European tourist market ‘unaffected’ by Maldives crisis

European tourist market ‘unaffected’ by Maldives crisis
February 27 15:59 2018

The European tourist market remains unaffected by the Maldives’ political crisis, a top diplomat has said.

Several countries have issued travel alerts after President Abdulla Yameen imposed a state of emergency in response to a Supreme Court ruling.

There have been anti-Yameen protests in the capital and local islands, with riot police using pepper spray and force to disperse crowds, and the tourism sector has reported cancellations.

“There hasn’t been much of an impact on the EU market. But there has been decline from other parts of the world. There may be a decline from markets like India and China due to the current situation,” Ahmed Shiaan, the Maldives ambassador to Belgium and the European Union Ahmed, told SunOnline.

His comments come after the European Union said targeted measures may be considered against the Maldives if the country’s situation did not improve.

Last week, two tourism bodies begged the government to end the state of emergency in the Maldives and boost marketing efforts abroad to make up for losses.

Earlier this month, the Maldives was warned that the state of emergency would hit the country’s economic growth if tourists were deterred from travelling there for a prolonged period.

Statistics from the tourism ministry showed that 359,053 people visited the Maldives during the first quarter of 2017, with 121,052 arrivals in February and 112,665 in March.

The state of emergency is due to end March 22.