Beauty Of Maldives
There's no evidence whatsoever that Daniel Defoe visited the Maldives before he sat down to write his classic novel, Robinson Crusoe. But he may well have, as the kind of incredibly pristine and beautiful island Crusoe landed on seems to be endemic in the Maldives.When a group of Italian tourism developers did first set foot on the Maldives back in 1971, one of them sent out a message: "Found paradise. Come quick."
Since then, foreign investors and companies have been moving in to take advantage of this paradise. And the growth of the industry has been phenomenal. Consider that this was an industry that did not even exist before the early 1970s. By 1985, it had supplanted fishing as the largest industry in the country. Today, tourism earns the Maldives 70% of its foreign capital.
More, investors in Maldives tourism know that they are getting into an area already festooned with a shining brand image. After all, wonderful holidays and Maldives are almost synonymous. In fact, a leading travel publication for the year 2008 ranked Maldives as the Best Country Brand for Beach and Best Country Brand for Rest and Relaxation. It also ranked number two in the Best Country Brand for Natural Beauty and 3rd in the Best Country Brand for Resort and Lodging Options in the same year. Maldives also tops the Divers Hall of Fame list. (The country has some of the world's best dive sites.)
In addition, investors in this sector can rely on full support from the Maldives Government, which earns a substantial part of its tax revenues from tourism. For instance, early in the process of building up Maldives tourism, developers built tourist resorts on uninhabited islands. This policy has continued up through the present, with all resorts today being located on previously uninhabited islands. This prevents any culture clash between tourists and the more traditional Maldivians.
As a result, special rules and regulations are set for the resorts. For instance, although alcohol is strictly prohibited throughout most of the country, it is allowed on the resort islands. Bars and restaurants on the resorts can sell alcoholic beverages without fear of breaking local laws. Also, whereas modest dress (especially for women) is required everywhere where Maldivians live and work, tourists are allowed to don much more casual wear-for instance, when bathing or just lounging about.
And the potential for expansion is enormous. Of the 1,192 islands comprising the Maldives, only 200 are inhabited by Maldives citizens; less than 100 currently house resorts. Of the remaining approximately 800 islands, some are too small for resorts or otherwise inappropriate, but a great many are ripe for development as tourist destinations. (There are at present 93 individual resorts in the Maldives.)
A tourist resort in the Maldives is usually an island by itself, exclusively dedicated to the enjoyment by its guests. A typical resort has its own private beach. Each island has its own house reef, which itself is a coral garden and natural aquarium. The shallow water enclosed by this reef serves as a swimming pool.
Moreover, there are special regulations for those wishing to invest in this sector. For instance, while all other types of foreign investments are made (arranged) in the Ministry of Trade and Industries, a foreign investment in the tourism sector is handled by the Maldives Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Tourism also decides the nature and the areas of any foreign investment that can be made in this sector. Further, all foreign nationals investing in tourism must sign an agreement with the Ministry of Tourism rather than the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
These differences are to better facilitate investments in the tourism sector, with all the special arrangements that are made for this sector.