As an island nation, the Republic of Maldives is very famous for its tourism sector, especially for its underwater beauty that is very unusual. Maldives consists of a collection of atolls or coral islands surrounding a lagoon, in the Indian Ocean. Located in the south-southwest of India, Maldives is located around 700 kilometers southwest of Sri Lanka. Maldives itself has 26 atolls which is divided into 20 administrative atolls and one city. Although the Maldives is a country with the smallest region and population in Asia, Maldives can be said to have advanced enough for the tourism sector, as well as the fisheries sector. Each year, approximately 700 thousand tourists from all over the world on holiday in the Maldives.
The Maldives remained largely unknown to tourists until the early 1970s. Only 185 islands are home to its 300,000 inhabitants. The other islands are used entirely for economic purposes, of which tourism and agriculture are the most dominant. Tourism accounts for 28% of the GDP and more than 60% of the Maldives’ foreign exchange receipts. Over 90% of government tax revenue comes from import duties and tourism-related taxes. The development of tourism fostered the overall growth of the country’s economy. It created direct and indirect employment and income generation opportunities in other related industries. The first tourist resorts were opened in 1972 with Bandos island resort and Kurumba Village (the current name is Kurumba Maldives), which transformed the Maldives economy.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, the emergence of tourism in 1972 transformed the economy, moving rapidly from dependence on fisheries to tourism. In just three and a half decades, the industry became the main source of income. Tourism was also the country’s biggest foreign currency earner and the single largest contributor to the GDP. As of 2008, 89 resorts in the Maldives offered over 17,000 beds and hosted over 600,000 tourists annually.
The number of resorts increased from 2 to 92 between 1972 and 2007. As of 2007, over 8,380,000 tourists had visited Maldives. Visitors to Maldives do not need to apply for a visa pre-arrival, regardless of their country of origin, provided they have a valid passport, proof of onward travel, and the money to be self-sufficient while in the country.
Most visitors arrive at Malé International Airport, on Hulhulé Island, adjacent to the capital Malé. The airport is served by flights to India, Sri Lanka, Doha, Dubai, Singapore, Istanbul, and major airports in South-East Asia, as well as charters from Europe. Gan Airport, on the southern atoll of Addu, also serves an international flight to Milan several times a week. British Airways offer direct flights to the Maldives around 2–3 times per week.
After seeing some of the photos above, of course you can already imagine what you can do while in the Maldives. By staying at the resort pretty face to face with the sea, you can see the sunrise and sunset are so fascinating. When you’re honeymooning in the Maldives with your partner, you’d feel like the Maldives are just your own. Maldives is perfect for those who want to honeymoon in a romantic and quiet, and not too crowded. Snorkeling, diving and swimming in the crystal clear sea is so clear – everything that you can do when a honeymoon in the Maldives. Not only that, you also can walk together on the beach with your partner and enjoy a romantic dinner on the beach.