Hopes of expanding tourism in the south and the north: MITDC

Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC) hopes to further expand tourism to the Maldives's north and south.

Speaking on AVAS Online's Face To Face program, Managing Director of MITDC Mohamed Raaid said 79 percent of the Maldives' bed capacity is within two-hour distance from capital Male'. This shows a lot of effort needs to be undertaken to develop tourism in the north and the south, said Raaid. Therefore, MITDC aims to offer assistance to expand tourism to these areas, he said.

Speaking about new models of tourism that are being introduced to the Maldives, Raaid acknowledged that home stay tourism concepts are gaining popularity. He assured that MITDC would participate in offering assistance to implement the concept in the Maldives.

With the new amendments to the Tourism Act, MITDC can now work with island and atoll councils to expand integrated tourism. Raaid said there are delays in commencing work together with councils due to land use plans of the islands not being completed. The Local Government Authority (LGA) is working on making the plans, and MITDC hopes special tourism zones will be established on each island when the plans are finalized, he added.

Raaid said several islands are appealing for MITDC's assistance to expand tourism in the islands. The corporation has received proposals from 14 islands, mostly from islands situated far away from the capital, he said.

"We will work as much as we can with the island councils. We are considering joint venture practices," said Raaid.