NewsMay 15, 2024

Visit Maldives CEO Highlights Tourism Boom and Sustainability Efforts in BBC Interview

In an interview with BBC’s CEO Edit programme, Ms Fathmath Thaufeeq, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/ Visit Maldives) has shed light on the archipelago’s thriving tourism industry, the focus on diversification, and the Maldives’ commitment to environmental and economic sustainability.

Highlighting the success of the Maldives tourism industry this year, Ms Thaufeeq stated, “In the past four months, we have crossed over 25% of our [targeted] tourist arrivals for the year, which is over 500k.” This signifies a strong first quarter, surpassing 25% of the Maldives ambitious target of 2 million tourist arrivals in 2024. 


“[The Maldives] is a lot more than the sun, sea, and sand. We have natural wetlands, we have local experiences through boutique hotels/guesthouses, and we are very much focused on expanding the focus of the tourism industry.” This shift towards local cultures caters to a wider range of tourists seeking unique experiences, and she further emphasised the diverse experiences the Maldives offers and the equally diverse range of stay options, from luxurious one-island resorts to adventurous liveaboards, city hotels, and local-island guesthouses. 

Moving onto the topic of sustainable development, Ms Thaufeeq gave her confidence that Visit Maldives always prioritises environmental protection. “We make sure that the public and the tourists are very well aware of how much we are focused on protecting the environment. We make sure that everyone is aware of the guidelines, and we work hand in hand with stakeholders and the tourism ministry to maintain and sustain our environment.”

“The [Maldives] tourism industry catering 80% of our revenue means it directly and indirectly affects the people on the islands.” She noted in recognition of the economic impact of tourism. She again highlighted the different segments and different categories of tourism facilities, services, or offers, one of which are boutique hotels/guesthouses built on the islands where locals live. This focus on community-based tourism ensures that the tourism industry benefits local residents.

“Tourists get to experience the local lifestyles, cuisines […] maintaining and sustaining the livelihoods of the locals.” She stated. 

Looking toward the future, Ms Thaufeeq explained her strategies to implement innovative solutions using data-driven methodologies and new technologies. “In the long run, we are very focused on building a very sustainable strategy using new technologies and tools over the next 10 years.” Ms Thaufeeq affirmed, once again underscoring the Maldives’ commitment to sustainable tourism development and experiences.