Maldives assures safety of tourists amid political unrest

Thursday, 5 May 2011 19:19

Maldivian Tourism Minister Dr. Mariyam Zulfa has assured tourists visiting the Maldives, an upmarket tourist destination in the Indian Ocean, of their personal safety amid the series of protests in the Maldivian capital, Male over the soaring commodity prices.

The Tourism Minister’s assurance comes a day after the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government issued an amber Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) for those intending to visit the Maldives.

“Those who plan to visit the Maldives or are already there should monitor the situation and exercise caution,” a government spokesman told Xinhua news agency.

The Hong Kong’s Security Bureau is closely monitoring the situation in Maldives and has asked residents, who need assistance while outside Hong Kong, to call the 24-hour hotline of the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit.

In a statement, the Maldivian Tourism Minister said the ongoing demonstrations, which she said are not a threat to national security, are taking place in specified areas of capital Male.

Secretary General of Maldives Association for Tourism Industry (MATI), Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, expressed concerns over Hong Kong issuing a travel alert and highlighted the importance of providing accurate information about the protests to the countries.

“It would be difficult to provide clear information to new markets such as China. However, it is important to clarify that the resorts are located on remote islands and are separate from Male. Countries might have concerns over sending its nationals to the Maldives if the unrest continues,” he said.


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