Plan initiated in bid to revive tourism
In a bid to revive tourism, the Maldives is set to offer visitors vaccinations on arrival. According to Travel Minister Abdulla Mausoom, the initiative is part of a three-pronged strategy to reviving the country’s hard hit travel sector. The 3V strategy encourages tourists to “visit, vaccinate, and vacation,” providing a more convenient way to visit the country.
Mausoom didn’t indicate whether arrivals would be expected to pay for their shots, but stated supply would not be an issue. “I don’t think supply’s a problem in Maldives because our population is relatively small,” he said. “The quota we get from the various organizations and friendly nations also will help.” Mausoom wouldn’t confirm a timeline for the visitor vaccination rollout, affirming the local population would receive their first and second doses first.
Currently, visitors must provide a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and proof of hotel booking to gain entry. The country has received vaccine donations from India, China, and the World Health Organization’s Covax scheme, with aims to ensure fairly and equitably distributed vaccines. Additional supplies have also been ordered from Singapore.
Renowned for its tropical beaches and pristine waters, the island nation is heavily dependent on tourism, with approximately 67% of its gross domestic product (GDP) derived directly and indirectly from it. To date, roughly 53% of the country’s population has received their first dose, including 90% of its front-line tourism workers.