The new government has announced major plans towards significant transformation of the  country’s tourism sector. In a move to revitalise and diversify the industry, the government announced the creation of the Visitor Economy Council, alongside plans to rebrand the Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC).

Chaired by President Dr Mohamed Muizzu, the Visitor Economy Council is poised to play a pivotal role in reshaping the Maldivian tourism landscape. The council’s vice-chairmen include Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed and Tourism Minister Ibrahim Faisal, and it also comprises ministers overseeing education, higher education, health, sports, transport, and heritage.

Addressing the press following the government’s first cabinet meeting, the council’s co-chairs and other ministers explained the council’s purpose and outlined plans to implement its mandate. Minister Saeed underscored that the tourism sector currently contributes USD 4.5 billion to the economy, and emphasized the council’s goal to increase this contribution to USD 6 billion, in alignment with the short-term objectives of President Muizzu’s administration. The projected revenue increase involves diversifying tourism, exploring untapped avenues such as sports tourism, cultural tourism, education tourism, and health tourism. 

Undersecretary for Public Policy at the President’s Office, Mohamed Firzul Abdulla Khaleel, emphasised tourism as the backbone of the Maldivian economy. He assured that the President Muizzu’s administration would prioritise the sector, seeking to elevate it to unprecedented levels. Firzul noted that the council’s formation is a strategic step towards achieving these ambitious goals.

The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), previously tainted by a major corruption scandal, is set for a comprehensive rebranding under the guidance of President Muizzu. According to Minister Faisal, the appointment of a new managing director will mark the beginning of this revitalisation effort. The rebranded MMPRC will focus on increasing tourist arrivals by tapping into new markets and enhancing the nation’s global appeal as a tourist hotspot.

In addition to the Visitor Economy Council, the government will continue to operate the Economic Council and the Social Council, led by Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed and Vice President Hussain Mohamed Latheef, respectively. This multifaceted approach demonstrates the government’s commitment to a holistic development of the nation’s key sectors, with tourism at the forefront.