AS the world recovers from the devastating effects of Covid-19, the Maldives has become one among the primary nations to welcome back international tourists to its shores.
As the island paradise reopens for business, SCOOP took the chance to ask the director of Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation (MMPRC) Thoyyib Mohamed about what visitors can expect on their next trip there.
What makes the Maldives an excellent holiday destination for Malaysians post Covid-19?
“Maldives is an island nation made from 1,190+ coral islands strewn across the equator. This world-class holiday destination is well-known for its unique one-island-one-resort concept, which is far needed in light of the present situation.
“Along with the pristine natural beauty surrounding the resorts, privacy and seclusion are the epitome of what makes it one among the foremost sought-after tourist destinations within the world.
“Maldives is now preparing to welcome tourists back to the country. Our shores have certainly missed them, and that we are looking forward to welcoming the tourists back to the sunny side of life once more .”
What does one recommend first-timers within the Maldives to ascertain , do and eat?
“To begin with, i might recommend searching of the window as you fly a plane and catch a bird’s eye view of this island nation as you reach your destination. The reminder blue will cause you to want to dive right into the ocean.
“You are going to be ready to partake during a sort of activities like snorkelling with turtles, manta rays, whale sharks, and explore the underwater kingdom of flora and fauna.
“Escape from everyday busy life by soaking within the sun and lazing on white sandy beaches while sipping on a freshly cut coconut. For those that still have trouble switching off, try starting your day with sunrise yoga by the beach.
“And there’s no better thanks to replenish your energy than by having some locally made Maldivian food. Fish, especially yellowfin , may be a staple in many of our meals and short eats.
“Thus, fishing your own catch within the middle of the ocean along side your friends or family is an adventure worth trying. Seeing the atmosphere fade from blue, violet to red during the fishing trip on a ‘Dhoni’ (local boat), and tasting the fresh-caught barbecued fish underneath the dark sky will become a highlight of your stay.
“Try our famous ‘Mashuni and Roshi’ (grated coconut, tuna, chilli, onion and lime amid chapati) or ‘Garudhiya and Baiy’ (tuna fish broth with rice) if you would like a real taste of Maldivian cuisine.
“For water sports lovers, there’s a spread of water sports to undertake from jet-skiing to kite surfing to windsurfing then far more .
“For the journey seekers, there as various shipwrecks to explore. If you’re within the capital city, take a brief tour and visit a number of the historical hot spots in town. the chances are endless.”
What are the travel safety measures for those eager to visit the Maldives?
“Maldives has always welcomed all nationalities to enter the country with a 30-day on arrival visa, and therefore the incontrovertible fact that there’s no requirement for a 14-day quarantine upon arrival may be a great incentive that we are ready to offer to our tourists.
“Along thereupon , proper measures and guidelines are going to be in situ to make sure the security of tourists , as advised by the local Health Protection Agency (HPA).
“The tourism establishments themselves are becoming ready with additional safety measures that meet international standards.
“Furthermore, the Ministry of Tourism has announced that no additional taxes or charges are going to be imposed on visitors arriving within the country when borders open up.
“The naturally scattered formations of the islands are another advantage for social distancing and holidaying during this era of the ‘new normal’.”
There is a perception that holidaying within the Maldives is dear . What does the MMPRC need to say about that?
“Since the start of tourism in Maldives, our island nation has been a touristic destination beloved by many tourists of various categories from everywhere the planet .
“Our inhabited islands have a variety of guesthouses from budget to boutique to bed and breakfast inns and more. they provide a spread of amenities, service and luxury. Most do provide the opportunities for excursions to nearby islands and sandbanks, watersports, snorkelling and diving.
“A little bonus: by staying in an inhabited island, visitors have the prospect of experiencing the rich culture of the country sort of a true local. Visitors can make new friends, discover the history of the island by visiting accessible historical hotspots or maybe partake in day-to-day activities.”
What are the steps taken to further make sure the health and safety of tourists during their vacation in Maldives?
“The resorts that are opening [from July 15] will need to adhere to strict rules when it involves re-opening. Also, tourists are only allowed to remain at one establishment during their trip within the first phase of opening the borders.
“Resorts also will be following these guidelines closely to make sure the security of both staff and tourists. Personal hygiene, the usage of masks and social distancing also are encouraged.
“We are going to be completing safety and hygienic measures as stated by the WHO Guidelines and native Health Protection Agency. Tourists travelling to Maldives are going to be provided a 30-day tourist visa for all nationalities and that they won’t be subject to quarantine measures on arrival however are required to submit any medical test results.
“Travellers presenting symptoms of Covid-19 are going to be subjected to a PCR test. A health declaration card are going to be required as a part of the procedure. Additionally, testing services are going to be available for those that require a test result to return to their countries of origin or the other destination with the need .
“As mentioned earlier, thanks to the unique geographical formation of the islands, resorts are isolated from one another meaning one resort is on one island. Only tourists and staff are accommodated on these resorts, distant from the hustle and bustle of other islands.”
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