Male’, Maldives, 4th October 2022 – In celebration of the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of the Tourism Industry in the Maldives, The Ministry of Tourism held an Appreciation Award Ceremony at Crossroads Maldives on 29th September. The event was attended by the The President of the Maldives, His Excellency Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, The Vice President, His Excellency Faisal Naseem, Chief Justice of Maldives, Cabinet Ministers, members of parliament, foreign dignitaries, and tourism industry stakeholders.
The grand event brought together both new and old members of the tourism industry together. It celebrated the success story of tourism in the Maldives thus far and presented industry members with a token of appreciation for the contribution to it.
The event was officially opened by the Minister of Tourism, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom. He extended a special note for the four pioneers of tourism in the Maldives, Mr. George Gorbin, Mr. Mohamed Umaru Maniku, His Excellency Ahmed Naseem, Mr. Hussain Afeef.
“The travel and tourism industry stakeholders, especially the investors and employees, have played a very important role hand in hand with the government in tourism’s success. Congratulations and thank you all,” said the Minister.
The Minister noted that His Excellency President Solih designated 3rd October as the Maldives National Tourism Day last year, and it is being celebrated for the first time year from this very special golden jubilee anniversary. Although the International Tourism Day is celebrated on 27th September, the introduction of the Maldives gives us the ideal duration to celebrate Maldives Tourism Week, from 27th September to 3rd October. As this year is the 50th anniversary of tourism in the Maldives, this tourism week was one packed with functions and events.
This Appreciation Reception is one of the important events taking place during the week. The Minister said, “Tonight, we are celebrating fruitless results of dedication, resolution and hardwork of tourism sector investors, employees and partners. Tonight is a night to celebrate their success.”
The President handed awards of special recognition to Maldives Association of Tourism Industry – Ahmed Nazeer, NHGAM – Abdulla Nasheed, NBAM – Ahmed Zubair Adam, MATATO – Abdulla Ghiyas, ATA – Yoosuf Riffath, Maldives Alliance of Dive Operators – Dr. Shama Abdulla Hameed, Maldives Association of Yacht Agents – Mohamed Nasheed, as well as other tourism personalities.
In his speech, the President said, “We are celebrating a very important event tonight. this is one of the events organised by the Ministry of Tourism to mark the 50th anniversary of tourism in our country. It is a very happy occasion for all of us to come together, interact and celebrate this joyous moment together. Today, we extend our thanks to everyone who has contributed and still contributes to the growth of the industry.
“The success story of tourism in the country is one that will never get old and it is important to talk about it. When tourism was first introduced in our country, it was not easy to grow the industry. It was not easy to travel between islands, much less arrange for inbound tourists’ transfer to resorts and other islands. There were many other such hurdles. Despite this, your undeterred determination has taken this industry to great heights. Tourism and Maldivian hospitality is the pride and joy of the Maldivians. This has only been possible because of your hard work and sacrifices – from masons, carpenters, architects, caterers, waiters, room boys, musicians, dancers, photographers and divers who showcase the beauty of our underwater world, tour operators, travel agents and so many more people have contributed to the progress of this industry. It is because of their work that the Maldives is now recognised as the leading destination in the world. We must work even harder now to maintain this position.”
The President went on to emphasise the key qualities the Maldives must continue to cultivate to maintain its position. The Maldives must continue to give its guests the warm welcome and hospitality that we are all proud of. It is our brand – our hospitality and friendliness has been exemplary over the years and we are a country well known for it. It is crucial to maintain this culture and attitude and provide quality services.
In addition to this, the Maldives brand is centered around its natural beauty – the sea, the reefs and more must be protected as the environment and tourism go hand in hand. This, along with the ‘one island, one resort’ concept, are things we must strive to uphold in the coming years as well.
In addition to this, the 3 pioneers of the Maldives were invited on stage to share a few words. They commended everyone in the industry for their contribution and hard work. Their advice highlighted the importance of working harder towards maintain the Maldives’ position as the leading destination. They reiterated the importance qualities of the Maldives’ tourism brand outlined by the President. They also extended their gratitude to the President for giving the tourism industry this recognition for its work and significance, making it clear that the tourism industry is one to be proud of.
The night was not only one of showing appreciation but also one celebrating unity and inclusivity in the industry.