The number of tourists arriving in Maldives will increase by 10.3 percent annually in the medium term after the completion of the Velana International Airport, President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has said.
Delivering his first Presidential Statement today, the President said that Maldives has gone through very difficult economic times and his government has started making numerous ambitious efforts to overcome the situation.
He said he is trying to start new projects without burdening the state budget, as well as reduce the debt of the state companies.
"Without any delay, the settlement committee set up by the state treasury to compensate various parties has now been dissolved. We have started depositing dollars back into the sovereign fund and we are also looking for new ways to keep foreign currency in the country," he said.
Noting that the tourism industry is the largest contributor to Maldives’ productivity, the President said the country is expecting 2 million tourist arrivals for the first time in the nation’s history this year.
The completion of the ongoing Velana International Airport expansion project this year will allow new airlines to start flights to Maldives, he said, adding that the number of tourists arriving in Maldives will increase by an average of 10.3 percent annually in the medium term.
The President also stressed the importance of diversifying the tourism industry to boost Maldives’ economy. He said efforts are being made to increase long haul routes to directly connect Maldives with other markets.
"The Visitor Economy Council is also working to introduce new tourism products. In addition to the expected growth in tourism; construction, real estate and transportation will also grow rapidly in the coming years," he said.