After almost four months after the suspension of on-arrival tourist visas, the Maldives tourism industry has reopened with enhanced precautionary measures against Covid-19.
The first tourists arrived earlier onboard a Qatar Airways flight from Doha, which landed in Velana International Airport.
Connecting from various countries, 107 foreigners and 24 Maldivians arrived on the first commercial flight to land in Maldives since borders closed to tourists on March 27th.
Precautionary measures such as social distancing, minimal touch points, frequent sanitisation and mask wearing were in place to ensure the safety of all visitors.
Tourism has been the worst hit of all major economic sectors around by the world by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is especially true in the Maldives, where tourism accounts for the majority of foreign exchange earnings.
Resorts, hotels and liveaboards located on uninhabited islands in the Maldives are now allowed to resume operations, whereas hotels and guest houses located on inhabited islands will be allowed to open from August 1st.
A total of 40 resorts are in operation from today.
Maldives registered a record breaking 1.7 million tourist arrivals in 2019, the highest number of tourists to have visited Maldives in one year.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has set a target of 850,000 visitors by the end of 2020 as the industry begins its recovery.
Breaking Travel News earlier spoke to Thoyyib Mohamed, managing director of the Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation, about the reopening and the new safety measures that have been put in place.
Take a look at his thoughts here.