The Maldives, a favourite upmarket Indian Ocean holiday destination, has decided against imposing an expensive visa fee of US$100/£80 when it reopens for tourism in July. They have also scrapped the US$100/£80 fee for a COVID-19 antigen test on arrival at the airport.
This is good news for honeymooners and holidaymakers seeking luxury head to the Maldives for its soft white powdery sand beaches lapped by turquoise waters and surrounded by lush, dreamy scenery. The archipelago is known for some of the best diving sites in the world, as well as jungles and waterfalls.
A statement from the Ministry of Tourism confirmed,
‘We are planning to reopen our borders for visitors from July. We also want to assure our guests that they will not be charged any additional fees to enter the Maldives.”
The 14-night minimum stay requirement has also been abandoned.
The Ministry of Tourism says that arrivals must still present a positive antibody test on arrival that must have been taken less than two weeks prior to landing in the Maldives. However, this could change too.
Tourist facilities will be issued with a ‘Safe Tourism License’ to safeguard the safety for workers and holidaymakers. This entails having personal protection equipment and a doctor on call.
International arrivals must show that they have a booking with a hotel that has a Safe Tourism License.
Tourism minister, Ali Waheed told the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, that the Maldives aims to be
“a more affordable and safer destination. We are working on guidelines to ensure that our guests once again feel the ‘sunny side of life’ here.
“For the first time in 47 years of tourism in the Maldives, we have experienced zero tourist arrival since this March. We cannot keep our borders closed for long.”
The island nation relies heavily on the revenue produced by tourism. Last year 1.7 million visited. The hope is that that tourism will be back in gear in time for their peak season – December to April.
Flights will be landing in its main airport in July though private jets and yachts are already able to enter.
The Maldives has, so far, recorded 1,841 cases and five deaths as a result of Covid-19.