Tourists arriving in Maldives via VIA. Photo/Muzayyin Nazim

New tourism master plan unveiled with target of $6 billion annual revenue

The tourism sector generated USD 3.5 billion in revenue in 2021. It is expected to generate USD 4.2 billion in revenue this year.

25 May 2023

By Aishath Fareeha Abdulla

Maldives on Thursday unveiled its fifth tourism master plan with the aim of generating USD 6 billion annual revenue from tourism over the next five years.

At a ceremony held at the national university auditorium on Thursday, economic minister Fayyaz Ismail unveiled the master plan, which has been formulated with the support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the 2023-2027 period. 

One of the major goals is to generate USD 6 billion in annual revenue. The masterplan notes that the target was set in consultation with the finance ministry, Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) and other stakeholders in the sector.

Some of the measures to be implemented in the tourism master plan to achieve the USD 6 billion target include:

  • Increasing investments and tourist beds in the northern and southern regions

  • Greater focus on improving occupancy rates rather than increasing annual tourist arrivals, especially during off-season 

  • Increasing the number of international flights by 25-40% and domestic flights by 50-60%; to achieve this,  airports will be developed and investments in acquiring aircraft will be increased

  • Developing Maldivians for tourism jobs

According to statistics released by the tourism ministry, the tourism sector generated USD 3.5 billion in revenue in 2021. It is expected to generate USD 4.2 billion in revenue this year.

Some of the goals and objectives of the new master plan include:

  • Extending the benefits of tourism to the people in all regions of the country

  • Ensuring that clear and precise information about the unique characteristics of Maldivian tourism industry are communicated via tourism promotion and marketing materials

  • Introducing diverse and innovative experiences

  • Working together towards protecting the country's natural resources, while taking mitigation and adaptation measures against climate change

  • Focusing on energy conservation by setting up renewable energy systems and working towards achieving the national 2030 net-zero target

  • Ensuring state-of-the-art transportation for all tourists arriving in the Maldives

  • Retaining experienced workers in the tourism sector and attracting new workers

  • Facilitating tourism-related investments and encouraging financing opportunities

  • Legal changes and reforms to facilitate entrepreneurship

  • Accelerating digitisation of tourism sector and creating a competitive business environment

  • Working towards a common goal for the development and sustainability of tourism

  • Expanding tourism based on detailed research and findings

  • Strengthening systems related to health and safety issues in the country

  • Introducing standards that can bring about permanent positive changes in the development of the tourism sector

  • Making tourist establishments and services accessible and friendly for the disabled and elderly tourists