Visit Maldives CEO Highlights Tourism Boom and Sustainability Efforts in BBC Interview

Visit Maldives CEO Highlights Tourism Boom and Sustainability Efforts in BBC Interview

Wednesday 15th of May 2024

In a recent interview with BBC’s CEO Edit programme, Ms. Fathmath Thaufeeq, CEO and Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/Visit Maldives), highlighted the remarkable growth of the Maldives tourism industry and emphasized the nation's dedication to sustainable development.

Ms. Thaufeeq shared impressive statistics, stating, “In the past four months, we have crossed over 25% of our targeted tourist arrivals for the year, which is over 500k.” This strong first quarter performance indicates that the Maldives is well on track to reach its ambitious goal of 2 million tourist arrivals in 2024.

Discussing the evolving nature of Maldives tourism, Ms. Thaufeeq said, "[The Maldives] is a lot more than the sun, sea, and sand. We have natural wetlands, we have local experiences through boutique hotels and guesthouses, and we are very much focused on expanding the focus of the tourism industry.” This shift towards showcasing local culture and diverse experiences caters to tourists seeking unique adventures. The Maldives now offers a range of accommodations, from luxurious one-island resorts to adventurous liveaboards, city hotels, and local-island guesthouses.

On the topic of sustainability, Ms. Thaufeeq assured that environmental protection is a top priority for Visit Maldives. "We make sure that the public and the tourists are very well aware of how much we are focused on protecting the environment. We make sure that everyone is aware of the guidelines, and we work hand in hand with stakeholders and the tourism ministry to maintain and sustain our environment,” she explained.

Recognizing the economic significance of tourism, which contributes 80% of the Maldives’ revenue, Ms. Thaufeeq highlighted the industry's impact on local communities. She noted that community-based tourism, particularly through boutique hotels and guesthouses on local islands, ensures that tourism benefits local residents. "Tourists get to experience the local lifestyles and cuisines, maintaining and sustaining the livelihoods of the locals,” she added.

Looking to the future, Ms. Thaufeeq outlined strategies to implement innovative solutions using data-driven methodologies and new technologies. "In the long run, we are very focused on building a very sustainable strategy using new technologies and tools over the next 10 years,” she affirmed, underscoring the Maldives' commitment to sustainable tourism development.

For more insights from Ms. Thaufeeq’s interview, click