Posts Tagged ‘Maldives’

Sri Lanka, Maldives should cooperate, says Maldivian tourism minister

Maldives Tourism Minister  Ahmed Adeeb Gafoor reiterated his call for  Sri Lanka to work together  with the Maldives in capturing potential markets as it would be mutually beneficial for both countries in a highly competitive market.

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Gafooor said that Maldives was grateful to Sri Lanka for bringing an end to terrorism since it would have affected the entire region if it was allowed to continue as it would have caused immense problems to the tourism industry not only in Sri Lanka but other countries in South  Asia as well, he said speaking to The Island Financial Review on the sidelines of the ITB in Berlin, Germany.

“With the dawn of peace in Sri Lanka, Maldives will soon be launching a cruise ship service between Male and Colombo and it is likely to commence operations in December,” the Minister said.

The Minister said that China tops the list of tourist arrivals to the Maldives and he was of the opinion that Sri Lanka should join together with Maldives and promote joint packages to the Chinese as Sri Lanka has more to offer than beaches.

“During the next few years Maldives tourism industry will lay more emphasis on development of infrastructure while attracting more investments,” he said.”

The country celebrated 40 years in tourism in February 2012 and we are moving into a new and challenging phase during the next ten years and we will be adding  more value to our product,” Gafoor said.

The Maldives is developing its existing airports and are going  in for new ones to meet the demand in the tourism industry, the Minister said adding that the airport in the   Gan Island, the former British airbase, was being developed with an investment of  US$ 30 million and on completion of the project  it would have the capacity to land A 340s and Boeing 777s. At present, only aircraft such as A 320 could land there. It is also strategically important as Addu  Atoll, to which Gan Island belongs, is being developed as a major tourist resort.  Leading brands such as Hyatt, Jumeirah, Robinson, Shangri-La have already  invested  there and there is a total of 6,000 rooms.

Gafoor said that  the contract of an Indian company to  operate the  Hululle Airport in Male

Was withdrawn and Sri Lankan Airlines would be provided with more incentives with the new change taking place.”

More than making Hululle airport a bigger one, it will be developed to operate as an efficient Airport,” he said.

(Source : http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=74414)

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