"We are hitting milestone after milestone at the moment." It's exactly three years since Maldives became one of the first countries in Asia Pacific to reopen for tourism during the pandemic. This week, Gary and Hannah welcome Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director of Visit Maldives, to discuss the challenges of the reopening process, and a successful three years since. In 2020, Maldives enticed a creditable 555,000 visitors to its resorts and beaches despite widespread global disruption. This year, the Indian Ocean archipelago nation is on target for a record 1.9 million visitors. We discuss the key inbound markets and shifts in visitor expectations and booking trends since 2020. Growth also brings new challenges. Thoyyib talks us through the new 5th Tourism Master Plan, which tackles diverse issues, ranging from climate impact to energy security, food waste and community development. He also explains the sustainable initiatives underway in one of the lowest lying nations on earth, and the need for global action on climate and ocean pollution. Plus, we chat about one of the lesser known aspects of travel to the Maldives: guest house tourism.
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