Maldives Tourism Takes a Blow Due to Negative Coverage of Political Turmoil

The Maldives have more than a political crisis to worry about, as the country’s recent turmoil is now having a negative impact on their tourism industry. According to the authorities, the foreign journalists’ lack of objectivity when covering the political issues yielded when the country’s president Mohamed Nasheed was forced to resign on February 7 has translated into negative reports which took their toll on the travel industry.

by Sarah Ackerman / Flickr

“The situation is under control, but there have been alot of bad messages, exaggerated reports and misinformation going out through the international media. This is affecting tourism,” explained the recently appointed Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb.

According to the Tourism Minister, tourists who want to vacation or travel for business to the Maldives are completely safe.

“No tourist or hotel has been harmed in Male,” he added. “Whichever side (of the conflict) we are on, we know tourism is key and no one wants it harmed. We need to get this message across to the world.”

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The capital city of Male is however facing regular clashes between the supporters of the former president and state authorities. The tensed situation has caused an ever increasing number of cancelations from overseas markets. The number has risen to 500 cancellation, according to data provided by the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry.

by Nic Adler / Flickr

“There is some concern, with lots of inquiries from China in particular,” said MATI secretary-general, Sim Mohamed Ibrahim. “Flights (from China) that are normally 80-90 per cent full are now coming in with only 60 per cent seats filled.”

 





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