Male’, Maldives, 7th January 2024 – In light of recent negative exchanges on Maldivian social media concerning India, the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) emphasizes the significance of nurturing positive ties with all countries, including our South Asian neighbors. MATATO believes that collaborative efforts and open communication are essential in ensuring friendly relations, trade, cultural exchanges, and people-to-people contact between the Maldives and its neighbors, remaining strong and unhindered.
It is crucial to dispel any misconceptions regarding this matter, and MATATO highlights those efforts to develop and foster tourism in the Lakshwadeep islands have no discernible negative effect on the Maldives’ tourism industry. Such development would, in fact, prove complementary to Maldivian tourism, creating opportunities for both regions. The synergies between these two destinations can enhance the overall appeal for travelers and encourage more cruise liners to explore this vibrant and culturally rich region.
MATATO underscores the importance of refraining from hateful comments and calls on all parties to promote messages of unity and cooperation. The association encourages all stakeholders to work toward building bridges rather than walls, fostering an environment where mutual respect and understanding thrive.
In the spirit of collaboration, MATATO acknowledges the strategic alliances it shares with numerous Indian travel associations. These relationships are not merely professional but also a testament to the enduring friendship and partnership between the two nations. MATATO believes in the power of dialogue and mutual support, leveraging these connections to strengthen the ties that bind our tourism industries.
The Indian market plays a pivotal role in the success of the Maldivian tourism sector, supporting guesthouses and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that depend on the influx of Indian visitors. MATATO urges all stakeholders to recognize the interconnectedness of our economies and the shared benefits that come from a harmonious relationship between the Maldives and India.
As an organization dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism and fostering positive relationships, MATATO remains committed to working towards a future where collaboration, respect, and unity prevail in the South Asian region.