The tourism ministry unveiled the Fifth Tourism Master Plan of the Maldives on Thursday (25 May), setting out the “vision, policy priorities, and strategies” for the next five years.
The plan targets increasing annual tourism receipts to US$6 billion by 2027, up from an estimated US$4.2 billion in 2023. Achieving the goal would require increasing yields and occupancy rates (particularly in off-season months), opening new properties in the southernmost and northernmost atolls, significantly growing both domestic and international aviation capacity, and developing the human resources and skills needed for a multitude of new jobs.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Tourism Minister Dr Abdulla Mausoom said the ‘one-island, one-resort’ concept that was the key to the success of the Maldives tourism industry needs to be protected and sustained.
“We are not launching this masterplan and starting from a completely new beginning. We are continuing our journey after setting a perfect destination: making the Maldives a destination that leads the world with the most sustainable tourism, and a destination that brings happiness to the people,” he said.
The masterplan “focuses on the long term, addressing existing challenges, community expectations, new opportunities, and emerging trends to ensure the industry is resilient, innovative, and competitive.” It lays out 15 goals “to rally the industry and government for priority action”:
- Maximise the benefits of tourism to all atoll communities
- Communicate the full potential of Maldives to existing and new audiences
- Offer new products and experiences
- Build climate resilience and protect natural assets
- Enhance energy security and achieve net zero emissions
- Provide outstanding transport services
- Attract and retain a world-class tourism workforce
- Accelerate investment and innovative finance
- Regulatory reform to make it easier to do business
- Accelerate 360o digitisation
- Whole-of-government prioritisation of tourism
- Advance data analytics and insights
- Strengthen health, safety, and security systems
- Establish transformational tourism industry standards
- Ensure tourism is accessible for all