Targeted efforts to promote southern tourism to begin soon: Minister

Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has said targeted efforts to promote tourism in the south will be launched once Flydubai begins operating to southernmost Addu City.

Flydubai is set to launch direct flights from Dubai to Addu on February 4 next year. Experts believe that these flights will bring a positive change to tourism in the south, especially in Addu.

When asked by AVAS regarding the expected changes to tourism in Addu City with the commencement of Flydubai flights, Minister Maumoon said the number of tourists visiting Addu City would increase. The increase in tourist arrivals will benefit Addu's tourism and economy, he said.

"With the launch of Flydubai flights, the south will be separately promoted as a southern destination. It would make it evident that there are destinations even in the Maldives' south," he said.

Maumoon said more international airlines are expected to express interest in starting flights to Addu when the south is promoted as an attractive destination. Therefore, more tourism facilities should be built in Addu to welcome tourists, he said, assuring that the government would work on the same goal.

"Many properties should be opened in Addu. In order to promote tourism in the south, we need to encourage to open guesthouses of various models," he said.

In an interview given to AVAS, Gan International Airport's Managing Director Gais Naseer also said that the launch of daily Fly Dubai flights to Addu is expected to increase the number of tourists visiting tourism properties in the south, including guest houses, resorts, and liveaboards.

There are currently three resorts in Addu, out of which only two are operating. They are Herethere' and Southpalm Resort. The government is in talks with the resort operator to reopen the Shangri-La Resort, which was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.