Tourism Minister, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has confirmed that Maldives has plans to initiate Vaccine Tourism, becoming the first of the world’s nations to initiate vaccine tourism for travellers amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking in the People’s Majlis, the tourism minister said that the 3V initiative; Visit, Vaccinate, and Vacation, will give travellers the option to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in the Maldives. He expressed hope that this would further promote the Maldives as a safe destination for tourists traveling despite the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic. Minister Mausoom added that as tourists would also need to get two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, it would be highly advantageous for the tourism sector as they would need to stay in the Maldives for several weeks to be successfully immunized against Covid-19.
In the beginning of February, a nationwide Covid-19 vaccination programme and is undergoing, in which 10,000 workers in the tourism sector are expected to get vaccinated in the first phase of the nationwide vaccination drive.
Minister Mausoom highlighted that employees of resorts being vaccinated would not only ensure their health and safety, but also further market the Maldives as a safe travel destination for tourists.
Mausoom has previously detailed that while the global travel and tourism sector is slowly recoviering from the initial, devastating impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic, vaccine-certified tourism would help elevate the tourism industry to new heights. Minister Mausoom assured that the Maldives would be working to achieve this goal with other countries of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Despite this, Minister Mausoom acknowledged that the supply of vaccines was currently much shorter than global demand. He said that this was the main barrier to initiate vaccine tourism in the country, and that the first priority would always be to have doses administered to those living in the Maldives.
The 3V Tourism initiative promises a win-win situation, with weekslong stays providing a boost for the Maldives’ tourism-dependent economy and travelers given the choice of getting their jabs early instead of waiting months for vaccines in their own countries. Government officials have recently bumped up their projected number of visitors this year from one million to 1.5 million, a slight decrease from 2019 levels. According to the latest data published by the tourism ministry, the Maldives welcomed just over 200,000 tourists between the start of the year and March 4, 2021.