Maldives President to visit Italy to attract more tourists

Tuesday, 3 February 2009 10:05

Miadhu

President Mohamed Nasheed has announced that he will be visiting Italy on the 14 th of this month and that the visit is aimed at increasing the number of Italians tourists arriving Maldives. President said the target is to bring in an additional 5000 Italian tourists this year. President Nasheed made the announcement speaking at a press conference held at the President’s Office on Monday.

Speaking at the press conference President said world tourism industry has slowed down and that he believed Maldives tourism will be exceptionally slow during June and July this year. He said he will be working to bring in more Italians during this period to offset the losses.
He noted that tourists initially came to Maldives from clubs and that most Italians came from clubs like Vacanze and Valtur. He said clubs like these used to sell Maldives at attractive prices and that prices went up as a direct of the increase in the lease rent of the resort islands. He further said such high prices have caused difficulties for clubs to bring in regular tourists to Maldives.

President said during the period when Maldives were marketed at low prices, number of Italians tourists was considerable and that it declined by some 20 percent when the government increased rental charges of the resorts. The losses incurred by the tourism industry as a result of the decline in number of arrivals far out weighed the additional revenue the government generated by increasing the rental fees of the resorts President said.

He also revealed that all expenses to participate in Milan Fair this year will borne by the Italian government and that discussions on the matter is underway with Italian Ambassador accredited to Maldives and Italian Trade Minister.

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