President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has appointed Dr Abdulla Mausoom as the new Minister of Tourism today (6th August 2020). Dr. Mausoom is not a new face to the industry. We decided to revisit the interview we had with him when he was filling the position as the General Manager of Sun Island Resort & Spa, Maldives by Villa Hotels & Resorts.
Mausoom holds a Doctorate Degree, conferred in 2004, by the School of Public Policy, University of Birmingham, UK. His doctoral thesis was on the interdependency and the relationship between the government and the private sector in sustainable tourism development. Mausoom did his MSc in Hotel Management at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He has spent over 10 years abroad for higher studies in England, Northern Ireland, Germany and Malaysia. Mausoom is a Council member of the Villa College Council.
Mausoom, the former Head of Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (2004 to 2007), was also the MP for Kelaa Constituency (2009-2014) and held Maldives Government’s Cabinet Portfolios as Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation and Minister of Environment, Energy and Water. He served at both Tourism Promotion Advisory Council and College Council of Maldives as a Council Member and served as Board Member of the Board of Directors of State Trading Organization (STO), and Maldives Transport & Construction Company (MTCC). Mausoom has worked as a tourism industry consultant, trainer and lecturer for over 10 years and was involved in the development of 3rd Tourism Master Plan of the Maldives and is the lead author of the Ministry of Tourism’s 2008 publication “35 Years of Tourism”.
Dr Mausoom has attended several travel trade fairs, seminars and conferences in Asia and Europe and has given lectures at conferences, universities and colleges in topics related to sustainable tourism development and marketing.
How did you get started with your career?
I joined the Tourism Ministry in 1985 in the interest of becoming a Watersports and Diving Instructor. But when the government decided to open a tourism training school in Maldives I decided that I also wanted to be a lecturer. Since 1985, I have been “living” the tourism industry in teaching, working and studying.
What are some of your notable successes?
As the Head of Maldives Tourism Promotion Board, working with local and international industry partners and governments of generating markets, we had a very successful marketing campaign to revive Maldives Tourism Industry (in terms of tourist arrivals pickup and also product development).
As the GM of Sun Island Resort, with the efficient and effective managerial team and their support teams, we set strategic goals to make the Sun Island Resort and Spa the Leading Eco Resort, the Leading Family Resort and the Leading Human Resource Management Resort in the Maldives, and we have achieved awards for all the 3 categories.
Also, my active involvement in the development of 3rd Tourism Master Plan and being the Lead Author of Ministry of Tourism’s Publication “35 Years of Tourism” is some of the notable successes I have had in my career.
What are some of the challenges that you have faced?
The main challenge is working towards meeting the varied expectations of diverse guest segments as we have tourists from over 40 (forty) nationalities on any given day and amongst them we have different age groups and interest groups.
Also, not having a pool employable talent to hire on a part-time basis to meet the Human Resource requirements of unexpected peak occupancy periods are some of the challenges we have faced.
What is your advice for young adults interested in entering the Tourism Industry?
The tourism industry has career opportunities like no other. However to progress towards the top jobs, one needs courage, commitment, determination and above all a passion for the job. It’s a 24/7 job and the best input tourism industry employees are needed when of the world is enjoying the weekends, public holidays and vacations. In spite of its toughness, Tourism Industry is a very exciting industry, full of opportunities, hence worth getting involved in.