NewsMarch 15, 2020

COVID-19 Impact to be the Worst in History of Maldives Tourism – Ahmed Nazeer

Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) Secretary General Ahmed Nazeer has described the COVID-19 impact on the Maldives tourism industry to be the worst in the industry history.

Speaking at a function regarding the BML’s short term financing facilities, Nazeer highlighted the importance of such a financing schemes to the industry in a crisis like this.


“I started in the tourism industry in 1984. The COVID-19 pandemic is the worst impact the industry has faced to date” Nazeer added.

The virus declared as a pandemic by WHO is affecting travel industry throughout the globe and for a country highly dependent on tourism, it is expected to affect the worst. Rumors about resorts laying off staff numbers and sending employees on no-pay leaves are currently circulating.

During the uncertainty facing the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak globally, and to mitigate the risks to the country’s largest industry, Bank of Maldives together with the Ministry of Tourism and the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) announced the short-term financing solution to support the tourism sector.

The financing solution allows operational resorts and guesthouses to finance up to US$2 million to manage their working capital requirements, with a repayment period of 3 years.

Bank of Maldives CEO and MD, Tim Sawyer stated “Although any impact will depend on the extent and duration of the outbreak, our tourism industry and local businesses are already facing an unprecedented set of challenges. As the national bank, it is our responsibility to support these businesses through this period. Together with our partners, the short-term financing solution announced today will help manage working capital requirements, to cushion the impact.”

“About a month ago, BML made a proposal to MATI on how the bank can assist the members. This financing scheme is not just for MATI members, it is an opportunity for all establishments operating in the industry,” said Nazeer.

Nazeer stated that the scheme would alleviate some of the pressure faced to the cashflow of the establishments.

To apply for the facility, customers can get in touch with their Relationship Manager, visit the nearest branch or call the Bank’s Contact Centre at 3330200 for further details.