unhelpful” call for tourism boycott

Several resort managers have warned that former President Mohamed Nasheed’s call in the Financial Times (FT) for a boycott on tourism risked aggravating an already unstable economic situation in the country, given the country’s near-total dependence on tourism.

Speaking to the FT, Nasheed urged potential visitors to make other plans and cancel existing bookings.

“I’d say to anyone who has booked a holiday to the Maldives: cancel it. And to anyone who is thinking of booking one: please don’t bankroll an illegitimate government,” Nasheed told the publication.

Minivan News attempted to clarify the extent of Nasheed’s proposed boycott at a recent Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) rally, however he was not commenting further on the subject. The Party’s Spokesperson, Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, said the party was keen to encourage “ethical tourism”.

Potential impact

“The impact [of a boycott] would depend on how many people heed the call,” said one resort manager.

“The call for a boycott as such will perhaps not have too much of an impact for our clients. They will ask questions, but they will not let it stop them from booking, if they hear about it all. The February 7 events also were not registered as potentially dangerous by too many of them,” the manager said.

“Of course if, say, [airport developer] GMR staff joined a boycott movement, [seaplane operator] TMA staff start striking, maybe even resort staff join in activities and guests are actually negatively confronted with some of these issues, bad news will spread rather fast and the impact might be drastic,” he warned.

“It feels to me as something which might rather aggravate the situation in a country, which is already struggling with its economy, credibility and security, and where so many of its people are fully dependent on tourism.”

Another resort manager warned that while such a statement would negatively affect tourism, “more so the local Maldivian with reduced hospitality workers service charges, local shops, tour operators and the local suppliers.”

“One would hope that former President Nasheed would take an interdependent viewpoint rather than reverting to this unhelpful strategy,” the manager suggested.

“This will hurt the locals more than the current government. Whilst I understand that the MDP would like new elections, I believe this is not the way forward.”

A third manager warned that the boycott risked undermining support for Nasheed within the tourism industry, which employs many MDP members, and handed the ruling coalition a reason to blame the former President for the country’s dire economic situation.

One resort owner, quoted in the FT’s article, said he supported the boycott “as the industry was partly responsible for the overthrow of Mr Nasheed.”

“Resort owners have financed and backed the new regime, and we can’t carry on as if its business as usual. A boycott will hurt me personally a lot in the short term, but it’s necessary in the long term,” said Ali Shiyam, Director of AAA resorts.

Resorts in the Maldives have previously expressed concern about the potential increase in T-GST to 12 percent, among several measures the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said are urgently needed to offset the Maldives’ spiraling budget deficit. Due to ongoing contracts with overseas tour operators, any sudden increases in TGST would have to be absorbed by the resorts, several stated.

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34 thoughts on “Resorts concerned about “unhelpful” call for tourism boycott”

  1. nasheed dictator didnt discuss the issue of maldives boycot with his cult party MDP. it was not discussed in their national council. the members in that council were suprised to hear about it.

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  2. Dictator is not required to discussed anything with the members and they are meant to obey and listen to what the Dictator Anni says.

    This is how the democracy works in MDP.

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  3. tourism is the PRIVATE SECTOR,
    and this is absolutely horrible for normal citizens unaffiliated with the politics of the current government, who are employed by these resorts,(thousands and thousands of jobs)

    Its going to hurt the people more than anyone,

    What happened on february 7th was completely shady, but calling for a boycott is twisting the blade on the wound caused by the coup.
    the boycott is completely retarded

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  4. MDP is party driven by petty jealousy and personal agendas. The whole of the tourism industry is the target of their jealousy and vindication. Anyone who is patriotic to our nation and who wishes the maldivian people well will not make such a statement. Nasheed in a politically immature, irresponsible pot head who can't see beyond his spliff. Maldivians ,including myself was duped into voting for him. he will not have my vote again ...and lets not talk about all the islands that were given freely to MDP cronies...Very disappointing..

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  5. I fear worse is to come.
    Maldivians, I think, will not elect MDP in the next presidential elections. What then? Will they come out and burn more buildings? Will they punish the entire population with negative publicity and tourism boycot, like they are doing now?

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  6. Maybe, Anni gave the interview in a state of 'hindhukolhu'. Lets be absolutely sure that he was not holding a glass of sula-shiraz.

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  7. The sooner we realise that this person is a threat to Maldives and its people the better. I hope to see him locked away in prision for a long time to come.

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  8. Tommorows news headline:
    MDP National Council votes with 98% majority to support a maldives tourism boycot.

    Day after tommorows headline:
    The 2% members who voted against the motion are labelled as "bagees" and to be kicked out of MDP. 😛

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  9. Regarding boycott tourism in Maldives :

    a) the government is repeating since 4 months after the coup d'etat that despite all violence towards citizens of your country - tourism is going up

    b) the government of the new regime has taken many measure to organise their marketing - such as advertisements on BBC and contracting Ruder Finn to accelerate good news about Maldives

    c) the coup d'etat has anyhow caused that interested people read and search on internet for information about Maldives - what we find is

    1. Maldives have been living with a dictatorship for 30 years and then a democracy for three years. Throughout those 30 years, so many bad things have happened. It is just horrible to read about disappeared prisoners, jailing political opponents for years, torturing of opponents ...

    2. What we understand is that a handful of already rich people have been robbing the state (tax money belonging to the people). A dictator who is accused - and never brought to court - for stealing 800 million dollars, business people who get loans from the national bank and never pay back, resorts owners who control the economy but do not pay the full salaries to employees but instead force them to join their political party ...

    3. Most worrying and terrifying : the ongoing threats towards foreigners and / or people who would practice another religion. We can read on Facebook, on twitter, on youtube, in your online newspapers ...

    * the ongoing talks and statements from fundamentalists : Islam and democracy go not together ... so they want to say that Turkey is not a democratic country ? They want to say that so many Muslims who live in democratic countries, who participate in the society there, who are members of councils and parliament - that all those Muslims are not democrats ? You realise the consequences of such "thinking" for the societies there (here)? Thats what they want ???

    * people from the government who say the Queen is kind of insane disabled - calling the Commonwealth a group of drunks who are bribed by the democrats in Maldives

    * same people and parties and ministers and MP's from your government who want to withdraw from Commonwealth for example ? Maybe UN as next ?

    * parties from the government calling for introducing Sharia and death penalty - sexual abuse of women both in police custody as well by government officers - the increasing crime rates - forbidden for kids in school to sing - how those same parties and government consider women - the stories of the judges who are supposed to deliver justice ... shall I go on ?

    * foreigners are directly involved in : has been calls to throw out all foreign managers from resorts - white were/are called "missionaries" who come to Maldives to convert Muslims into Christians - Indians assaulted, killed - Bangladeshi robbed by people in uniform - foreign women chased - fake wedding where foreigners were called pigs - investors GMR threatened to be nationalised ... more ?

    No need for a boycott ... your regime and fanatics contribute their level best to achieve that already ...

    Bye bye Maldives, I do not contribute to a regime that insults and threatens me because I am a foreigner, a white and live in a Western country which (unfortunately for me too) has a so called "Christian" culture.

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  10. As a former supporter of the MDP during its inception it pains me to see the state of the party now.

    I call on party financiers, heads and supporters to demand that the MDP is set on the right track once again. Please do not sacrifice one of the most promising political associations in this country for the goals of a single individual or for the sake of foreign interests in this country.

    As they stand, I will never support Adalat or MDP for acting as agents for foreign others that promote their interests with complete disregard for the Maldivian people.

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  11. MATI need serious reform, from an association of pitiful self interest to an association that will accept their responsibility to contribute to the state through a more equitable tax regime.

    If MATI however see it fit to pay the military and the police to dismantle a democracy for self interest, then let us battle it out at the electorate.

    tsk tsk...your pitiful self interest do not interest a healthy majority of this country who are willing to battle it out for a better deal.

    Tourism boycott...the last resort!

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  12. We see the sponsored comments here from the illegal regime. the same frowd, we know wo you are.

    MDP and Annie have always supported tourism and listened to MATI. But, this has been abused and some of them financed the coup. What do you expect you idiots? They created this mess and hey expect to be "untouchable".

    Some little things in life like the right to vote and freedom of expression and basic human rights are more important then money. We support Anni.

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  13. THe coup goverment has already destroyed the reputation of the Maldives!!

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  14. Please send email to every tour operator who is sending tourists to Maldives. Send an email every day to all the embassies in colombo. Send an email to every airline serving Maldives. Boycott Maldives Now.

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  15. Tourists should stop bankrolling this taliban illegal government.

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  16. When you want the tourism industry to flourish and lavish on US$$$$ its brings. Have you ever considered it’s a crime to bring down a democratically elected government?
    I hope the MDP leadership would give a clear list of which business and resorts to boycott.

    LOL have you seen the red wave advertisement on Raaje TV. keep up with the boycott and stop buying with the Baaghee businesses

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  17. President Nasheed's lesson learned from his recent visit to the United States is the following: "For the international community to take action, it requires killing in mass numbers, bombing of several cities.." In other words, they need violence. So dont be surprised if and when Mr.Nasheed resorts to violence (in addition to his call for resort boycotts) in order to garner sympathy for his cause.

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  18. Ahmed : So.. you are saying that because a few businessmen involved in the tourism business overthrew ANNI, they (those INDIVIDUALS who organised the coup) should be punished, therefore, tourists should boycott the country, thereby Punishing the WHOLE COUNTRY because lets face it this economy is 99.9% dependant on tourism , employing thousands of people who would otherwise not have an income .
    THIS SORT OF short sightedness is the problem with Anni.

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  19. Tourists Please don’t visit Taliban controlled Maldives. Don’t bankroll the islamists by visiting maldives.

    The coup government's Wahaabee Islamists have infiltrated the tourist resorts.

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  20. Boycott or what ever; the government in power is unconstitutional and Waheed, the puppet on stings is a traitor!
    Business people, especially from the tourist industry who helped this coup already have taken a fat share of money that was coming our way!
    This has been long overdue!
    I would say not to only boycott tourism!
    Boycott everything!
    Let there be people's rule!
    Puft Traitor Nazim first!

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  21. @ tsk tsk. You are not serious saying that you were a former MDP supporter ! Personally I don't really think someone at the level of you should be here commenting and manipulating others thoughts here! This is an Independent news website and you come here each and everyday trying your best to manipulate and feed your thoughts, well those are not your thoughts!

    This guy piss me off so bad. You Traitor !!

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  22. @Jan Vandevoort.
    I don't think you are a European or a Dutch. Most probably a Somali Pirate who had been stranderd in Maldives.
    How can European normal citizens had time to think about petty politics of this small third world , unimportant country while they themselves were traped in worst financial crisis? and you seems to know petty politics and everything on the ground so well with uttmost accurately that even common Maldivians on the street of Male' will not know. While you pretend you are in Amsterdam or some other Europeon city.

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  23. Some corrupt people are trying there best to have less evidence as possible ! Now they are closing the banks used to fund the coup and transferring the rest to a Bank in USA ! Should we try to get the statements ?

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/811/45857910150945322813041.jpg/

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  24. @Lol
    Can you tell me please what is that Lazy policeman is taking from that buruga clad woman in that photos? It looks something sinister .

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  25. And that was just a shoplifting. Look here they robbed a poor French street musician performing in Male street for the first time.

    The photographer was arrested allegedly for snapping the photos of the event. And was released 5 days later !

    Here are the photos though !!

    http://imageshack.us/g/542/20540210150943633268528.jpg/

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  26. @ LoL
    How barberic they are? Better send them to Somali coast. There they can make millions with their partners.

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  27. I guess today those "concerned" resorts are happy with the marketing for Maldives : the minister of Tourism today beating up the chairman of an independent TV channel ...
    If already a minister can act like that, where is the safety for tourists ? Who protects tourists against police ? against fundamentalists who cry foul every white they see ?
    I'll go somewhere else, in bit more civilised place.

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  28. This show Nasheed does not love Maldives and its peoples.
    why he wanted destroy over economy and country.he is power hungry and seems mentally unstable mad.
    pl over brothers and sisters pl save our country from him.
    PL DONT VOTE HIM. HE WILL DESTROY USE.

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