The government has unveiled an ambitious plan to augment the current capacity of 61,518 beds in the tourism sector by an additional 2,851. This expansion will be achieved through the inauguration of 20 new resorts within the year, as announced by President Mohamed Muizzu during his inaugural address at the first sitting of the 19th Parliament of 2024.

The government’s initiative is a response to the slow progression of several resorts currently under construction. To expedite these projects, President Muizzu has committed to assisting the companies involved, identifying and addressing the challenges that have delayed construction on islands and resorts leased for tourism development.

President Muizzu stated, “The Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Finance, the MIRA [Maldives Inland Revenue Authority], and the Economic Council are collaboratively engaged in the development of a comprehensive policy aimed at the successful completion of 63 tourism development projects and their subsequent introduction to the market. The finalisation of this policy is anticipated within the forthcoming week.”

As part of the government’s tourism development plans, it aims to restructure lease agreements and investments to assist contractors and expedite the completion of the pending projects. This strategy is anticipated to facilitate the introduction of 20 resorts to the market this year.

In addition to resort development, the government is also planning to expand tourism in the atolls, according to the president. One such initiative, the ‘Asseyri Tourism’ project, aims to develop a seaplane hub in Addu City, the southernmost city in the Maldives. The government is currently formulating a tourism development plan for the city, Muizzu said.

The Muizzu administration has also established a Visitor Economic Council to promote the Maldives as a destination for international conferences by introducing MICE tourism and to promote educational tourism, eco-tourism, and travel for cultural and historical significance.

The Maldives’ tourism sector is heavily reliant on air travel, with 18 airports currently in operation across the country. President Muizzu assured that the government would ensure the ongoing airport development projects proceed according to schedule and announced plans to commence two new airport development projects this year.