Will ensure religious, cultural traditions are respected: minister

Tourism Minister Ali Waheed has stated that Maldives tourism will conform to the Islamic principles. Minister Waheed made the announcement while speaking at a press conference held by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) on Wednesday night.

While the local tourism industry in the Maldives has been expanding over the last few years, the public has been expressing concern that visitors do not respect the religious and cultural traditions of the Maldives. Addressing the concerns, Minister Waheed said the government acknowledges the concerns raised both by the public and religious scholars, and said the government would not allow opportunity for such disrespect from visitors against the country and its religion. The minister assured that the government would continue to listen to the concerns raised on the issue.

The minister further stressed that tourism in the Maldives and local tourism in residential islands will be according to Islamic principles.

The Maldives is preparing to re-open its borders to tourists on July 15 after closing its borders in March as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. The minister said local guest houses can resume services in August, and assured that the government would ensure cultural differences do not create more issues in the tourism sector.