Vacation hotspot offering vaccinations to visitors
After being one of the first countries to fully reopen to travelers, the Maldives is striving to be ahead of the game when it comes to vaccine tourism, reported CNN.
Officials announced plans to offer vaccinations to tourists on arrival in a bid to lure more visitors over.
Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, the country’s minister for tourism, has confirmed that the Maldives is developing a “3V tourism” scheme, which would allow tourists to “Visit, Vaccinate and Vacation.”
The country plans to offer two doses of the vaccine to visitors, according to Mausoom, which means those who sign up for it would need to remain in the Maldives for several weeks.
He hopes the program will help boost tourism on the Indian Ocean destination, which had an average of 1.7 million visitors a year before the pandemic.
Officials said the “3V” scheme will not begin until the country’s entire population is fully vaccinated. There are just under 550,000 people that live in the country.
Around 53 percent of the population has received their first dose of the vaccine, including 90 percent of front-line tourism workers, Mausoom said.
Tourism contributes to 28 percent of the Maldives’ GDP, according to data from Michigan State University.
“Our biggest advantage is the unique geographical features of Maldives,” he said, explaining that the fact that the guests can be dispersed across its different islands had proved particularly alluring to travelers and also meant that social distancing measures were slightly easier to maintain.
“We promoted the destination as a safe haven to the tourists.”
While visitors have been required to produce a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival since September, the destination has continued to welcome travelers over the past few months with cases remaining relatively low, reported CNN.
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