The Maldives is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the world, renowned for its pristine islands with crystalline waters, pearly beaches and unparalleled underwater beauty. Since tourism was introduced to the country in the 1970s, the Maldives has consistently topped the best destination lists all across the globe, regularly winning accolades and awards at major international travel fairs.
This year, we mark the Golden Jubilee celebration of the industry — 50 successful years of tourism in the Maldives. Despite the monumental challenges in recent times, including a pandemic that halted movement and travel worldwide, the Maldives has proven itself to be a resilient, safe haven for travellers, unlike any other.
On this note, we’d like to extend our appreciation to all our industry colleagues who work around the clock to make sure the Maldives remains the leading holiday destination in the world.
Welcome to the 6th edition of the Best of Maldives Magazine by Travel Trade Maldives. Published annually, this publication will give travel trade professionals, travellers and industry stakeholders a glimpse of what the Maldives has to offer.
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CONTENTS021806 Maldives and TourismPublisher’sIndustry Note Exhibitors Proﬁles
150+ registered resorts 06
MALDIVES AND TOURISM INDUSTRY
The Maldivian archipelago consists of roughly 1,200 tropical islands scattered across the Indian Ocean – or more precisely 1,192 islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls, along the north-south direction, spread over approximately 90,000 square kilometers – making the country one of the world’s most dispersed countries. The country lies between 1°S 8°N in Latitude and 72° 74°E in Longitude. Among the 1200 islands, approximately 200 are inhabited and the population totaled up to 530,953 based on 2020 estimates. Maldives has a GDP total of $86,788 billion according to 2019’s estimates while the GDP per capita, nominally placed is Historically$11,316 speaking, the Maldives was colonized by travelers from the Indian subcontinent – who originated from Indo Saxons or Indo Aryans.
Maldives has a GDP total of $86,788 billion according to 2019’s estimates while the GDP per capita, nominally placed is $11,316. Photo credits: Dynamyst
The earliest written history of the Maldives was marked by the arrival of Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka and Maldives (Mahiladvipika) circa 543 to 483 BC, stated in Mahavansa.
Photo credits: National Archives
Following the transition from Buddhism to Islam, the Buddhist King Dhovemi, after converting to Islam, adopted the title of Sultan Muhammad al Adil and was responsible for initiating a series of six Islamic dynasties, which lasted until 1932 when the sultanate became elective. One interesting fact regarding the early sultans of Maldives was their adopted title or the Sultan’s formal title, which was Sultan of Land and Sea, Lord of the Twelve-thousands islands and Sultan of the Maldives and carried credibility until 1965.
The country experienced a colonial period back in 1558 when the Portuguese established a garrison with a Viador (Viyazoru) – or roughly translated as an overseer of a factory (trading post). Somewhere in the mid-17th Century the Dutch made a move to Maldives, by establishing hegemony over Maldives without directly inﬂicting themselves in internal affairs. They were dispersed off by the British back in 1796 which resulted in Maldives becoming a part of British protected areas.
The Maldives ancestral pedigree is rooted from Buddhism carried across the Indian subcontinent and made its way in Maldives along with its ﬁrst settlers. However, in 1193 Maldives embraced the religion of Islam – an incident which is attached to the Moroccan traveler Abu al Barakat (stemming either from the Maghreb, as per Ibn Battutah, from the Somalian port of Berbera or from the Persian town of Tabriz.)
Maldives is blessed with a rich culture dating back to ancestral time Maldives is survived by many traditional garbs and garments and rituals that can be witnessed even today as part of heritage or cultural practice
Blessed with a rich culture dating back to ancestral or to the time of the ﬁrst settlers, Maldives is survived by many traditional garbs and garments and rituals that can be witnessed even today as part of cultural or heritage practices – however it was more of their livelihood in ancient times, which had now been simply regarded tradition. One of the most prominent practices of ancestral rituals would be the Boduberu Dance, which had since witnessed a signiﬁcant change in its core values and practice as it transitioned to modern times according to the relevance of the era. Some folklore indicates the early Boduberu Dances were a part of blood-rituals with dancers ﬂocking about in erratic movements that were a part of a sacriﬁcial tribute to their then gods –ergo, when Maldivians had practiced Buddhism. The credibility of this has yet to be validated. Maldives is also renowned for having expert craftsmen, who practice and promote unique and purely Maldivian original lacquer work as well as souvenir crafting. Lacquer crafting is normally practiced on wood, being spun at excessive speed on a hand-made motor - like equipment. Sharp edged knives are used to precisely ink in and carve out designs and patterns on Anyonethem.wishing to get some tasteful idea of the ancient Maldivian civilization can experience it from the National Museum situated in the capital city Male’.
Tourism inMaldiv e s nidetpecnisaw 1972-
Kurumba Maldives was etched into the pages of history when it became the ﬁrst resort to be opened in the nation.
Photo credits: Dynamyst
Tourism in Maldives was established back in 1972, and Kurumba Maldives was etched into the pages of history when it became the ﬁrst resort to be opened in the nation. An initiative led by the then President, Mr. Ibrahim Nasir. The second resort to be opened in Maldives was Bandos, and both resorts have since then gone to become landmarks or pinnacles of Maldivian Tourism industry and are still in operation.
When the industry started, the country had just two resorts with a capacity of roughly 280 beds. However, today, approximately 150+ registered resorts are operating in Maldives while dozens more are in developmental phases. Apart from the lineage of resorts, Maldives also caters to the tourism industry in the form of guesthouses which sprung up ﬁrst back in 2009, through a smart move in the regulations that ﬁnally allowed tourists to stay among local Thepopulations.newamendment to the Maldivian constitution, which was ratiﬁed in 2009 stated the permission to enact and establish hotels or guesthouses in locally inhabited islands – allowing tourists to visit and stay in islands where locals lived.
A country that had boomed into progress through ﬁshing and agriculture back in the yesteryear period witnessed a paradigm shift and a drastic increase in its journey towards modernism when Maldives was introduced to the ﬁeld of tourism.
Maldives and Tourism Industry
12 CROSSROADS Maldives, the Maldives’ first extraordinary multi-island, fully integrated leisure destination
Liveaboards, also known in the Maldives as ‘safari boats’, are another attraction for tourists to Maldives.
These vessels, which cruise around the atolls on scheduled itineraries; usually lasting a week or sometimes two, are the best bet for die-hard scuba divers who want to do at least three dives per day as well as see as much of the Maldives as possible. The rich variety of experiences available includes diving with large pelagics, drift diving, wreck diving, channel diving, and exploring thilas, caves and remote reefs.
The vessels move to new spots every day and the route usually encompasses more than one atoll.
A new breed of thrill seeking and adventurous tourists were attracted through various expos held nationally and internationally, which saw the participation of many entrepreneurs handling or owning guesthouses. Such networking expos and symposiums allowed to boost the tourist across countries that had middle to luxury class tourists visiting Maldives to a larger demographic of tourists – ergo allowing more ﬂexibility and hospitality options for visitors to experience.
Maldives and Tourism Industry
WHERE CULTURES MEET...
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