Destination Report: The Maldives
This report aims to outline how the Maldives has planned, developed and managed as a tourism destination. The Maldives relies heavily on tourism for economic stability and therefore, over time, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture have produced Tourism Masterplans, which have supported strategic development and management. Strategies focused on; improving connections between resorts and airports, expanding airports and runways, and building larger resorts to cater for the growing number of tourists. With nearly one million international visitors in 2012, both the government and the private sector played important roles in ensuring tourism development was carried out strategically and efficiently. As tourism continues to grow, the importance of sustainable tourism has been recognised and therefore, the Fourth Tourism Masterplan (4TMP) aims to improve waste management systems and increase the awareness of the local community. There are various factors to consider when managing tourism in the Maldives including; maintaining the exclusivity of the islands, dealing with climate change, and the threat of natural disasters. This report concludes that the Maldives has been very successful in planning for changes in tourism trends, as well as developing effective strategies and managing challenges they have been faced with. Furthermore, as tourism continues to grow, the 4TMP will help provide a sense of direction towards successful and sustainable tourism in the Maldives.