National Tourism Day in the Maldives Date in the current year: October 3, 2024

National Tourism Day in the Maldives National Tourism Day is a public holiday in the Republic of the Maldives. It was established in 2021 to celebrate the tourism industry that has been responsible for the overall growth of the country’s economy since the early 1970s.

During the first years of its independence, the Republic of the Maldives was one of the poorest countries in the world. Its economy was largely dependent on the export of local goods such as ambergris, coconut fiber rope and coco de mer, as well as on fisheries. The situation began to change thanks to the introduction of tourism in the early 1970s.

In the late 1960s, a UN mission on development visited the Maldives and claimed the archipelago unsuitable for tourism. However, it has since been proven wrong. The first Maldivian resort, Kurubma Maldives (originally named Kurubma Island Resort), opened on October 3, 1973. It is situated on Vihamanaafushi Island in North Malé Atoll. It was followed by Bandos Island Resort (now Bandos Maldives).

Since then, tourism has become the most important sector of the country’s economy. It accounts for 28% of the GDP of the Maldives and employs 25,000 people, which is about 9% of the country’s labor force. Tourism helps to finance other industries, promotes the development of infrastructure, and creates employment and income generation opportunities in related industries.

The Maldives operates over 130 resorts; each of the resorts is located on its own island, providing more privacy and luxury for visitors than regular resorts. A typical resort in the Maldives consists of a hotel and various facilities; there are no residential buildings on resort islands and no local population except for the resort staff. The Maldives is one of the most popular recreational diving and honeymoon destinations in the world.

The Maldives issues 30-day tourist visas to visitors from all countries upon their arrival, as long as they meet the basic entry requirements. Nationals of some countries can enter the Maldives for a period of 30 to 90 days (depending on the country) without a visa. As of 2018, the top ten countries with the most tourists visiting the Maldives were China, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, India, Russia, France, the United States, Japan, and Australia.

The tourism industry of the Maldives is overseen and regulated by the Ministry of Tourism, and the employees of the industry are represented by the Tourism Employees Association of Maldives (TEAM).

October 3 was declared National Tourism Day by Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the president of Maldives, in 2021. The date was chosen to commemorate the opening of Kurumba Maldives. The establishment of the holiday kicked off the official one-year countdown to the 50th anniversary of the country’s tourism industry, which was celebrated in 2022.

National Tourism Day was created to express gratitude to all tourism industry workers and highlight their immense contribution to the economy of the Maldives. The holiday is marked by various ceremonies attended by government officials, industry leaders, and representatives of the tourism sector.

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