Tour operators cancelling bookings after protest coverage

The impact of four nights of violent protests in Male’ has been felt by Maldivian tourism representatives attending the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, the region’s largest such expo.

“Travel operators in Taiwan have said they are postponing and cancelling group bookins because of negative perceptions [of safety] in the Maldives,” a tourism source attending the expo told Minivan News.

“We just had another two confirmed bookings cancelled today because of reports of riots and instability. We worked hard to get these bookings and the potential domino effect is really worrying – people panic.”

The source noted that the average spend of couple holidaying to the Maldives was US$7000.

Reports in major newswires Associated Press (AP) and AFP on the Maldives’ protests were widely syndicated in world media, drawing largely from comments made by spokesperson Gayoom’s spokesperson Mohamed Hussain ‘Mundhu’ Shareef.

“Police are chasing protesters. Some of those injured have been rushed to hospital,” Shareef told AFP by telephone after last night’s protests, adding that scores of people had been arrested, “including parliamentarians Ali Arif and Ahmed Mahloof.”

“Arif and Mahloof were later released, but we have no news of Naseer’s whereabouts. Our legal team is trying to trace him,” Mundhu said.

Police said that Naseer was released at 1:30am, an hour after he was arrested. Minivan News spoke to Naseer today.

The previous evening, Shareef informed AP that 5000 people were demonstrating in the capital and dozens had been “crushed brutally”, including women.

“The opposition also blames Nasheed for failing to manage the economy – worth over a billion dollars – by recently devaluing the currency, while food prices have risen by as much as 30 percent,” AFP reported.

“Shareef said the protests aimed to emulate those across the Middle East and North Africa, pushing for political reforms in dictatorial regimes.”

Hong Kong yesterday became the first country to put out a travel warning on the Maldives, raising the country’s threat level to ‘amber’ alongside Israel, Iran, Indonesia, Russia and Pakistan.

China’s Xinhua news agency reported a government spokesperson as saying that “Those who plan to visit the Maldives or are already there should monitor the situation and exercise caution.”

Chinese visitors to the Maldives now constitute the greatest number of tourism arrivals, and are a major emerging market. A sharp increase in recent years offset a decline in European arrivals caused by the global recession in 2008.

The Maldives Association of Travel Industry (MATI) has meanwhile issued a statement claiming that reports on the situation were “exaggerated and ill-informed.”

“The series of demonstrations and public unrest by political groups opposed to the government of the Maldives have, over the last few days, led to some reports in the international press of civil unrest in the country.

“The Maldives is safe for visitors and remains peaceful and stable. The police and other authorities have the political situation well under control,” MATI stated.

Further protests – which the opposition maintains are ‘youth-led’ despite the active organisation of opposition MPs – are planned for the weekend, with reports of islanders travelling to Male’ to participate.


41 thoughts on “Tour operators cancelling bookings after protest coverage”

  1. thanks Gayoom - this is really helping to bring down living costs

  2. Thanks Gayoom, you're truly a servant of the People.

  3. well since these infidel dollars are not goona come into the country im sure the prices will go down, damn stupid maldivians!, kuraanekameh nulibifa thibenee

  4. JJ, I have just posted a long comment on the US Assistant Secretary of State's visit to maldives. The article was on front page when I wrote the comment. But now it has disappeared. It is not there even in the 'recent headlines' section.

  5. thanks "Zuvaanun" for bringing down price of dollar and cost of living? Now with these cancellations of tours prices are sure to come down. Smart "Zuvaanun. And thanks to goes to the VTV & Dhi TV for encouraging these gatherings. We have brignt future ahead thanks to less tourist dollars. thanks all

  6. Hello guys,

    Have u forgot when Anni and his group was informed to EU countries and Asia travel market dont send guests to Maldives.? That time Anni was hepping us and tried to rain $, he did bullshit action. now the sametime are happening, we have learnt from him.

    He is the HALAAKU of Maldives, we must put him down.

  7. @robin- pls. see your comment in the politics section

    It's a long comment alright, and the compelling arguments you present made me recover from my initial surprise at your inability to navigate a website.

  8. I have always said that it has been huge mistake for President Nasheed to have adopted a 'Hiy Thiri'Policy against former dictator Gayyoom and his cronies who are responsible for grave human rights abuses and looting of the nation's wealth.

    Any reconciliation' effort can take place after justice has been done and a national 'truth and reconciliation' process.

    Failure to give importance to the above has emboldened Maumoon and his cronies (like Yameen, Abdulla Hameed, Ilyas, Adam Zahir not to mention their die hard corrupt followers). They have never accepted the Presidential Election results and have been hell bent on over throwing this lawful democratic government through violence and a revolution ( the very same tactics that they accused MDP of following during the period of struggle for democracy in this country.)

    So, I would urge President Nasheed to get real. Please arrest Maumoon, Yameen, Jangiya Nazim, Gasim Ibrahim,Ilyas Ibrahim, Abdulla Hameed, Adam Zahir, Gassan, Dhunya, Yumna, Shuaib Shah, Umar Naseer, Mahloof, Umar Zahir, Mundhu, Azima Shakoor as the first initial step. Put these people behind bars and put them on trial by a special tribunal.

    No, it is never too late for justice to be done. Once, these people are behind bars, the government must push the majlis to pass the special law to deal with gang violence in this country.

    If this can be done, this country will become inhabitable again. Let us resolve to deal with the menace of Maumoon once and for all. This monster is a hydra and unless we finish the job he will continue to be threat to this country.

  9. Has there been any rioting on the airport site?? I am coming out there in six weeks and don't want to cancel...

  10. President Nasheed must immediately take whatever steps necessary to restore law and order in this country.

    The country needs stability and peace. We need to work hard to improve the economy and make the State Institutions more efficient while reducing their budget. Only then can we bring down the cost of goods. The drama played out by the sinister Maumoonists has nothing to do with the rise of living costs. They are exploiting every single issue to create chaos in our society in the hope of bringing down the government through violence.

    Are we insane to think that the blood suckers who bled this country dry can somehow miraculously solve our problems which the very same people left behind for the current government?

    Gasim Ibrahim should be ashamed to open his mouth. It was he and Maumoon who were responsible for the greatest budget deficits in Maldivian history. It was these deficits that have brought all the misery to the public now.

    President Nasheed has a golden chance to arrest the leadership of these traitors during these nightly rioting. He must seize the chance before the window closes.

  11. these riots are working.
    diesel taxes reduced by 50%. yay the youth!!!

    More to come.

    30,000 people gathering on this FRIDAY!!!!
    BIG DAY!

  12. has minivan removed the boycott list for Maldivian resorts yet????

  13. we have lost our beloved country and we don't mind that you lose urs..we call all the tourists to go elsewhere.. till we close the gate opened for GANJA the soft drug..

  14. Thanks Mamuoon, yaamin, umaru naseer. !!!!! hope you all rot in hell!!!

  15. Typical garbage from Mundhu:

    “Shareef said the protests aimed to emulate those across the Middle East and North Africa, pushing for political reforms in dictatorial regimes.”

    Right! Let's see, we have the first democratically elected government ever in this country that's less than 2 years old. Contrast this with Mubarak's 30 year old one man rule and similar long serving dictators of the Middle East.

    I'm sure, the rest of the world is not as dumb as Mundhu to ignore his master, Gayyoom who just lost power after 30 years.

    Let's see how dictatorial the current government is:

    (1) Trying to stabilise an economy from the brink of collapse after decades of mismanagement. Adopting economic policies that are welcomed by all the major financial institutions of the world.

    (2) Establishing the first ever decentralised system of governance in this country.

    (3) For the first time in the history of the country, a former President actually has a state paid pension, protection and specific rights guaranteed by Constitution.

    (4) No one gets arbitrarily arrested and thrown in jail without a fair trial, for criticising the government.

    (5) For the first time ever, we actually have a Parliament that's truly elected by people and not APPOINTED by anyone.

    (6) For the first time in the history of the country, we have an independent judiciary.

    This list can go on and on. It's unfortunate that AFP is publishing the rubbish coming out of Mundhu as if it were factual.

  16. And one more important fact needs to be mentioned. We see these so-called "young" protestors every night on the streets claiming hardship from the devaluation of the Rufiyaa.

    Some facts:

    (1) Isn't it astonishing that the protests are announced by the Gayyoom faction of the DRP. The same faction also conveniently announces the ending of protests every night.

    (2) And then, we have Gayyoom's spokesman relaying fabricated stories to the world media.

    Now, call me a sceptic, but I sense there's something sinister going on here. After the protests, we see all these hardup "young" people cram expensive restaurants and go on feasting for the rest of the night. They flash their 3G phones, no doubt "tweeting" the success of their latest "protest".

    One more thing I can't figure out how these people manage to then turn up and do a day's work after all the "protesting" and feasting of the night before. Ah, then again, they probably don't work at all...

  17. If I remember my mathematics, 5000 people protesting from a City with a population of 150000, tells me that it's only 3% of that population out on the streets.

    97% seem to be either going on their daily lives or infact trying to get a night's sleep! I don't think our foreing visitors have anything at all to be worried about.

  18. just two bookings cancelled so what..the tourisms money already flows into rich foreign accounts and to the pockets of the ruling the government just gave resort owners a 20% increase in profits by evaluating the has everybody forgotten how president and his cronies once told tourists to boycott Maldives...What comes around goes around!!, President Nasheed should learn to speak with respect to the people of Maldives..because we deserve better.

  19. this is the exactly the kind of stunt MDP pulled while trying to get into power. Remember them sending envoys to eu and asking them to boycott Maldives. How short are the memories of these idiots.

  20. Not surprised..our present government is worse than that under dictator golha..

  21. lolz !! what are you guyz trying to say. Why blame protesters. MDP have tried to boycott Maldivian tourism industry and did a huge campaign sometime back, in the name of Friends of Maldives. Check this

  22. I agree Ilyas we can only treat humans like humans rather monsters must be removed from the society for a progressive society.

  23. Ilyas Ahmed on Wed, 4th May 2011 9:59 PM has said that things would be solved if some certain people were arrested...i mean as a first step these guys could be arrested, but then again, if they went behind bars, don't you think their supporters will go over board? i mean hey, during the election in 2008, in the first round 71, 731 people voted for maumoon and in the second round the numbers were raised to 82, think those people will just sit back and relax? dude, they're gonna turn maldives upside down if anything happens like that...any one with common sense would know that...

  24. Dear Ahmed Bin Addu Bin lets see if i remember my mathematics correctly in the last MDP election a total of about 13,000 votes was caste that from a MDP claimed membership of about 41,000..The president of MDP Dr.Didi got about 6000 votes, now that population of maldives is about 359,008 people...The eligible voting pop pf maldives is about 184866...So Dr.Didi got 3.2% of eligible voting pop of Maldives..and MDP covers only about 7% of the seems to be that 93% of the population doesn't support MDP and probably supports the protests in some form...You should keep in mind that MDP came to power with a help from lot of people and parties..most of whom have turned against MDP once they realized how evil MDP really is.

  25. "Nars on Thu, 5th May 2011 7:13 AM

    just two bookings cancelled so what..the tourisms money already flows into rich foreign accounts"

    @Nars - You are too stupid to be alive, report of the closest hospital and have yourself put down.

  26. Dear Iyas..You must be a dictator or a 3 year old child with a keyboard...The list of people in your hit list is very interesting...Have you forgotten that there is not a single shred of evidence that can be substantiated in a court of law against those people, if they have stole anything the MDP would have long ago released the skeletons from the closest..but nothing because there is NO EVIDENCE of any wrong doing...MDP cannot prosecute them, no matter how much some people want...But i suggest a better list including Honorable member Reecko Moosa Manik, the share holders of Mega Maldives including chairwoman Maria, Mr.Ibrahim Hussain Zaki, and people responsible for selling aiport to GMR and many others...and finally President of the republic Nasheed for destroying the economy and gross mismanagement...put them behind bars so that this country becomes a better place.

  27. Maldivian opposition don't seems to understand what their role should be in democratic society. Most of them dont have an understanding of functional democracy, and so on the role of Government and opposition.

    All what they understand is the role of MDP before they came to Government. However, what they fail to understand is then we had a dictator and what needs to be done to topple a dictator is very different from what a responsible opposition should be doing in a democratic environment. Opposition needs access their role, and have to start acting responsibly.

  28. The so called democracy and the current ruling party filtered the whole idea of rioting and demonstrations to the society in 2008. The only thing the current government think about is staying in power and being re elected in 2013. I do not believe they have good intentions and betterment for the people. Same goes with opposition, they are too hungry for power.
    Can you recall, Maldivians are not like this, we had values.

  29. The government needs to be very careful. This is the revenge of Golhaabo. He and his family and associates never accepted defeat and also all the hacking they got at the later part part of their ruling.
    It is a pity that the present government could not convict the ex regime for all their atrocities which is the real problem we have today. It is essential for the present government to somehow get back all the ex regime looted from the people of Maldives.

  30. Get EU to buy Maldivian Central Bank bonds & stabilize the currency 1st..

    Investigate anyone worth USD5 million & above to see if proper taxes are paid. Investigate Those in the ruling party 1st so that you are seen as fair.

    Start putting essential food on controlled list and subsidize for the poor only.

    Be open & transparent, let the public protest but make sure the peace of people is not disturbed

  31. MDP was not the people choice to rule the country, it was a choice of political parties and the result of a game between them to prevent Maumoon from staying in his position. But since MDP allies found out the true colours of MDP,they all left him and now thay are all together protesting againt MDP. Don't blame these protests only on DRP. The protesters are from all corners, and all of them have obe goal. They simply don't like MDP and don't want them anymore to rule our country. Why is this so hard for MDP to realise. Guys, you have messed up, time for you to make an exit. Do you really think you can win the next election? You must be dreaming with only less than 3% of the nation supporting you.

  32. Say No to Nasheed - no more dictators - please resign. Maldivians deserve a less corrupt leader.

  33. This is anni's turn. We gave him the power.

    It's our fault, if he fails. But we need to give him the chance to prove his loyalty, and capabilities.

    But from the looks of what's happening, he is heading downwards for a permanent death.

  34. I am not big on economics but if only we had about $800 million dollars to repair this debt??? Perhaps Mr Gayoom could empty his private bank account for starters and sell that joke of a yacht and palace. That would help.I am sure monies taken by Yameen would plug a hole as well!!

  35. @Nars

    "it seems to be that 93% of the population doesn’t support MDP and probably supports the protests in some form…"

    Probably? Really? Now you've turned mathematics into black magic. Genius!

  36. this country has failed as a whole completely. neither anni nor maumoon has the capability to the run this tiny island nation. period.

  37. @ peasant

    Thanks. 🙂
    My point was that there seems to be a gap into which the articles that are taken off the main page fall. Its as if they take a dip in the Bermuda Triangle before they resurface on the 'Recent Headlines' section.


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