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International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 2, Issue 4, April 2012 1 ISSN 2250-3153
DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM IN MALDIVES Suresh Kumar Kundur
Abstract- Tourism is the largest sector of the economy in the Maldives, as it plays an important role in earning foreign exchange revenues and generating employment in the tertiary sector of the country. The archipelago of the Maldives is the main source of attraction to many tourists visiting the country. Tourism began in the Maldives in the late 1900's. A United Nations mission on development which visited the Maldives Islands in the 1960s did not recommend tourism, claiming that the islands were not suitable. Ever since the launch of the first resort in Maldives in 1972, however, tourism in Maldives has flourished. Tourism in Maldives started with just two resorts. At present, there are over 80 resorts located in the different atolls constituting the Republic of Maldives. Over the past few decades, the number of tourists in Maldives has risen continuously. Today, more than 500,000 tourists visit the Maldives each year. This paper gives a detailed account of the development of tourism industry and the initiatives taken by the Maldivian government to promote tourism in the country.
Index Terms- Tourism, Development, Growth, Market share, Tourism products
I. INTRODUCTION
Maldivian archipelago located 500 km from southern tips of both India and Sri Lanka. Is a beautiful string of 1,190 low-laying coral islands scattered across the equator in the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean, giving us a rare glimpse of what s aptly described as tropical paradise. Just consider this sparkling white sun- kissed beached, crystal-clear lagoons studded with profusely coloured corals; azure warm seas with an undisturbed exotic marine life palm-fringed island the providing serenity all of it summarized by the famous Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta on describing Maldives as “one of wonders of the world”
The sun, the sand and the sea, these are just three simple realities beckoning tourist from far and wide to these little islets, giving as a result, a glorious sense of happiness and proving to be a heavenly getaway from the word and its worries. The Maldives teaches the visitors the pleasurable art of doing nothing, simply lazing around and enjoying some the most spectacular and colourful vistas offered by nature.
No wonder than that tourists flock in large numbers to the 80- odd self-contained island resorts provided with all the comforts and warmth exuded by traditional Maldivian hospitality. This is why Maldives is considered to be the ultimate destination, the future world for holiday-makers.
Importance of tourism
Tourism is the largest economic industry in the Maldives, as it plays an important role in earning foreign exchange revenues and generating employment in the tertiary sector of the country. The
archipelago of the Maldives is the main source of attraction to many tourists visiting the country worldwide.
II. THE STUDY AREA
Figure 1: Location Map of Study area
The Maldives archipelago is on the south- south western region off the coast of India. The latitudinal extent is 7o 06‟ 30”N to 00 and longitudinal extent of Maldives is 3 o 15‟N and 73 o 00 o 41‟ 48” S latitude and 72 o 32‟ 30” E to 73 o 45‟ 54” E longitude.
A series of 1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls located in the Indian Ocean out of which 19 atolls are administrative atolls. The Maldives has an area of less than 300 square kilometers and a total coastline of 644 kilometers. The islands form a narrow chain of 820 kilometers in length and 130 kilometers in width within an area of 90,000 square kilometers of ocean. The capital city island, Male, is located within Male atoll, which is in the center of the strip of islands that makes up the Maldives. The Maldives is the smallest country in Asia.
Population
The Maldives has a population of 298,968 (in 2006) spread
among 196 islands. Strong disparities are evident in the population distribution between the islands: Male‟, the capital island, has a population of 102,377, or nearly one-third of the total population, whereas there are 142 islands with fewer than 1000 inhabitants and 76 islands with fewer than 500 persons Only three islands have a population greater than 5000. Hence, most of the inhabited islands are sparsely populated while a small
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