Dhiggaru Island has welcomed the very first homestay tourist visitors on 1st January 2022! The Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom attended the commemorating event held this evening with the President of the Guest House Association, Abdulla Nasheed, and the President of Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators, Abdulla Suood.
Homestay tourism was inaugurated with the warm welcome of five tourist visitors, among which includes Ms. Catherine Haswell, the UN Resident Coordinator for the Republic of Maldives. A special item was held on boats as they entered the harbor and they were greeted with a water salute.
Currently, there is no operable guest house on Dhiggaru Island. However, the house “Moorithi” has been designed and made ready for tourist visitors to reside under the homestay tourism scheme. This is the first house registered under the homestay regulations and the license was presented to the owner of the house, Mohmed Ahmed by Dr. Abdulla Mausoom.
Tourism Ministry’s Senior Executive Director, Ali Razzan speaking at the press conference held on 29th December 2021 noted that the citizens of Dhiggaru Island have experience in hospitality and resort operations. Deputy Minister of Tourism, Asad Riza said the people of Dhiggaru Island understood the valuable opportunities presented to them with the introduction of homestay and for that reason, the ministry decided to kickstart homestay tourism in Dhiggaru Island.
The guidelines of homestay tourism were published in the gazette on 31st December 2021. The underlying regulations were focused on ensuring the safety of the visitors and sustainable growth with minimal negative impacts on local communities. With the introduction of homestay tourism, a substantial number of tourist beds are expected to be added to the market, and homestay tourism is a revolutionary step taken to enhance the future of tourism in the Maldives.