Maldives eyes Indian tourists as India-Maldives air travel bubble comes into place

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 20, 2020, 03.25 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

The travel bubble was announced by the External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar during a virtual meeting with Maldives FM Abdulla Shahid earlier this month. Photograph:( AFP )

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The travel bubble was announced by the External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar during a virtual meeting with Maldives FM Abdulla Shahid earlier this month.

Even as India Maldives Air travel bubble gets into place, the Maldives expects more Indian tourist to visit the Indian Ocean island country. The travel bubble was announced by the External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar during a virtual meeting with Maldives FM Abdulla Shahid earlier this month. 
 
The MD of Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) which is the national tourism office of the Maldives Thoyyib Mohamed told WION that the travel bridge will be a "great boost for Maldives tourism."

Mohamed said, "India is the second-largest market for the industry and will help reignite the different sectors of the tourism industry. Given the close proximity between the two countries, this will open up the opportunity for Indian holidaymakers to take a long-awaited holiday, close to home."

The Maldives opened its borders to international tourists since July 15 and there are no quarantine restrictions for tourists. Tourists can travel straight from the airport to their respective resorts without entering Male, thereby providing a safe corridor. 

Nearly half the country’s 160 plus resorts have started functioning and guesthouse industry comprising more than 800 guest houses in inhabited islands for budget-travellers are expected to commence soon. 

In 2019, 167,000 Indian tourists, visiting the Maldives, which is a rise of more than 100 per cent over 2018. Improved flight connectivity from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka, and, a visa-free regime are among the several reasons that led to an increase in Indian tourists.

COVID-19 crisis had majorly impacted tourism in the country which is the mainstay of the economy. 2,400 active COVID-19 cases were reported in the country, a majority of them in capital Male.