Maldives tries to fight off travel alerts as tourists stay away

  • Thursday 15, February 2018 in 9:48 AM
Sharjah24 – Reuters: Tourists have been cancelling hundreds of hotel bookings in Maldives every day since the imposition of a state of emergency last week, tour operators say, despite government assurances things are normal in the resort islands, far from the capital.
China, India, the United States and Britain issued travel warnings after President Abdulla Yameen imposed the emergency and arrested judges who had ordered him to free jailed opposition leaders.

"We have had about 50-60 room cancellations per day and the number is consistent since it started. This is the same for all of our properties in the country," said a spokesman for Paradise Island Resort-Villa Group which runs the 282-room hotel, a 20-minute ride by speedboat from Male where the turmoil is centred.

Tourism accounts for a third of Maldives' gross domestic product, measured at $3.5 billion in 2017. Ratings agency Moody's has said it would lower its 2018 growth forecast of 4.5 percent if tourists are deterred for a prolonged period.